South China Sea Manoeuvrings: More of the same in 2015?
Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy, MIMA
Events in 2014 further contributed to the turbulence in the South China Sea. These included the stronger presence of naval, fisheries, and law enforcement vessels in areas of overlapping maritime claims, the enactment of new laws and regulations in overlapping competing countries jurisdictions, and the increased number of routine patrols, surveillance, and combat readiness exercises. In January 2014, Malaysia-China maritime matters took a major “turn” when the PLA Navy was reported to have conducted patrols in the vicinity of Beting Serupai or James Shoal. The accuracy of the Chinese media’s report was unclear since Malaysian authorities had not reported seeing the Chinese flotilla in the area. Furthermore, Beting Serupai is located in the southernmost parts of the Spratly Island and 80km from Bintulu, Sarawak and is within Malaysia’s 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zon (EEZ). Notwithstanding the importance of trading and strategic partnerships with China, Malaysia may need to relook its approaches on activities that impinge on her sovereignty over features claimed in the Spratly Island.
Read more: http://www.mima.gov.my/v2/data/pdf/sea_view/MIMA%20SeaViews%20No.%202.edited.pdf