Monthly Archives: January 2015

More blockades by China to follow, say experts

MANILA, Philippines—Security experts believe China is pushing the region to the “brink of miscalculations” in the South China Sea with its expansive land reclamation in disputed territories as the Philippines anticipates more blockades by the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea once their facilities become fully operational next year. “The bases are being constructed very […]

China is pushing South China Sea situation to the brink of miscalculation

Security experts believe China is pushing the region to the “brink of miscalculations” in the South China Sea with its expansive land reclamation in disputed territories as the Philippines anticipates more blockades by the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea once their facilities become fully operational next year. “The bases are being constructed very fast, […]

UNCLOS on Trial in the South China Sea

The latest installation of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative covers several recent developments in the region, including China and Japan’s progress towards an East China Sea crisis mechanism, Japan’s new record defense budget, and Taiwan’s decision to delay development work on Itu Aba island, following the revelation that a Chinese vessel was involved in the […]

The Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam Race to South China Sea Defense Modernization

Over the last two months there have been several significant developments in improving the maritime capabilities of three Southeast Asian states: the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The Philippines In December 2014 President Benigno Aquino enacted the 2015 General Appropriations Act, approving governmental expenditure of Pesos (P) 2.6 trillion ($59 billion). On December 17, Rear Admiral […]

How China Exploits a Loophole In International Law in Pursuit of Hegemony in East Asia

Who “minds the gap” in the South China Sea? The gap, that is, created in international law concerning the use of coercion or aggressive force and the right of self-defense of victim states. China exploits this gap in the international law on the use of force to compel its neighbors to accept Chinese hegemony in […]

UNCLOS on Trial in the South China Sea

The latest installation of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative covers several recent developments in the region, including China and Japan’s progress towards an East China Sea crisis mechanism, Japan’s new record defense budget, and Taiwan’s decision to delay development work on Itu Aba island, following the revelation that a Chinese vessel was involved in the […]

Vietnam joins Philippines in war of words against China island building

Vietnam has joined the Philippines in condemning China’s attempts to build islands in the East Sea in what analysts say could be yet another futile verbal effort to stop Beijing. “Vietnam resolutely opposes China’s illegal construction projects that jeopardize the status quo on the Truong Sa Archipelago,” Pham Thu Hang, deputy foreign ministry spokeswoman, said […]

China expands construction work in disputed Spratly waters

Beijing appears to have made steady advances in the construction of port and other facilities in disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to photographs obtained by The Asahi Shimbun. The aerial photos of the area were taken in October. The Philippines and Vietnam also lay claim to much of the potentially resource-rich Spratly […]

Imagery shows heliport on China’s Nanji Islands

Satellite imagery analysis by IHS Jane’s has confirmed that China is building a military base on islands 300 km away from the dispute Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. The imagery, captured on 13 October 2014 by Airbus Defence and Space’s Pleaides satellite, shows a heliport with 10 landing pads in the centre of Nanji Island, one of a […]

South China Sea in 2015: Fears of war

Is war over the festering South China Sea (SCS) maritime dispute between China and the Southeast Asian claimants of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam inevitable in 2015? China’s rising assertiveness, the firmness of claimants like the Philippines and Vietnam and the big powers’ interest in the region, have led to fears that tensions […]