Tag Archives: Military Conflict

Indonesia says it feels peace efforts on South China Sea ‘sabotaged’

Indonesia “feels sabotaged” in its efforts to maintain peace in the disputed South China Sea and may bring its latest maritime altercation with China to an international court, a minister said on Monday. Indonesia is not embroiled in rival claims with China over the South China Sea and has instead seen itself as an “honest broker” in disputes between China and the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. But an incident on the weekend involving an Indonesian patrol boat, and a Chinese coastguard vessel and fishing boat in what Indonesia said was its waters has angered it and led to its questioning of its work to promote peace. “We feel interrupted and sabotaged in our efforts,” fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti told reporters in Jakarta after meeting Chinese embassy officials to discuss the incident in the Natuna Sea, an area between Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian province of Sarawak on Borneo island. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-southchinasea-idUSKCN0WN0B6

Indonesia to summon Chinese envoy after boat confrontation

JAKARTA: Indonesia will summon the Chinese envoy in Jakarta after a confrontation between vessels from the two countries in the South China Sea, a minister said Sunday. The incident happened Saturday when surveillance vessels chased and caught a Chinese fishing boat allegedly operating in waters near the Indonesian Natuna Islands without a permit, Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said. As the Chinese fishing boat was being towed away by the Indonesians, a Chinese coast guard vessel approached and collided with the fishing boat. A bigger Chinese coast guard vessel approached later and the Indonesians decided to leave the fishing boat, she said. “We respect a big country like China, and China should also respect the sovereignty of Indonesia and respect that we are at war with illegal fishing,” Pudjiastuti told reporters. She urged the foreign ministry in Jakarta to lodge a “strong protest” over the “arrogance” of the Chinese vessels. The fisheries ministry will summon the Chinese envoy in Jakarta, the minister’s spokeswoman confirmed to AFP. http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1733603

South China Sea: Indonesia, Chinese ships in ‘stand-off’ over Natuna fishing row

Indonesia was attempting to detain the Chinese vessel for fishing illegally in waters near the contested South China Sea when a Chinese Coast Guard vessel intervened, Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said in Jakarta on Sunday. Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/south-china-sea-indonesia-chinese-ships-in-stand-off-over-natuna-fishing-row-20160321-gnn0so.html#ixzz43tPnsrgC

Japan ruling party considers international arbitration over China dispute

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government on Wednesday to consider seeking international arbitration over Beijing’s drilling activities in the disputed East China Sea, mirroring similar action by the Philippines. Sino-Japanese ties have long been plagued by conflicting claims over a group of uninhabited East China Sea islets. Last year, Japan called on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea. At the time, Tokyo accused Beijing of unilateral development despite a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in the area, where no official border between them has been drawn. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0WI0LF?utm_content=buffer15bae&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

U.S. IDENTIFIES CHINESE ACTIVITY AROUND SOUTH CHINA SEA

The United States has seen Chinese activity around a reef China seized from the Philippines nearly four years ago that could be a precursor to more land reclamation in the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Navy chief said on Thursday. The head of U.S. naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, expressed concern that an international court ruling expected in coming weeks on a case brought by the Philippines against China over its South China Sea claims could be a trigger for Beijing to declare an exclusion zone in the busy trade route. Richardson told Reuters the United States was weighing responses to such a move. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims. U.S. identifies Chinese activity around South China Sea

Rule of law crucial for future prosperity of Hong Kong

All of us here know how important the rule of law is. It is the cornerstone of an open and fair society; it promotes prosperity and stability; it provides the transparency and legal clarity needed to promote trade and investment; and it ends impunity and improves access to justice for all citizens. Rule of law enables states to function on behalf of their citizens. Without it, elites can misappropriate a nation’s wealth, abuse power and control access to entitlement. States without the rule of law are often the poorest and most fragile. Rule of law in China Whilst we, of course, recognise that China has made unprecedented improvements in social and economic rights and personal freedoms in the last 30 years, there is no doubt that its application of the rule of law and the Rules-Based International System, at home and farther afield, continues to present challenges. Recent events in Hong Kong and the South China Sea have raised questions about China’s commitment to the rule of law. The [British] foreign secretary raised both these issues with counterparts during his visit to China in January. http://www.ejinsight.com/20160321-rule-law-crucial-future-prosperity-hong-kong/

PH fishers narrate Chinese hostility

DAMAGED A hole is seen on the hull of the fishing boat, F/B Bubhoy, which was reportedly rammed by a rubber boat of the Chinese Coast Guard on March 5 when Filipino fishermen ventured near disputed Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. ALLAN MACATUNO/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON DAMAGED A hole is seen on the hull of the fishing boat, F/B Bubhoy, which was reportedly rammed by a rubber boat of the Chinese Coast Guard on March 5 when Filipino fishermen ventured near disputed Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. ALLAN MACATUNO/INQUIRER CENTRAL LUZON LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—A group of fishermen, who returned home to the fishing village of Cato in Infanta town on Monday, told village officials that they were struck with bottles hurled by Chinese coast guards who had chased them away from the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. Charlito Maniago, Cato village chief, said the fishermen, who were in two boats, were pelted by the crew of a Chinese Coast Guard vessel, after they were warned to stay away from the disputed shoal. Maniago said he was not informed when the confrontation took place at sea, although it could have been on the same day the fishermen from neighboring Zambales province were shooed away from the shoal on March 5. “They just told me that they retaliated by throwing stones at the Chinese coast guards,” Maniago told the Inquirer by telephone. The fisherman sailed with rocks, which they used to weigh down the fishing lines, once they reached Scarborough Shoal, also known as Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc. The shoal, which is about 260 kilometers from Infanta, serves as a mid-sea refuge for fishing boats during stormy weather. It used to be a free zone for local fishermen until the Chinese began patrolling the West Philippine Sea. Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/775516/ph-fishers-narrate-chinese-hostility#ixzz43tOufsx1

Malaysia, Australia urge freedom of movement in South China Sea

Malaysia and Australia’s defense ministers are calling for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea amid growing regional concerns over China’s military build-up in the disputed waters. Tensions between China and its neighbors have risen in recent months over its land reclamation activities in the waters. China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. Freedom of navigation and flight over the South China Sea is important to the region and also to Australia’s relationship with China, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said after meeting with her Malaysian counterpart on Monday. Amid China’s rising activity in the disputed waters, Australia said in a White Paper last month that it will increase defense spending by nearly A$30 billion ($22.87 billion) over the next 10 years. – See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/559973/news/nation/malaysia-australia-urge-freedom-of-movement-in-south-china-sea#sthash.6mRYuMd6.dpuf

Australia calls China’s South China Sea moves ‘counterproductive’

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday called China’s military deployments on the South China Sea “counterproductive”, an unusually forceful rebuke against the country’s biggest trading partner. Australia has consistently supported U.S.-led freedom of navigation activities in the South China Sea, where Beijing has been adding reclamation to islands and reefs in waters claimed by several regional countries. The United States has accused China of raising tensions in the South China Sea by its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, a move China has neither confirmed nor denied. “They are … counterproductive, regardless of the legal merits, on which we do not express a view nor make a claim,” Turnbull said in a speech in Sydney, referring to China’s military deployments. Turnbull is expected to visit China next month. The Chinese government last month expressed its displeasure with Australia’s new defence spending plan. China has repeatedly accused the United States of militarising the South China Sea with its freedom of navigation patrols in the region, and boosting of military alliances with countries like the Philippines. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-southchinasea-china-australia-idUKKCN0WP0VO

Frantic Phone Call Failed to Halt China-Indonesia Sea Spat

Hours after reports of a confrontation between a Chinese coastguard ship and an Indonesian vessel in the South China Sea, a top Chinese diplomat called an Indonesian government official with a plea: Don’t tell the media, we are friends after all. That request was rebuffed as officials in Jakarta called a press conference to complain about China’s actions. While Indonesia has largely been on the periphery of disputes between China and other nations over the South China Sea, the spat risks drawing the Southeast Asian nation into territorial contests in the oil-and-gas rich waters. The Indonesian official said his government didn’t want to respond, but was forced to because China’s actions were especially provocative, and fitted a pattern of becoming more assertive in the waters. The official didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the incident. The Chinese embassy didn’t answer four phone calls or reply to two e-mails asking about the call. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-22/frantic-phone-call-failed-to-contain-china-indonesia-sea-spat