Chinese aggression and a ubiquitous U.S. military are becoming the new normal for the pandemic’s “great power competition” in the Indo-Pacific.
Latest in South China Sea
Malaysia and Indonesia lawfare salvos against China, the first made-in-China aircraft carrier and a Japanese military strategy for the South China Sea.
China and Vietnam are poised for confrontation over oil drilling in the southwestern portion of the South China Sea. Vietnam alleges that a Chinese survey vessel, Haiyang Dizhi 8, has been conducting an oil and gas survey within Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) since July 2019.
A tense standoff in the waters southwest of Vietnam is about to enter its seventh week. Throughout May and June, Chinese Coast Guard vessels aggressively patrolled around Malaysian and Vietnamese oil drilling platforms.
Twitter, Facebook, and Google Block Accounts Over Hong Kong Disinformation Campaign
Philippine and Chinese officials will launch a joint investigation into the at-sea collision that left 22 Filipino fishermen stranded in the South China Sea. On June 9—the official Philippines-China Friendship Day—a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Philippine fishing vessel near Reed Bank (known in Tagalog as Recto Bank), northeast of the Spratly Islands, and reportedly fled after the collision. A Vietnamese fishing vessel later rescued the Filipino crew members who had been left in the water.
The Shangri-La Dialogue, the highest profile annual security forum in Asia, was held from May 31 to June 2 in Singapore. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered an opening speech that received widespread praise from Chinese netizens for its “objective analysis” of Sino-U.S. ties.
Despite a diplomatic row between China and the Philippines, U.S. and Philippine military officials denied that their recent military exercise was a response to Chinese threats.
China’s state-owned Xinhua News has reported the opening of a maritime rescue facility on Yongshu Reef (Fiery Cross Reef), one of the artificial islands it has built in the Spratly Islands region of the South China Sea.
In a cabinet meeting on Dec. 18, the government of Japan adopted new National Defense Program Guidelines that call for the “drastic strengthening of Japan’s defense capabilities.” The new guidelines adopt a “multidimensional joint defense force” strategy, based on investment in technological advancement.