How Would the US Challenge China in the South China Sea?

SCSC - Recently, media reports surfaced about how the U.S. military was mulling using aircraft and Navy ships to directly contest Chinese territorial claims to rapidly expanding artificial islands.
In an earlier piece, I considered this proposal as part of the larger case for a more robust U.S. approach in the South China Sea. But what is the logic behind this specific proposal, how would it work in practice, and what would its implications be? [READ MORE]

Watch Out, America: China Launches New Submarine 'Killer'

SCSC - China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy commissioned its latest anti - submarine ship, according to local media outlets.
As IHS Jane’s and others reported, citing Chinese state - media outlets, the PLAN officially commissioned its latest Type 056 Jiangdao - class corvette last week. TheHuangshi was inducted into service by the PLAN Northern Fleet, the reports said. [READ MORE]

China’s Naval Plans for Djibouti: A Road, a Belt, or a String of Pearls?

SCSC - Last autumn, a Namibian newspaper leaked a story that sent ripples across the world. In a November article, the Namibian Times presented an unofficial Chinese report outlining steps for the building of 18 military naval bases (including one in Namibia, at Walvis Bay).
In addition, Chinese ambitions extended to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar in the northern Indian Ocean; Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in the western Indian Ocean; and Seychelles and Madagascar in the central South Indian Ocean. These bases together would frame China’s three strategic lines for “maintaining the safety of international maritime routes” and, ultimately “world stability”. [READ MORE]

Chinas Dangerous 5 Trillion Dollar Bet: A South China Sea ADIZ?

SCSC - This week the annual report to the U.S. Congress on China's Military Power was released. It noted Beijing's use of “low - intensity coercion” across the South China Sea and East China Sea.
Its assessment stated that: “China often uses a progression of small, incremental steps to increase its effective control over disputed territories and avoid escalation to military conflict”. [READ MORE]

When China Rules the World

SCSC - India’s strategic partnership with middle powers like Japan, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam will get greater domestic acceptance than an Asian strategy that relies solely on US commitment to maintain balance of power in the region.
This will also counter China’s claims that regional security cooperation is merely a part of US and Indian efforts to contain China. Building multiple power coalitions as a complement to engaging China and deepening the strategic partnership with the US will strengthen India’s independent role in the security of Asia. [READ MORE]

A ‘New’ Philippine Naval Base Near the South China Sea?

SCSC - Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the Philippine armed forces chief had said in an interview that the construction of a new naval base opposite the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea was “a top priority”.
Plans for constructing a base in Oyster Bay in Palawan – located around 100 miles from the Spratly Islands – date back years and were first publicly announced back in 2013. [READ MORE]

Dredging For Disaster

SCSC - Tensions are rising in the South China Sea. On May 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Beijing, for talks which will likely focus on the territorial disputes.
But China’s controversial effort to assert its sovereignty in the South China Sea is not only antagonizing its neighbors and the United States: it’s destroying the a precious coral reef ecosystem, and the Chinese agency charged with protecting it seems curiously unmoved to stop the damage. [READ MORE]

The world continues to condemn China’s acts in the East Sea

In April, China rushingly continued its construction of artificial islands in the positions in the Spratly islands that robbed from Viet Nam in the East Sea. The website of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) located in Washington, D.C released an array of satellite images which were taken in the first week of April.

These images show an airstrip of 3.1 kilometers that was completed approximately one-third in the Fiery Cross Reef, Spratly Archipelago. Moreover, these images also point out that various Chinese ships were dropping sand on the Mischief Reef, Spratly Archipelago.

The U.S. government should have a comprehensive reaction to China in the South China Sea

SCSC - During the visit to China by Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam from April 7th to 10th 2015, Chinese media including party and online press was possibly directed not to publish any articles nor comments with insulting language and fabricated information against Viet Nam as they had done previously.

Many newspapers even printed “friendly - to - Viet Nam” news and articles. The Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times that used to take the lead in posting articles to protest Viet Nam and trigger opposition suddenly changed its tone using fancy words to commend Trong’s visit as “a breath of warm wind”, “expect the Sino - Vietnamese relationship to see beautiful fresh spring”, and described “the two sides have made exciting speeches about the bilateral relations”, etc.

The case for Japan - Australia Defence Cooperation Guidelines

SCSC - Under the banner of a new special relationship, we are currently witnessing a second evolution of Japan–Australia strategic relations. Looking back, the relationship’s evolution has had two distinct phases; the first phase of evolution started in 2007 which was marked by a deeper institutionalisation of bilateral cooperation focusing on non-traditional security, culminating in the historic Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation in Tokyo.
The non-traditional security cooperation between Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) is best represented by the past record of the frequent humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) cooperation between ADF and JSDF units, to name a few, in responding to the 2010 flood disaster in Pakistan, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the 2013 mega-typhoon disaster in the Philippines. [READ MORE]

Improving Order in the East China Sea

SCSC - The accidental escalation of interstate incidents at sea has the potential to pose a serious threat to maritime security and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region. Competing territorial claims and disputes over freedom of navigation have generated a growing number of standoffs at sea involving military, law enforcement, and civilian vessels.
With aircraft playing chicken, fishing vessels ramming coast guard ships, and naval forces intimidating one another’s auxiliaries, there is a growing potential for an accident that could escalate into conflict. [READ MORE]

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