New South China Sea Lighthouses: Legal Futility and Strategic Risk

International law can be viewed as either a tool or a weapon, depending on how it is wielded.

On the one hand, the rules of international law outlining the range of legitimate territorial and maritime claims can provide an invaluable toolbox of objective standards for sorting out a way forward in what can often be a complex problem of international relations. [READ MORE]

Arguments Open in Philippine Case Against China's South China Sea Claims

On Tuesday, an arbitral tribunal in The Hague began hearing arguments on the merits of the Philippines’ case against China’s South China Sea claims.

The tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration will hold the first rounds of arguments on the merits of the case from November 24 to 30. [READ MORE]

A New Confidence-Building Process for the South China Sea?

A half-day meeting in Vietnam on Wednesday could mark the beginning of a new confidence-building process in the South China Sea.

The meeting, held in Vietnam’s oil city Vung Tau, involved delegates and observers from all the claimants including China, Taiwan, and little-heard Brunei. [READ MORE]

Redefining AirSea Battle: JAM-GC, China and the Quest for Clarity

Word has it the Pentagon will soon release a directive outlining its “Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons” (JAM-GC).

JAM-GC is the Joint Staff’s manifesto for managing the “anti-access/area-denial” (A2/AD) problem, principally in waters that wash against the Eurasian rimlands. Anti-access is how the Chinas, Irans, or Russias of the world deploy sea- and shore-based weaponry to make things tough on foes cruising their near seas or skies. [READ MORE]

Should U.S believe in the new type of great power relationship in Asia - Pacific proposed by China?

SCSC - In recent years, China has repeatedly proposed the concept of a new type of great power relationship with the US, especially since 2013 after the meeting between Obama and Xi Jinping in Sunnylands. During the meeting this time, in addition to main issues, for instance, cyber security, trade investment, human rights and the East Sea, the Chinese president also addressed the issue of building a new type of great power relationship[1].

The new type of great power relationship initiated by Xi Jinping has many different points, focusing on all aspects relating to the region, especially the East Sea. Xi Jinping once mentioned to the press that the Asia - Pacific region was big enough for both China and the US to coexist.

Next US Navy South China Sea Freedom of Navigation Operation: Mischief Reef

The U.S. Navy may be gearing up for its second freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese artificial island.

Bill Gertz, at the Washington Free Beacon, citing U.S. officials with knowledge of matter, reports that two U.S. Navy warships will sail within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef. [READ MORE]

Chairman's Statement of The 27th ASEAN SUMMIT

We, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, gathered for the 27th ASEAN Summit, held under Malaysia's Chairmanship of ASEAN with the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision', in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 21 November 2015.

2. We had productive and extensive deliberations reflective of the spirit of Malaysia's Chairmanship, namely to create a truly people-oriented, peoplecentred ASEAN Community comprising all areas of political and security cooperation, economic growth and socio-cultural development.

Download the full Statement Here.

The Great American 'Return' to the South China Sea?

President Obama will land in Manila this week at a crucial time in the Philippines’ quest for security in the South China Sea.

Following on the heels of U.S. freedom of navigation operations in the Spratly islands, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that it had jurisdiction in a case brought by Manila against Beijing regarding the latter’s South China Sea claims and, a few days later, word leaked that the Philippine Supreme Court was set to uphold as constitutional the US-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. [READ MORE]

Obama: China must stop land reclamation in South China Sea

(Updated 5:39 p.m.) US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday China must stop land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea and reaffirmed Washington's commitment to the defense and security of the Philippines, one of the parties to the dispute.

Obama, speaking after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Manila, said he looked forward to working with all claimants to the waterway to resolve their disputes. [READ MORE]

Will the United States Base 2 Aircraft Carriers in Japan?

Basing an additional aircraft carrier at the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan would meet the entire demand for carrier coverage in the Pacific without having to build more ships to fulfill the U.S. Navy’s commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.

That’s the conclusion of a new study published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). [READ MORE]

Maritime drones: the future of Australian border security

At the beginning of this month, the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) officially unveiled its new unmanned surface vehicle (USV), the Venus 16.

The vessel is 16m long and 5m wide, has a maximum speed of 40 knots, boasts advanced sensors, and can stay at sea for more than 36 hours. This development highlights the emerging role of unmanned maritime vehicles (UMVs) in maritime security. [READ MORE]

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