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Australia backs US in latest South China Sea stoush

Australia has emphatically backed the latest incursion by the United States into the South China Sea and has hinted at naval and air missions of its own.

Following Saturday's exercise in which the US guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur angered Beijing by sailing near a disputed island in the South China Sea, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne said the US was upholding international law. [READ MORE]

Nations voice respect for aviation and navigation freedom in East Sea

Leaders from a number of countries in Asia-Pacific have raised their voices to affirm their countries’ respect for the right of aviation and navigation freedom in the East Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his support for the US Navy Aegis Destroyer’s passage within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built illegally by China in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago. [READ MORE]

U.S. warship sails near disputed island in South China Sea

BANGKOK — A U.S. warship sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea on Saturday to exercise the U.S.'s freedom to navigate in international waters, a defense official said.

The USS Curtis Wilbur destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, in the Paracels chain, without notifying the three claimants to the surrounding seas beforehand, according to Defense Department spokesman Mark Wright in Washington. [READ MORE]

Ma’s visit to disputed S. China Sea island won’t contribute to stability

The latest visit to a disputed island in the South China Sea was an action that raises concerns among neighboring countries and does not contribute to regional stability.

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou visited Taiping Island, the largest islet in the Spratlys. He made the day trip to the island aboard a Taiwan Air Force plane and reportedly encouraged officials and other personnel stationed on the island. [READ MORE]

China reorganizing military to close gap with US

China’s armed forces are undergoing a sweeping five-year reorganization aimed at creating central control over the military’s nearly autonomous branches and creating a more lethal fighting force to close the gap with U.S. capabilities, analysts say.

The restructuring is the most profound undertaken since the 1950s when Soviet advisers helped modernize the nation’s post-civil war military, changes that will likely challenge long-held assumptions by the Pentagon, according to David M. Finkelstein, director of the China Studies division of CNA, a Washington, D.C.,-based research center. [READ MORE]

China started using artificial facilities to establish de facto control over the South China Sea

On January 2nd 2016, the Vietnamese Press voiced condemnation against China’s test flight to the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratlys Archipelago, quoting Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh when he asserted that China’s above-mentioned action had seriously violated Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the Spratlys, run counter to the common understanding of high-level Vietnamese and Chinese leaders and the Agreement between Viet Nam and China on the basic principles guilding the settlement of sea-related issues as well as the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), threatening peace and stability in the South China Sea, diminishing political trust between the two countries and negatively affecting the neighbourliness and good sentiments between the Vietnamese and Chinese peoples.

India will not step back in the South China Sea

SCSC - On 1st September 2015, the Chinese Taipei’s Want China Times reported that India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) was ready to move an oil platform into the South China Sea for oil and gas exploration in the sea of Viet Nam.

All of a sudden, China’s media blatantly criticized the Indian project signed with Viet Nam on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, declaring such project an illegal and unwise action that would affect the Sino-India relations[1].

Kerry to press China over North Korea, urge ASEAN unity over South China Sea

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began a visit to Asia on Sunday in which he plans to press China to put more curbs on North Korea after its nuclear test and to urge Southeast Asia to show unity in response to Beijing's claims in the South China Sea.

Kerry started what will be a three-day stay in the region in Laos, the 2016 chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He will head to Cambodia on Monday night and then on to Beijing for talks on Wednesday with the leadership there. [READ MORE]

Countries Should Play By Same Rules In South China Sea: Barack Obama

WASHINGTON: In a clear signal to China, US President Barack Obama today said all countries should play by the same rules in international law including freedom of navigation in the South China Sea while India can be an anchor of stability in the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region.

He also said India and US will continue to expand their military exercises and maritime cooperation so that the two forces become "interoperable". [READ MORE]

US forces to continue flying, sailing in South China Sea

Moscow – US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has stated that Beijing is taking steps which will lead to international isolation amid ongoing tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea.

The comment by the Pentagon top official was made on Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Carter offered that the US is not seeking an excuse for a clash with China, but noted that the American military will keep operating in the region. [READ MORE]

Japan and India need to deal with the South China Sea dispute

China’s recent acknowledgement that it is establishing its first overseas military base in the Indian Ocean rim nation of Djibouti, located on the Horn of Africa, represents a transformative moment in its quest for supremacy at sea.

With Chinese submarines now making regular forays into India’s maritime backyard right under the nose of its Andaman & Nicobar Command, New Delhi must now face up to a new threat from the south. [READ MORE]

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