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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]

Vietnam Objects to Chinese Oil Rig in Disputed Waters

HANOI, Vietnam — The Vietnamese government has lashed out against the presence of a Chinese oil rig in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, the latest in what Vietnam says are a series of provocative actions by Beijing this month.

While the dispute raised tensions between the Communist neighbors, there were no signs yet of the heated escalation that characterized a similar episode in 2014, when relations between the two countries plummeted and anti-Chinese demonstrations spiraled into deadly riots. [READ MORE]

By 2030, South China Sea will be ‘virtually a Chinese lake,’ study warns

China will have so many aircraft carriers by 2030 that the South China Sea will be “virtually a Chinese lake,” a new U.S. study warns, arguing that the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region was shifting away from the United States.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s strategic “rebalance” to Asia has neither been clearly enough explained nor sufficiently resourced to cope with rising threats from China and North Korea, the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found. [READ MORE]

Deterring Chinese Coercion in the South China Sea

Realizing the strategic importance of the South China Sea (SCS) in its “rebalancing” policy, the United States in 2015 took several specific actions to challenge China’s maritime claims in the region.

Doctrinally, the Defense Department released the Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy, which described China as the major source of instability, and articulated U.S. efforts to stabilize the SCS. [READ MORE]

China nearly completes 2 more runways in S. China Sea: U.S. think tank

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, a major think tank in Washington, revealed the finding after China conducted a first series of test flights earlier this month on a runway it already built in the Spratly Islands.

The United States believes China has built or is building airstrips on artificial islands on at least three reefs through massive reclamation in the Spratlys, where China is involved in territorial disputes with other claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam. [READ MORE]

A very unChinese standoff in the South China Sea

North Korea will continue to play a wildcard role in the affairs of East Asia, but it is further south, in the South and East China Seas, that what might be the defining strategic engagement of the 21st Century is shaping up.

It is unusual for strategy to be prosecuted by the dumping of industrial aggregate, but that is exactly what is happening around the Spratly Islands, today. [READ MORE]

What’s Really Behind China’s Island Building?

This new twist on familiar activities stems from China’s spectacular creation of seven new islands in this enclosed sea.

The new islands undoubtedly symbolize China’s claim to exclusive privileges in this area, but they also invite a question: when was China’s Politburo persuaded that they needed a shock-and-awe event in the South China Sea to secure a positive outcome, that is, to finally suppress resistance to China’s ‘historical’ claim to the greater part of this sea? [READ MORE]

Vietnam's Plan to Deter China With Western Jets

Vietnam is negotiating with American and European manufacturers to purchase new warplanes—including fighters, maritime patrol aircraft and unmanned aircraft.

The move comes as part of Hanoi’s strategy to lessen its dependence on Russian hardware and to counter China’s growing power. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Crisis and the “Battle for Oil”

A long brewing crisis of both regional and global proportions has been festering in the South China Sea in recent years between claimants to a variety of islands, reefs and shoals and more importantly access to oil and natural gas resources that are worth trillions of dollars.

Although this dispute, or more accurately put, many individual and interlocking disputes, have gained in importance in recent years, they have been a bone of contention for centuries. [READ MORE]

Japan Eyes Bigger South China Sea Presence in 2016

Japan has decided to boost its presence in the South China Sea in 2016 with patrol aircraft making transits in key locations along those waters, sources have told The Yomiuri Shimbun.

According to the newspaper, the defense ministry and the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) have decided that Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft returning home from anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia will make transit points along the way at bases in countries involved in the South China Sea disputes, including the Philippines and Vietnam. [READ MORE]

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