South China Sea: Beijing lashes out at Trump after US sends warship past disputed reefs

Beijing lash out at TrumpThe country has called upon Washington to pull back and stop infringing upon its sovereignty after the unprecedented action. China is disputing the missile destroyer USS Wayne E Meyer’s presence within 12 nautical miles of two reefs it has laid claim to. Fiery Cross and Mischief reefs are the two biggest artificial islands in the disputed Spratlys.

This was the first time a US warship had challenged Chinese outposts at the same time.

Spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theatre Command, Colonel Li Huamin, accused the US of “acting as a hegemony in ignorance of the international laws and rules”.

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Conflict prevention in the South China Sea depends on China abiding by the existing rules

New waveIf China truly wants to coexist and compete peacefully in the Indo-Pacific, it must comply with international treaties and agreements.

This includes international accords that apply to the disputed waters of the South China Sea, where the risk of an incident is growing, not only between the US and China, but also between China and its neighbours. China’s flouting of international rules in the South China Sea may spark a future maritime incident.

Some Chinese charge that the United States is increasing the potential for a dangerous encounter by sailing navy vessels close to rocks or artificial islands controlled by China. That argument was made by Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, an official in China‘s Ministry of Defence, in a recent New York Times column.

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US says Chinese warship fired military laser at US aircraft

VN MullsThe US Navy said Thursday that a Chinese military warship fired a military grade laser at US Navy P-8 surveillance aircraft last week while it was flying over the Pacific Ocean, an action that the US Navy called "unsafe and unprofessional."

The People's Republic of China "navy destroyer's actions were unsafe and unprofessional," US Pacific Fleet said in a statement Thursday.

"Weapons-grade lasers could potentially cause serious harm to aircrew and mariners, as well as ship and aircraft systems," the statement added.

Military-grade laser beams, occasionally known as "dazzlers," emit a powerful beam of light that can travel great distances and be used to illuminate aircraft cockpits, temporarily blinding pilots.

Defense officials told CNN that a formal diplomatic protests known as a démarche is expected to be issued

The incident comes amid ongoing tensions between the US and Chinese militaries.

The Pentagon has repeatedly said that China represents an increasingly serious threat to regional security, saying that major Chinese investments in its military are aimed at achieving regional dominance.

"Over time, we have watched them seize and militarize islands in the South China Sea, and rapidly modernize their armed forces, while seeking to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor ... and often at the expense of others," US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said earlier this month.

The US has similarly issued such diplomatic protests in the past due to what the US said was Chinese military forces using lasers against US aircraft.

One such incident took place in the East African nation of Djibouti where both the US and China maintain military bases. US officials in 2018 accused Chinese forces stationed in Djibouti of injuring US pilots with a laser that was fired at a US C-130J aircraft.

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India, US oppose China’s bid on South China Sea code

America is aloneIndia has joined the United States to oppose China’s move to tweak the proposed Code of Conduct on the South China Sea in order to keep its rivals and other nations outside the region away from the disputed waters.

The United States has endorsed India as the net provider of security in the Indian Ocean region, where China has been trying to spread its tentacles over the past few years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American President Donald Trump also sent out a message to China, underscoring in a joint statement that a close partnership between their two nations was “central to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”. “Cooperation between India and the US at the global level is founded on our common democratic values and objectives, especially in the Indo-Pacific region and other global commons,” Prime Minister said, as he and US President addressed mediapersons after a meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tusday.

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Ending Philippines-US military pact will affect South China Sea disputes: Analysts

Ending pinoy usAfter years of threatening to abandon the Philippines’ military alliance with the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte last week confirmed plans to terminate the agreement governing the presence of American troops, a key part of one of Southeast Asia’s major security partnerships.

The announcement was widely interpreted as an attempt by Duterte to extract concessions from Washington, which regards military cooperation with Manila as crucial to countering Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea. US President Donald Trump, however, told reporters he had no concerns about the treaty being scrapped.

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Hun Sen is more worried about Beijing than the Coronavirus

GettyImages-1201955281As governments across the region scrambled to respond to initial news of the coronavirus outbreak last month, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Asia’s longest-serving dictator, didn’t flinch. He saw an opportunity. While other countries enforced restrictions on Chinese travelers, Hun Sen sought to reassure not his citizens but Beijing, which he depends on for political and financial support. “Please continue our cooperation with China. Do not ban flights from China. Do not ban China’s sea transportation, and do not ban Chinese tourists,” he said at a press conference on Jan. 30.

Days earlier, Cambodia had recorded its first and only confirmed case to date: a 60-year-old Chinese man who had flown from Wuhan, where the outbreak began, to Sihanoukville, a casino town booming with Chinese investment.

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America is alone in its cold war with China

America is aloneIn the contest between the United States and China over who gets to shape the world in the coming century, America seems to be playing to win. But it’s running into a big problem. Despite the global network of alliances Washington has built up, it’s been unable to convince those allies to hop aboard the “great-power-competition” express and leave China behind.

U.S. officials are learning just how challenging it is to persuade friendly nations that America is a reliable partner capable of providing them with viable alternatives to what China has on offer—that the rewards of drawing closer to Washington outweigh the risks of alienating Beijing. That’s in part because of the mixed messages from the American president himself: He’s notoriously iffy about his commitment to allies, even as he often expresses his adoration of the Chinese president (notwithstanding the ongoing U.S.-China trade war).

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The China Challenge

China challengeThe American political class has finally come up with a bipartisan policy: denouncing China. After three years of fulmination, injurious tariffs, and costly Chinese retaliation, the Trump administration announced that China will buy more products, although no one is sure how the pledges, with Chinese caveats, will work out. Each side can rely on its own statistics. China also agreed to improve policies in a few other areas that are in its interest, although with many gaps. In return, the United States will, for at least awhile, hold off on more self-defeating taxes on imports. This package is “Phase One.” “Phase Two” is, well… to come later.

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India - Japan - South China Sea

India - JP - South China SeaJapan and India held the first 2+2 Security Dialogue on November 30th, 2019 in New Delhi between Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Defense Minister Taro Kono and their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

At the dialogue, India and Japan discussed important issues in defense, fuel and ammunition supply, and weapon development cooperation. After the dialogue, the two sides issued a Joint Statement, emphasizing that in the context of the complicated regional development, the two sides need to deepen their defense cooperation and to hold joint exercises between the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the Indian Air Force in 2020.

Beijing’s scheme to turn the undisputed area into a disputed one in the South China Sea

BJ schemeIn order to monopolize the South China Sea, China is hectically pushing up aggressive activities with neighboring countries in the South China Sea to gradually realize the nine-dash line claim even when it has been totally rejected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) Award in the Philippines vs. China case on July 12th, 2016.

Their plot is to turn completely undisputed areas in the waters of its neighbors into disputed ones and then ask for "joint exploitation”. China's behavior completely contradicts the provisions of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS). Some analysts believe that China is trying to implement its own rules of "big fish eat the small" in the South China Sea.

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