Monthly Archives: December 2015

Brave New War

From China in Asia to Russia in Europe and the Middle East, and ISIS just about everywhere, 2015 has seen the flourishing of conflicts that exist in a gray zone, one which is not quite open war but more than regular competition, which is attuned to globalization, which liberal democracies are ill-equipped to deal with, […]

Drama and Maneuver in the South China Sea: The US-China Standoff

Exasperation with the FONOP was probably heightened by the fact that the PLA Navy had cleverly conducted its own “innocent passage” exercise through the territorial waters of the Aleutian Islands in September 2015, thereby diminishing the consequences of a close sailby of Subi Reef as a cathartic piece of defiance against PRC aggrandizement in the […]

Vietnam Reveals New Drone for Patrolling the South China Sea

Vietnam revealed its largest indigenous high-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) this December, IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly reports. According to local media reports, the prototype was completed at the beginning of November and will commence test flights over the South China Sea in the summer of 2016. The prototype is a joint project of […]

China Seeks Sovereignty over Much of South Korean Yellow Sea

The Chinese government is seeking to expand its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Yellow Sea, deep into South Korean waters–the latest move in what appears to be a comprehensive strategy to usurp sovereignty over Asian waters that include both the South and East China Seas. The governments of China and South Korea have begun talks […]

Why Is the South China Sea Important?

Located in the center of the South China Sea is a small, innocuous group of uninhabited island atolls named the Spratly Islands. From first observation, this island group would be deemed worthless and uninhabitable. This observation would be grossly in error… Exactly why is the South China Sea important? These islands sit on the edge […]

China conducts training of H-6K bombers 1,000 km outside first island chain

Beijing Morning Post says in its report that Shen Jinke, spokesman of the Chinese air force, announced the news that China’s H-6K bombers and various types of fighter/bombers and early warning aircraft conducted training more than 1,000 km outside the first island chain Chinese military’s website 81.cn and newspaper PLA Daily say in their reports […]

The Strategist, the Lawyer and the South China Sea

Readers of The Diplomat were recently afforded an exchange by two leading experts in South China Sea disputes. Dr. Sam Bateman, a retired commodore of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), wrote of the strategic problems associated with U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations (FON OPS) in the South China Sea. Bateman warns of the United States […]

The Forces Awakening Against an Antagonistic China

Few can deny that China has had a particularly challenging year. In an effort to augment its sovereignty claims over what it considers as its national “blue soil,” China has inadvertently encouraged a growing number of nations to coalesce against it. One could argue that China has overplayed its hand, unleashing a dangerous strategic dynamic […]

Vietnam ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh flags concerns over Chinese land reclamation in South China Sea

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Challenging China

By now, Beijing should realize it cannot lay claim to nearly the entire South China Sea without being challenged by other nations whose freedom of navigation is impeded by the structures the Chinese built from the scattered Spratly group of islands. The latest to join the fray was the Australian air force which sent a […]