Monthly Archives: December 2015

China building second aircraft carrier: defense ministry

The Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, in September 2012 file photo. China is building its second aircraft carrier, the defense ministry said Thursday, as Beijing expands its naval capabilities amid maritime disputes with neighbors in the East and South China Seas. AFP FILE PHOTO BEIJING – China is building its second aircraft carrier, the defense […]

U.S. shifts from détente to deterrence in South China Sea

SAN FRANCISCO–In geopolitics, when détente fails, it’s time for deterrence, and nowhere more so than in the South China Sea. China’s expansionist designs on the region’s strategic shipping lanes and untapped natural resources are turning it into the next global hotspot. Last month, the U.S. – signaling its determination to assert its presence– sent one […]

The Interpreter’s best of 2015: South China Sea

Throughout the Christmas-New Year break, The Interpreter will be featuring some of its best pieces from 2015. More to come between now and January 4 when The Interpreter will be back for 2016. South China Sea: Does Xi have a grand strategy?, by Linda Jakobson, 13 January. I do want to emphasise, however, that the […]

The End of China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’?

For decades, the world has been debating whether China’s rise will be peaceful or threatening, or perhaps a combination of both. This is a relevant discourse, precisely because China’s rise is perhaps the question of the century. “It’s not possible to pretend that [China] is just another big player,” Singapore’s legendary leader Lee Kuan Yew […]

Japan ‘regrowing’ tiny island in territorial challenge to China

KUMEJIMA (Okinawa) • Japan is growing an island in a bathtub as part of a struggle with China for control of Asia’s oceans, reported the Financial Times. The island is called Okinotorishima, or “distant bird island”; a remote, storm-wracked coral atoll 1,700km south-west of Tokyo in the Philippine Sea, where two small outcrops protrude at […]

China irked at India’s South China Sea stand

Beijing has conveyed to New Delhi its concern over India’s growing clamour on the South China Sea dispute, particularly in reference to the row in the joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe earlier this month. China is understood to have conveyed its concerns to India through […]

South China Sea: Filipino teens camp on disputed island

(CNN)China and Taiwan are expressing their displeasure with a ragtag band of Filipino activists who have waded into a regional dispute over territory in the South China Sea. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the Chinese government is “strongly dissatisfied” with protestors from the Philippines, who landed Saturday on a small island that is a […]

Russia opposes militarization of sea disputes, continues arms support for Vietnam

Russia has expressed its opposition to the militarization of the East Vietnam Sea situation and will keep providing military assistance for Vietnam in the future. Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vasilievich Vnukov hosted a press conference in Hanoi on Monday to review the results of the two countries’ comprehensive cooperation in 2015. Russia has every […]

More Chinese ships join naval force in South China Sea: Report

China has deployed three new ships to naval forces stationed in the South China Sea, suggesting an enhanced capability for maritime support, a media report said on Tuesday. The three ships – the transport and supply ship Luguhu, electronic reconnaissance ship Haiwangxing and pelagic survey ship Qianxuesen – began servicing the Chinese People’s Liberation Army […]

Asian fix needed for South China Sea problem

The island of Ly Son lies 32 km off the Vietnamese coast, on the edge of China’s claim to some 90% of the South China Sea. The population here of about 20,000 is so isolated that electricity was only installed last year. For as long as anyone can remember, the island’s fishing boats have worked unhindered in the open waters that stretch east […]