Monthly Archives: August 2014

Eye on Dragon, Vietnam renews lease of Indian oil blocks in South China Sea

NEW DELHI: Vietnam has renewed India’s lease of two oil blocks in the South China Sea for another year, on the eve of foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s first visit to Hanoi next week. The move reaffirms India’s position as a continuing commercial stakeholder in a region where territorial disputes between southeast Asian nations and China […]

Should Asia be Afraid? China’s Strategy in the South China Sea Emerges

China continues to play a long game in asserting its territorial claims and hegemonic ambitions in the South China Sea (SCS). After its confrontation with Vietnam over the Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in May this year, Beijing has recently announced that it intends to build lighthouses on five islands in the SCS, two of […]

Freedom of Navigation and China: What Should Europe Do?

Europe should take note of the challenge that China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi set the United States at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting earlier this month. In remarks to the press, Wang challenged Washington’s advocacy of high seas freedoms by arguing that the “current situation of the South China Sea is generally stable, and the […]

China’s Crafty South China Sea Gambit

In a recent piece for China US Focus, Zhai Kun, director of the Institute of World Political Studies at CICIR, described the South China Sea as “a chessboard of international politics.” Noting the sea’s fluctuating role in relations between China and its neighbours, Zhai then claimed that the current focus on the South China Sea […]

Don’t Blame US Pivot for South China Sea Row

China is once again accusing the U.S. pivot of causing the recent tensions in the South China Sea. In the wake of the U.S. and China squaring off over the South China Sea at the ASEAN Regional Forum, Xinhua published a blistering critique of U.S. policy towards the waters. “By stoking the flames,” Xinhua opined, […]

Kerry: Law, Not Coercion, Key to Resolving Sea Disputes

STATE DEPARTMENT— Speaking in Hawaii after a week-long trip to Asia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said resolving competing territorial claims in the South China Sea is about respecting international law, not rival claimants trying to intimidate each other. Secretary Kerry said disputed mineral and fishing rights in the South China Sea underlie more […]

Hard-headed realism needed in the South China Sea

Hopes of resolving the South China Sea’s bitter territorial disputes have once again proven illusory. Meeting in Myanmar over the week-end, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) shied away from backing the Filipino proposal for a freeze on destabilising unilateral challenges to the territorial status quo. Although this is typical of ASEAN’s limp diplomacy, […]

China expands its reach in the South China Sea. What’s the end goal? (+ video)

Beijing — It is typhoon season in the South China Sea. But more dangerous than the physical winds tearing down homes and trees is a brewing political storm that threatens the peace in one of the world’s most strategic flash points. Over the past several months China has set itself on a collision course with […]

Beijing hints it may stop activities in South China Sea if Manila drops arbitration

NAYPYIDAW — China would be willing to halt its activities in disputed areas in the South China Sea if the Philippines backs out of international arbitration it initiated last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday. Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario proposed at a regional security summit here what he termed a […]

Beijing hints it may stop activities in South China Sea if Manila drops arbitration

NAYPYIDAW — China would be willing to halt its activities in disputed areas in the South China Sea if the Philippines backs out of international arbitration it initiated last year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday. Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario proposed at a regional security summit here what he termed a […]