Tag Archives: Intentional Rammings

China wants to control South China Sea: Philippines

MANILA – The Philippines accused China on Thursday of seeking to take control of nearly the entire South China Sea with an expansionist agenda dominated by “massive reclamation” works. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said China’s efforts were aimed at undermining a United Nations tribunal that is due to rule early next year on a Philippine challenge to its claims to the disputed waters. “China is accelerating its expansionist agenda and changing the status quo to actualize its nine-dash line claim and to control nearly the entire South China Sea before… the handing down of a decision of the arbitral tribunal on the Philippine submission,” del Rosario told reporters. China insists it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the resource-rich sea, even areas approaching the coasts of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, based on an old Chinese map with nine dashes outlining its territory. But the nine dashes are in some places more than 1,000 (600 miles) from the nearest major Chinese landmass and well within the exclusive economic zones of its neighbours. The dispute — with Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claiming parts of the sea — has for decades been a source of deep regional tension and occasional military conflict. Tensions have escalated sharply in recent years as China has moved to increase its presence and assert its authority in the waters. Del Rosario said those activities were continuing to pick up pace, pointing to what he described as Chinese ships ramming Filipino fishing boats at a shoal close to the Philippine coast in January. Read more: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/03/26/15/china-wants-control-south-china-sea-philippines

Imbalance in Regional Cooperation

On May 2nd, 2014 the Chinese National Offshore Oil Cooperation’s oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 (HS981) began drilling in disputed waters just off the coast of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The drilling was met with outrage by both the Vietnamese government and its people who claim that the People’s Republic of China is drilling in waters belonging to Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). China responds stating the waters as belonging to them, and thus debate, protests and attacks ensued. The dispute regarding the division of the South China Sea has been a long one and can be understood in the context of the United Nations Convention on the Law of Seas (UNCLOS). According to UNCLOS the claim of maritime zones is made by using the coastal baselines by which a zone is measured. A coastal state can claim an EEZ by measuring 200 nautical miles from the baseline of its mainland coasts. Furthermore within the EEZ, as per the UNCLOS, the claimant coastal states have,‘Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents, and winds.’   Read more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/lens/item/30940-imbalance-in-regional-cooperation.html#sthash.h9sKeSDo.dpuf

Beijing ‘setting precedent’ in South China Sea

China has sent four more oil rigs into the South China Sea amid mounting regional tensions. Analyst Ian Storey tells DW Beijing is likely to deploy more rigs in the future as it intends to assert its “historic rights.” China has sent four more oil rigs into the South China Sea in a bid to step up exploration for oil and gas in the in the potentially energy-rich waters. According to media reports, coordinates released by China’s Maritime Safety Administration showed the Nanhai number 2 and 5 rigs had been deployed roughly between China’s southern Guangdong province and the Pratas Islands, which are occupied by Taiwan. The Nanhai 4 rig was towed to waters close to the Chinese coast. Coordinates for the Nanhai 9, indicated the fourth rig was set to be positioned in the Gulf of Tonkin, an area disputed between China and Vietnam.   Read more: http://www.dw.de/beijing-setting-precedent-in-south-china-sea/a-17729200

South China Sea Standoff: The U.S. Must Get Off The Sidelines

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Within days of President Obama concluding his recent trip to Asia, which was meant to reinforce America’s commitment there as the Chinese threat grows, China attacked Vietnamese vessels to advance its claim over disputed waters and to test Washington’s resolve. A firm, multilateral response is needed to avoid escalation and to demonstrate that China’s combativeness pushes its adversaries together and closer to the U.S. China has sought to aggressively expand its control of the East and South China Seas, where its claims conflict with those of other countries. Throughout 2011, China harassed Vietnamese fishing and oil exploration vessels. In June 2012, after India and Vietnam agreed to jointly explore oil in the South China Sea, a Chinese navy vessel shadowed Indian ships traveling in international waters between the Philippines and South Korea. In mid-2012, China expelled Filipino ships from the Scarborough Shoal, which is 399 miles closer to the Philippines than China. In November 2013, China expanded its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) to cover parts of the East China Sea claimed by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.  In March 2014, China blocked the Philippines from resupplying a ship in disputed territory. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/03/south-china-sea-standoff-the-u-s-must-get-off-the-sidelines/#ixzz33oEszaUh

Chinese General: South China Sea Disputes May Turn China into ‘Qualified Enemy’ of US

Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu told The Wall Street Journal this week that he believes the United States is making “very, very important mistakes” with regard to territorial disputes in the South China Sea and that continuing the approach preferred by the Obama Administration will force China to become a “qualified enemy” of the U.S. Zhu was speaking in particular about comments Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international security forum. The United States, Hagel asserted, “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged.” “The Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now,” Zhu told the paper, adding that the aggressive language used against China may prompt the government to begin treating the United States as a confirmed enemy, rather than merely using cautious language and pursuing relations with it: “If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the U.S.,” he warned. “If the Americans take China as an enemy, we Chinese have to take steps to make ourselves a qualified enemy of the U.S. But if the Americans take China as a friend, China will be a very loyal friend; and if they take China as a partner, China will be a very cooperative partner.” General Zhu also accused the United States of not having its “actions match [its] words” and said that the Chinese government “‘is not so stupid’ as to believe that Washington wants to works with China, or that the U.S. government is truly neutral” in territorial disputes with allies. Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/05/31/Chinese-General-South-China-Sea-Disputes-May-Turn-China-into-Qualified-Enemy-of-US#ixzz33oGMLxfn

Vietnam accuses China of sinking fishing boat

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) Vietnam and China traded accusations Tuesday over who was the aggressor in a clash that led to the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea, sharpening tensions already dangerously high after China moved an oil rig into the disputed waters. Hanoi accused a Chinese vessel of ramming the wooden Vietnamese boat Monday then fleeing the scene. Beijing said the Vietnamese boat was trying to get close to the oil rig, rammed into one of its vessels, and then sank. The crew was rescued. The clash occurred around 30 kilometers (18 miles) south-southwest of the large oil rig that China deployed on May 1 in waters both nations claim. The rig deployment infuriated Hanoi and set off violent anti-China protests that further soured ties between the neighboring communist countries with close economic relations. Vietnam sent patrol ships to confront the rig, and China has deployed scores of vessels to protect it. The two sides have been involved in a tense standoff, occasionally colliding with each other. China and Vietnam have long sparred over who owns what in the oil- and gas-rich waters. Incidents between fishing crews are quite common, but Monday’s incident was the first time a Vietnamese boat had been sunk, said Tran Van Linh, president of the Fisheries Association in the central port city of Danang.   Read more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11262786

China Flexes In South China Sea, Sinks Vietnamese Fishing Vessel

A Chinese ship rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat off the coast of Vietnam on Sunday, according to Vietnam’s foreign ministry. Ten fishermen were on board, Vietnam News reported. They were rescued by nearby Vietnamese boats approximately 17 nautical miles from an oil rig owned by China near the Paracel Islands. Anti-China protests took place earlier this month in Vietnam after China built the rig off the coast of Vietnam, and there were skirmishes between coast guard vessels belonging to both countries earlier in the same month. Whereas Vietnam says China is violating international law and stability, China says it owns the territory in which it built the rig. According to Bloomberg News, China is expanding the reach of its navy to support its claims to territory in the South China Sea, which are based on a map devised in 1947. China and Vietnam both claim the Paracel Islands, and the Association of Southeast Asian members Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines have claims to other areas in the South China Sea.   Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/china-flexes-south-china-sea-sinks-vietnamese-fishing-vessel-1590263

China evacuates 3,000 nationals from Vietnam over unrest

BEIJING, China – (UPDATED) China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its nationals from Vietnam following a wave of deadly anti-Chinese violence, state media said Sunday, May 18, as Vietnamese authorities imposed heavy security to thwart any further unrest. Xinhua news agency said the evacuees included 16 Chinese who were “critically injured” last week in violence triggered by Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in contested South China Sea waters. The chaos marked the worst anti-China unrest in Vietnam in decades. Those victims left on a chartered medical flight, and China also was dispatching five ships to Vietnam to pluck more nationals to safety after vocal Vietnamese NGOs issued a call for fresh, but peaceful, protests around the country on Sunday against China’s “aggression.” That call appeared to have fizzled, at least in Hanoi, where authorities deployed heavy security around the Chinese embassy and other suspected protest sites.   Read more: http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/58293-china-evacuates-nationals-vietnam-unrest?utm_content=buffer8a912&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

In US, Chinese General Defends South China Sea Oil Rig

General Fang Fenghui, the Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, arrived in Washington, DC today for formal meetings with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey. According to Dempsey and Fang’s comments during their joint press conference, they held extensive discussions on the military relationship, including counterterrorism, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The latter issue was on everyone’s minds, as Vietnam and China are embroiled in tensions over a Chinese oil rig near the Paracel Islands. Popular opposition has even sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam. The U.S. and China traded barbs in statements about who is to blame for the current situation. The U.S. State Department, including Secretary John Kerry, has called China’s placement of the oil rig “provocative.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying fired back, saying “It is nothing but the wrong words and actions made by the U.S. side on maritime issues that have emboldened some countries to take provocative actions.” The topic came under intense discussion at the joint press conference. In response to a reporter’s question, Fang repeated China’s official stance that the oil rig is within China’s waters and thus the activity is normal and legitimate. Fang also added some interesting details, such as that the placement of the oil rig had been “carefully selected” to minimize the chance of a dispute. According to Fang, China was surprised and dismayed at the reaction. He pointed out that other countries (referencing Vietnam) have previously drilled in the region without a similar backlash.   Read more: http://thediplomat.com/2014/05/in-us-chinese-general-defends-south-china-sea-oil-rig/

Beijing’s dangerous arrogance in the South China Sea

China’s current behaviour vis-à-vis its South China Sea neighbours is aggressive, arrogant and smacks of Han chauvinism and ethnocentrism. Far from being an expression of national pride, it is giving patriotism a bad name. Patriotic Hongkongers should recognise it for what it is: a dangerous ploy. Not only has Beijing bared expansionist teeth to Vietnam and the Philippines, it has now succeeded in shifting Indonesia from a position of trying to act as a moderator between China and the other South China Sea states to opponent. Twice in recent months, Indonesia has accused China of claiming part of its Natuna island archipelago. So much for a “peaceful rise” when you rile neighbours with populations of more than 400 million, who you assume to be weak. All China’s sea claims are wrapped up in that nine-dash line which extends more than 1,000 nautical miles from the coasts of Guangdong and Hainan to close to Borneo, the island shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, and includes almost all the sea between Vietnam and the Philippines. This claim encompasses more than 90 per cent of the sea, even though China (including Taiwan) has only about 20 per cent of the coastline. All this on the basis of claims to history that conveniently ignore the very existence of other peoples and their histories of seafaring and trading going back 2,000 years, and pre-dating China’s ventures in the south sea and beyond. Indonesians got to Africa and colonised Madagascar more than 500 years before Zheng He. In turn, the peoples of Southeast Asia absorbed more from India and the Islamic world than China. In the case of the current issue with Vietnam, brought about by China’s movement of a drillship into waters due east of Danang, China has a small case, in that it does now own the Paracel Islands, which are closer to the drill location than to Vietnam. But the islands themselves have long been in dispute between the two, a matter settled for now by China’s unprovoked invasion of them in 1974.   Read more: http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1514360/beijings-dangerous-arrogance-south-china-sea