BienDong.Net

IS LAOS SHIFTING ALLEGIANCES FROM CHINA TO VIETNAM AND THE U.S.?

The secretive communist government of Laos, a country with a population of less than 7 million, rarely causes a ripple on the diplomatic circuit. And yet its sleepy capital will spring to life next week when global leaders arrive for an Asian summit.

Barack Obama will be among them, making the last push of his presidency to rebalance Washington's foreign policy toward Asia, a strategy widely seen as a response to China's economic and military muscle-flexing across the region. [READ MORE]

Did China Cyber Attack Vietnam Over South China Sea Dispute?

(Bloomberg) — The spyware used in cyber attacks on Vietnam’s major airports and national carrier last month is now suspected of having bombarded many more official sites, amid tensions with China over territory in the disputed South China Sea.

A malicious code disguised as anti-virus software found lurking in everything from government offices to banks, major companies and universities was the same as that used in “politically-colored” attacks on two of the country’s biggest airports and Vietnam Airlines, said Ngo Tuan Anh, vice chairman of Hanoi-based network security company Bkav Corp. [READ MORE]

Don't Count on ASEAN to Save the South China Sea

The countries of Southeast Asia have long sought progress toward a position of greater institutional unity in addressing regional security concerns.

In 2009, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on a Political-Security Community Blueprint, which stated that member states, “regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another, bound by geographical location, common vision, and objectives.” [READ MORE]

Here’s how the South China Sea ruling affects U.S. interests

On July 12, an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruling dismissed much of China’s claim to the South China Sea. Since then, there has been a great deal of discussion on the legal ramifications, China’s response and public opinion.

But where does this ruling leave the U.S. alliance with the Philippines — the country that challenged China’s claims in the first place? [READ MORE]

New Photos Cast Doubt on China’s Vow Not to Militarize Disputed Islands

When President Xi Jinping of China visited President Obama at the White House last September, he startled many with reassuring words about his intentions for the Spratly Islands, a contested area where the Chinese government has been piling dredged sand and concrete atop reefs for the past few years and building housing and runways on them.

“China does not intend to pursue militarization,” Mr. Xi said, referring to the area as the Nansha Islands, a Chinese name for what most of the rest of the world calls the Spratlys in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

South China Sea Verdict: Chinese Win Some, Lose Some

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague announced the much-awaited verdict in the case on South China Sea.

As anticipated, the decision was in the favour of the Philippines and the PCA dismissed the Chinese sovereignty claims in a 501-page long ruling. [READ MORE]

Is China Driving Vietnam’s Military Modernization?

This February and April, the deployment of long range HQ-9 SAM’s (200km) and sixteen J-11Bs to Woody Island in the South China Sea has also evoked a diplomatic protest from Vietnam.

Today, Sino-Vietnamese relations are again hitting a low point, particularly due to the South China Sea dispute. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s external threat has always been China. [READ MORE]

US Foreign Policy in the Face of a 'Might Makes Right' China

At the time, I was on active military duty serving as Fleet Intelligence Watch Officer for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet aboard the flagship USS Blue Ridge, responsible for managing a team that provided the fleet commander with real-time situational awareness throughout Asia.

Those experiences—not least those weird sea creatures—offer several insights into U.S.-China relations, including the July international tribunal decision against Chinese actions in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

How Vietnam has kept China at bay over thousands of years

I’m visiting a 77-year-old widow, Cao Ngoc Diep and her family at their ancestral temple-home.

Above one small shrine there’s a haunting photograph of the fallen soldier, Cao Minh Phi, killed in Nha Trang in 1968 by the Americans aged 28, leaving behind a sweet-faced widow and her four small children. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Battle Isn’t Just in the Water

Last year the Hague’s own Permanent Court of Arbitration website went offline, subject to a similar attack by suspected Chinese hackers.

Cyberattacks across the world are now a political tool, and Vietnam is not unique (just see this list of attacks around the world from the first half of May), but what makes this situation worrying is the possibility that tensions in the region have been driving a serious increase in attacks it is not prepared to deal with. [READ MORE]

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