BienDong.Net

China is using Covid-19 pandemic to step up encroachment in the South China Sea

China is using Covid19 pandemic to step up encroachment in the South China SeaAs experts have warned, once China proclaimed that the Wuhan epidemic outbreak was under control, they would take advantage of the complicated global context, especially those in the US and Europe, to conduct new activities in the South China Sea.

On the ground, Chinese ships continuously travel from Hainan island to seven outposts illegally occupied in Spratly Islands to prove their regular presence in the South China Sea. Not once has China ceased their encroachment, even amidst the novel corona virus outbreak.

Reviewing Vietnam’s ‘Struggle’ Options in the South China Sea

Reviewing VietnamOnce again, Chinese assertiveness against Vietnam in the South China Sea is on the rise. Beginning on April 3, a Chinese coast guard ship sunk a Vietnamese fishing vessel in disputed waters off the Paracel Islands, and ten days later, on April 13, Beijing redeployed the controversial Haiyang Dizhi 8 geological survey ship, which it had used last year to harass international drilling near Vanguard Bank, to Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). And on April 18, Beijing announced that it had established administrative control over the disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands.

Following this new round of escalating bilateral tensions, Vietnam has publicly protested each Chinese move. But these statements have yet to alter Beijing’s bad behavior. So the question naturally becomes: beyond publicly airing grievances, what else could Vietnam do to curtail Chinese assertiveness in the future?

China’s Chance to Demonstrate Leadership in the South China Sea

Chance to Demonstrate Leadership in the South China SeaChina, in a series of assertive and sometimes risky unilateral actions, has netted some significant gains in the South China Sea in the past decade. The island outposts it has constructed in the Spratly and Paracel Islands are strategic assets in both war and peace. Together with the vast fishing and law enforcement patrols they enable, the outposts provide unprecedented maritime domain awareness capabilities across the South China Sea and serve as a springboard to extend China’s reach even further into Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.

Beijing seems intent on translating this maritime superiority into a de facto victory in the disputes. On the water, its grey zone operations aim to increase the costs of Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Philippine hydrocarbon and fishing operations to the point where they can no longer operate within the nine-dash line, which denotes China’s vast maritime claim. It has simultaneously pushed for a major geopolitical victory within the negotiations on a Code of Conduct with the ASEAN states, where China has tried to gain a veto right over joint military exercises between claimants and countries from outside the region as well as an outright ban on cooperation with extraregional countries on oil and gas.

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Learning in the South China Sea: The U.S response to the West Capella standoff

Learning in the South China Sea The U.S response to the West Capella standoffMalaysian oil exploration in a contested area of the South China Sea sparked a “five-nation face off” in April, with Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, U.S., and Australian maritime forces sailing within relatively close proximity. When the responding U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group departed after spending only a few days in the area, some observers panned the U.S. response as uninvited, insufficient, and having emboldened China. The passage of a few weeks has shown these accusations to be premature, but also highlighted a recurring weakness in the U.S. approach to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific. While the U.S. strike group may have departed, U.S. forces sortied from both forward deployed locations and the U.S. homeland to maintain a persistent presence over the South China Sea with platforms ranging from small surface combatants to strategic bombers. China’s presence has remained largely static. Overall, the United States shows progress in its approach but also an inexplicable missed opportunity to reach out to its Southeast Asian partners.

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Malaysia needs to pay attention to increased activities by big powers in the South China Sea

Malaysia needs to pay attention to increased activities by big powers in the South China SeaPUTRAJAYA: Malaysia needs to pay attention to the increased activities by big powers in the South China Sea, said Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Monday (May 18).

Speaking during his parliamentary address at the Dewan Rakyat, the king said that Malaysia's defence strategy needs to take into account the importance of defence diplomacy, a pragmatic foreign policy, international treaties and its international geopolitical position in the Asia Pacific region.

"The increased activities by big powers in the South China Sea recently needs to be paid attention to," he added.

"Hence, Malaysia needs to be always sensitive to the maritime domain, while crafting a strategy that supports our geopolitical aspirations," he said.

China claims much of the South China Sea, but there are overlapping claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Washington and its allies have also challenged Beijing’s territorial claims.

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Revenge of Geopolitics: Rising Tensions in the South China Sea

Revenge of Geopolitics Rising Tensions in the South China SeaMANILA – While China may have recently stolen a Covid-19 march in the contested South China Sea, the United States is pushing back with a countervailing show of force to underscore its commitment to the maritime region’s security.

In recent weeks, the US has stepped up its naval exercises in the disputed maritime area, including through joint exercises between the US Air Force and Marines in the South China Sea as well as integrated surface vessels and submarine war games in the adjoining Philippine Sea.

In late April, the Pentagon deployed the USS Bunker Hill, the USS America and USS Barry warships to the South China Sea, an exceptional show of force, according to strategic analysts. They were accompanied by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Parramatta frigate.

That was followed by multiple muscular deployments in recent weeks, part of what Pentagon planners say is a new integrated and flexible strategy, one that is clearly aimed at checking China’s expansionist ambitions in the waterway.

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US pushes back on China in South China Sea

US pushes back on China in South China SeaMANILA – While China may have recently stolen a Covid-19 march in the contested South China Sea, the United States is pushing back with a countervailing show of force to underscore its commitment to the maritime region’s security.

In recent weeks, the US has stepped up its naval exercises in the disputed maritime area, including through joint exercises between the US Air Force and Marines in the South China Sea as well as integrated surface vessels and submarine war games in the adjoining Philippine Sea.

In late April, the Pentagon deployed the USS Bunker Hill, the USS America and USS Barry warships to the South China Sea, an exceptional show of force, according to strategic analysts. They were accompanied by the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Parramatta frigate.

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Ignore any new China ADIZ in the South China Sea

Ignore any new China ADIZ in the South China SeaIf China declares a new air defense identification zone in the South China Sea, the world must rally to reject it. What's at stake here is the future of the global economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ADIZ issue is a newly relevant concern in light of Taiwan's Ministry of Defense statement last week warning of just this possibility. The ADIZ would require civilian and military aircraft entering the zone to radio Chinese military air controllers with their flight plans and requests for transit approval. China has already declared an ADIZ in the East China Sea. As with that ADIZ, China would hope that the new zone buys practical formality for its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.

While its claims are quite laughable, Beijing has already appointed itself the owner of vast areas of the sea, demanding that foreign nations avoid transiting through the waters without first seeking its permission. Contrary to China's lie that it only seeks friendship with all nations, this territorial seizure campaign aims to extract political deference from regional nations and global trading powers in return for transit rights. And considering that the South China Sea accounts for trillions of dollars in annual trade, this is a big deal.

But there are ways to obstruct China's imperial agenda.

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It’s time for Vietnam and ASEAN to challenge Beijing in the South China Sea

Beijing in the South China SeaOn 14 April, as China’s Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey group sailed into the South China Sea again, Taiwan scrambled ships to monitor the passage of the Chinese navy’s Liaoning aircraft carrier strike group as it went through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa and turned south.

According to a MarineTraffic report on 23 April, the carrier group was operating near Macclesfield Bank, and the survey group was shadowing a Philippines-flagged drilling ship that had been contracted by Malaysia to survey for oil in its exclusive economic zone near the overlapping waters between Malaysia and Vietnam.

This is the third time in recent years that China’s naval activities have threatened a maritime crisis for Vietnam. In May 2014, the Haiyang Dizhi 981 oil rig was parked in Vietnam’s EEZ, and from July to October 2019 the Haiyang Dizhi 8, escorted by armed coastguard vessels, surveyed extensively near the Vanguard Bank, resulting in a month-long standoff with Vietnam.

Now, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escorts appear to be pressuring Malaysia’s new government as they did with Vietnam. While this new standoff was over by 25 April, China’s bullying in the South China Sea won’t stop there, at least for Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

The legal implications of Vietnam’s note verbale protesting China’s claims in relation to East Vietn

The legal implicationEditor's note: In recent weeks, there have been many new developments relating to Bien Dong (the East Vietnam Sea), particularly the circulation of notes verbales by several states — including Malaysia, China, the Philippines and Vietnam — at the United Nations. In this context, Dr. Nguyen Ba Son, president of the Viet Nam Society of International Law (VSIL) gave Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper an interview to discuss the legal implications of these actions, as well as give his opinion on what should be done to maintain peace, stability and to promote peaceful settlement of disputes and cooperation in the Sea.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President, for giving this interview. In the recent weeks, we have witnessed many new developments relating to Bien Dong, in particular the circulation of notes verbales by several states at the United Nations, seizing the attention of the public opinion. In your capacity as president of VSIL, what are your evaluations of these developments from the perspectives of international law?

Dr. Nguyen Ba Son: It is noticeable that the situation in Bien Dong always attracts the attention of the public opinion, not only in the coastal states of the Sea but also in countries outside the region. The complicated developments in relation to Bien Dong, as well as territorial and jurisdictional claims of coastal states have continually been updated by the media in Vietnam and elsewhere, being a hot topic for commentaries at different venues, including on the social sites.

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