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The contest for international support on the South China Sea disputes

With the final award of the Arbitral Tribunal on the maritime disputes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) expected in the coming months, there has been a noticeable increase in activities not only on the ground, but also in the diplomatic circles.

These developments provide some clues on how the arbitration case and the SCS/WPS disputes currently stand in the regional and even global discourse. [READ MORE]

For the US, Sailing Around the South China Sea Is Not Strategy

WASHINGTON: After President Barack Obama’s visits to Vietnam and Japan, the wider Asia-Pacific region has to wonder what the future holds as a dangerous geostrategic rivalry develops between the People’s Republic of China and the United States. And considering the stakes, such worries are completely justified.

The rise of China – and its campaign to “salami slice” its way – occupying small pieces of reefs and semi-submerged features in the South China Sea in increments towards regional dominance – threatens America’s dominant position in Asia. [READ MORE]

What Does the Nine-Dash Line Actually Mean?

China has not precisely articulated – in terms familiar to sea lawyers or diplomats – what its nine-dash line in the South China Sea means.

That ambiguity leaves plenty of room for possible over-interpretation, particularly when coupled with some of the actions that China has taken in response to perceived incursions within the area bounded by that line. [READ MORE]

Beijing Planning Air Defense Identification Zone Amid US Military Presence

altChina is planning to institute an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the disputed South China Sea as the U.S. grows its military presence in the region and strengthens diplomatic relations with claimant countries, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Wednesday.

China imposed similar zone in 2013 over eight uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, attracting criticism from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. [READ MORE]

Newly Found Maps Dispute Beijing's South China Sea Claims

The maps illustrate in detail all the territories that belonged to China under the rule of Qianlong Emperor (1735-1796).

The territories stretched from mainland China to islands and surrounding waters, but none of the maps drew nor mentioned the Nansha Islands or Xisha Islands, the names given by China for the Spratly and Paracel Islands. [READ MORE]

South China Sea set to dominate Singapore security summit

Roiling tensions in the South China Sea are set to dominate Asia's biggest security summit starting in Singapore on Friday, exposing a deepening rivalry between the United States and China ahead of a landmark legal ruling in the Hague.

The unofficial Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) is the last chance for the two powers to drum up support before a decision from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in a case brought by the Philippines. [READ MORE]

The contest for international support on the South China Sea disputes

With the final award of the Arbitral Tribunal on the maritime disputes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea (SCS/WPS) expected in the coming months, there has been a noticeable increase in activities not only on the ground, but also in the diplomatic circles.

These developments provide some clues on how the arbitration case and the SCS/WPS disputes currently stand in the regional and even global discourse. [READ MORE]

How the Next US President Should Handle the South China Sea

Beijing will test the mettle of the next U.S. administration in the South China Sea. At a minimum, China is determined to use “passive assertiveness” to exercise greater control over this jugular of international commerce.

Fortifying artificial islands, executing law enforcement operations, and issuing diplomatic broadsides—while dangling economic incentives in an effort to dismantle multilateral cooperation—all appear to be efforts likely to continue and intensify in the immediate future. [READ MORE]

Playing by the rules in the South China Sea

CANBERRA – China’s adventurism in the South China Sea has prompted a change in Australian policymaking that merits wide international attention.

In making maintenance of a “rules-based global order” a core strategic priority, Australia’s new defense white paper adopts language not often found at the heart of national defense charters. [READ MORE]

Indian Navy Sends Amphibious Warfare Ship to ASEAN-led South China Sea Exercise

The Indian Navy has sent one of its three Shardul-class amphibious warfare ships to a maritime security and counter-terrorism exercise led by the Association for Southeast Nations (ASEAN) in the South China Sea.

INS Airavat arrived in Brunei to participate in the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter-terrorism. The exercise will last until May 9. [READ MORE]

Kishida stresses rule of law at S. China Sea in talks with Thai PM

BANGKOK (Kyodo) -- Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday he agreed with Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok on the importance of resolving maritime security issues based on international law.

Kishida told reporters after meeting with Prayut that he pointed out it is important for the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to be united in responding to China's assertiveness in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

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