Is the South China Sea just a bilateral issue?

Is the South China Sea just a bilateral issueChina has always asserted that the South China Sea issue is just a matter between China and the other disputant countries, and that it should be resolved only through direct negotiations between the parties concerned. China has even demanded that, whenever a conflict emerges, disputant countries should conduct "internal exchanges" only with China and refrain from "publicizing" it. Always standing opposed to the "multilateralization" and "internationalization" of the South China Sea issue, China has tried to prevent ASEAN and other regional and international forums from having substantive discussions or statements on this issue, pressurizing, threatening and even "punishing" countries which dared to "publicize" or "internationalize" the issue. As a result, some countries have been compelled to adopt a "tactic of silence" even when China had infringed upon their lawful sovereignty in the South China Sea. China, on its part, has used this to demonstrate that the South China Sea situation was "basically stable" and "under control", in an attempt to forestall and restrict international concern about the issue. In schools, such a behavior is usually called "bullying", but the South China Sea is not a classroom and nations are not primary school pupils.

China, Indonesia sea dispute hot and getting hotter

China Indonesia sea dispute hot and getting hotterJAKARTA – Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 5204 has become such a familiar sight inside and on the fringes of Indonesia’s 200-nautical-mile Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) that it is now suspected of trying to stake out the limits of Beijing’s nine-dotted line of historically claimed sovereignty over the South China Sea.

The Indonesian government issued a formal protest to Chinese ambassador Xiao Qian over the latest intrusion on September 12, in which the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) said the Chinese used the specific term “nine-dash line” in radio messages with an Indonesian patrol vessel.

While China recognizes Indonesian sovereignty over its northernmost Natuna archipelago, it has always refused to provide the exact coordinates of the nine-dash line, a broad tongue-shaped swathe of the South China Sea extending into the North Natuna Sea.

European powers weigh wading into South China Sea

European powers weigh wading into South China SeaMajor European powers are weighing how to step up their presence in China’s adjacent waters, including the contested South China Sea, as tensions rachet up in what some see as the dawning of a new Cold War.

For European powers like Britain and France, the stakes are even higher as they adopt ever-tougher stances against China’s unilateral moves and naval assertiveness in the strategic maritime region.

Both European countries are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and full-fledged nuclear powers with ‘blue water’ naval capabilities. They also have significant territorial possessions in a region with major trade and investment partners.

An Answer to Aggression

The Chinese Communist Party’s initial mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent attempts to exploit the crisis have produced enduring problems for the rest of the world. But the CCP’s behavior has also helped clarify the threat that China poses to the security, prosperity, and well-being of other countries. Public opinion polls show that over 60 percent of Americans of both political parties now hold a negative view of Beijing’s leadership and intentions, and similar attitudes can be found across the democratic world. This heightened awareness of a shared danger creates an opportunity for the United States and its allies to formulate a new and more effective strategy for dealing with China.

For the past four decades, Western democracies have hoped that engagement with China would cause its leaders to abandon any revisionist ambitions they might harbor and accept their country’s place as a “responsible stakeholder” in the U.S.-led international order. Expanding flows of trade and investment would, it was thought, also encourage Beijing to proceed down the path toward greater economic and political openness. The policy of engagement was not absurd on its face; it was a gamble rather than an outright blunder. But as has become increasingly obvious, the West’s wager has failed to pay off.

Beijing’s South China Sea talks with Asean are worse off than it’s letting on, experts say

South China Sea talksChina may be sounding optimistic notes over an early conclusion of its ongoing talks with Asean for a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea, but regional scholars of the row say they are far less buoyant that the accord is within reach.

Speaking in a webinar on Friday, the Southeast Asian researchers suggested instead that the talks’ suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic meant Beijing now lacked the use of the ongoing negotiations as a “pretext” for saying all was well in the sea dispute.

With recent stand-offs in the waters, as well as Southeast Asian claimants ramping up “lawfare” tactics of citing international maritime law to press their respective cases – much to Beijing’s annoyance – an amicable resolution looks farther away than before, the analysts said.

Russia in the South China Sea

Russia in the South China SeaIt’s a long way from Moscow, but for Russia, the contested waters of South China Sea might provide opportunities for scientific collaboration, legitimacy, and major diplomatic gains, Olga Krasnyak writes.

The South China Sea issue does not receive a lot of attention in Russian public discourse. However, downplaying Russia’s potential interest in Asia and the Pacific would be shortsighted, not only for China, but for other regional powers like Australia.

Despite Russia’s distance from the hot-spot, there are opportunities for the country to use a science diplomacy approach in the South China Sea to strengthen its geopolitical stance.

Where Trump and Biden Stand on Foreign Policy

Where Trump and Biden Stand on Foreign PolicyWASHINGTON—President Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden have profound differences in key areas of U.S. foreign policy, but hold similar views about some major goals, including limiting troop deployments to the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Mr. Trump has aimed to highlight his foreign-policy credentials in the closing weeks of the 2020 campaign. In quick order, he has overseen peace agreements between Israel and two Gulf Arab states; helped launch Afghan peace talks; reduced troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; and pushed for a framework arms-control agreement with Russia.

In a US-China war, whose side is Southeast Asia on?

In a USChina war whose side is Southeast Asia onAcross Southeast Asia, scenario planning exercises by analysts and policymakers preparing for the unthinkable – a military clash between the world’s two largest economies in their backyard – has taken on added significance in recent weeks.

Tensions between the US and China, already fraught over trade, technology and the South China Sea, deepened as Beijing protested against Washington’s ties to Taipei and conducted military activities close to the self-ruled island last week.

Is the South China Sea hot or cool?

Indonesia calls for parties to exercise self-restraint in South China Sea amid pandemicIs the situation in the South China Sea normal and stable, as claimed time and again by certain in an attempt to distract the international community from attention and concern? Is that true?

What actually happens is quite opposite.

In the field, tension and conflict risks are constantly increasing, with China's rapid militarization and expassion of military presence on an unprecedented scale, using its force to elarge the scope and intensity of its control over most of the South China Sea area, intensifying pressure on and deterring lawful activities of coastal states, bringing drilling rigs and survey ships for exploration and other illegal activities as well as using coast guard vessels to cover their ships’ operations in other countries' exclusive economic zones and continental shelves, unilaterally imposing fishing bans in the South China Sea, and attacking by force other countries' fishing vessels operating normally and lawfully at sea. Military exercises, including live-fire drills, have been intensified with an increasing scale; confrontation between major powers is growing ever more fierce.

Difficulties in "diplomatic and legal processes" or the issue of "do-not-dispute sovereignty"

Difficulties in diplomatic and legal processes or the issue of donotdispute sovereigntySovereignty and territorial disputes have existed between many countries and in many parts of the world. Diplomatic and legal measures have always been considered appropriate for their peaceful settlement. However, in the case of the South China Sea, such processes have faced with numerous obstacles, mainly due to China’s position.

The best solution that should always be given priority is direct negotiation between the disputants. It is by this way that Vietnam and China have solved satisfactorily the problem of land border delimitation and issues concerning the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf.

U.S., China trade barbs over S. China Sea, Hong Kong

US China trade barbs over S China Sea Hong KongThe United States traded barbs with China over Beijing's maritime claims in the South China Sea while also raising concerns over tighter controls in Hong Kong as foreign ministers took part in a regional meeting on Wednesday.

During a virtual ministerial meeting of the 18-member East Asia Summit, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it regards Beijing's expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea, which are contested by several Southeast Asian nations, as unlawful, according to the State Department.

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