Monthly Archives: June 2015

Serenity in the South China Sea

The United States should accept many dimensions of China’s economic, and now military, growth with as much serenity as it can muster. But there are some that call for pushback and the jury is still out on America’s capacity to make the right calls. The central, painful, reality that the US must accept is that […]

China aggressively building islands on reefs claimed by Philippines

China is reportedly proceeding with the construction of artificial islands on at least two reefs, which are claimed by the Philippines, despite Beijing promising to end some work soon. Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon of Kalayaan Islands, which falls under Philippine’s control, said that he saw Chinese land reclamation activity going on in ‘full swing,’ with many […]

Let world court settle South China Sea disputes, says Asean

BEIJING: Representatives of Asean have urged China to settle disputes in the South China Sea through the International Court of Justice, and to speed up negotiations on a code of conduct. The pro-chancellor of Malaysia’s Wawasan Open University, Koh Tsu Koon, said disputes that could not be solved through negotiations could be taken to the […]

Unease at China’s rise in South China Sea

Hainan Island, China — The U.S. and China are jockeying for power in the South China Sea, deploying sharp words and an expanding fleet of warships, spy planes and fighter jets to protect their interests in a vital maritime domain. Is this regional arms race and increasingly tense diplomatic showdown between the world’s two largest […]

Palace insists all bilateral means to solve sea row exhausted

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has exhausted all bilateral means to find solutions to the West Philippine Sea dispute and could not be accused of provoking China to go into massive reclamation activities, Malacañang said yesterday. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the country has always acted accordingly in addressing the territorial dispute. “We have […]

‘Filipinos must face 2 big bullies’

MANILA – The Philippines is fast losing its territorial waters to the Chinese, and patriotic Filipinos need to step up to the plate to defend it, as a united, independent nation. A forum organized by the newly-formed movement, Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (P1nas) had begun efforts to stir patriotic fervor, as it discussed China’s […]

Island Building

Follow the latest developments on island reclamation activities in maritime Asia. Exclusive new satellite imagery is added on a regular basis. Island Building Cuarteron Reef U.S. Board of Geographic Names: Cuarteron Reef Chinese: Huayang Jiao (华阳礁) Philippine: Calderon Reef Vietnamese: Bãi Châu Viên The artificial island at Cuarteron Reef saw most of its construction and […]

US encourages South China Sea claimants to freeze all reclamation

WASHINGTON DC — The US continues to insist all contesting parties in the South China Sea should halt reclamation activities, US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said at the 2015 Center for New American Security conference. The United States has no territorial claims in the South China Sea, but the White House has stated […]

China’s HD-981 Oil Rig Returns, Near Disputed South China Sea Waters

Reports began emerging in the Vietnamese media on Thursday that China’s Haiyang Shiyou 981 (HD-981) oil rig—the centerpiece of last summer’s clashes between Vietnam and China—was being redeployed off the coast of China’s Hainan Island, in waters where the disputed exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Vietnam and China overlap and west of the disputed Paracel Islands (known […]

China’s Terraforming In The Spratlys: A Game Changer In South China Sea? – Analysis

The phrase ‘game changer’ is often overused in international affairs. However, China’s terraforming in the Spratlys—transforming submerged or semi-submerged features and rocks into artificial islands—may well prove to be a genuine game changer in the long-running and increasingly contentious dispute. Since mid-2013, China has been undertaking large-scale reclamation work on seven features under its control […]