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Implications of the dispatch of warships by the UK and Japan to the South China Sea

The South China Sea is home to important international shipping routes, with about a third of global trade flowing through the region annually. This region is also considered as rich in natural resources including oil and gas. China has put claims on almost all of the waters, and making construction on some features in the region by stating that it has the right to defend those claims. In recent years, many countries including the US, Japan, the UK, Australia,... have repeatedly issued warnings about China's illegal construction and militarization of these features. They insist on maintaining "the South China Sea as a free, open region with free trade". Yet, China ignores all and demands all countries outside the region not to take actions that might be harmful to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

How China manipulates information

China has a long history of ideological struggles and use of propaganda tools. In current context, these skills are used globally to promote Chinese interests, particularly in the South China Sea.

In August, 2018, the Center for Analysis, Planning and Strategy of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (CAPS) and the Institute for Strategic Research of the French Ministry of the Armed Forces (IRSEM) publicized their report on “Information Manipulation: A great challenge in today’s world”. The report says, in order to promote its image, China uses intervention tools and exerts influence with special effects. Propaganda and ideological dissemination are fundamental responsibilities and rights of the Chinese Communist Party. China owns a wide network of information control to promote its interests at international fora. Its propaganda aims at: i) supporting domestic politics through information censorship and manipulation; ii) influencing international opinion and waging the “information warfare” in favor of Chinese ambitions.

Philippine Politician Wants a Stronger National Stance Against China in the South China Sea

Phillipines contests

Activists display placards as they chant slogans during a rally on Monday, June 11 to protest what they claimed was harassment of Filipino fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Picture: Reuters

‘Economic sanctions, like boycotting Chinese products’

In an interview with CNN Philippines (July 18), Aquilino Nene Pimentel, a former Senate President and ally of President Rodrigo Duterte wants a stronger national stance against China, which has ignored an international tribunal ruling that largely favored the Philippines in disputes in the South China Sea.

US Enhanced Response Capabilities, Surveillance and Reconnaissance to Deal with China in The SCS

In April 2016, the US has deployed four aircrafts “Thunder God” A-10 and two HH-60 rescue helicopters on Scarborough Shoal.

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The US Navy’s MQ-4C Triton drone. Picture: AP/Technology

According to Army Technology (July 11, 2018), the US is deploying Triton drones to Guam to assist with surveillance in the South China Sea, where the battle for strategic supremacy with China threatens to escalate into direct confrontation. The first Triton squadron, Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19, will arrive at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam this summer. Once the drone reaches initial operational capability in 2021, the Navy plans to deploy a further two aircraft in Guam, with the four Titans making up one 24-hour, seven-day orbit. Built by Northrop Grumman and based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk platform used by the US Air Force, the high altitude, long-range MQ-4C Triton platform has a wingspan of 131ft, weighs 14,628kg, and is installed with 360° electro-optical sensors capable of tracking maritime targets from 60,000ft. The MQ-4C Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe and wing, de-icing and lighting protection systems and sophisticated sensor suites, allowing the platform to track ships over vast distances. “During surveillance missions using Triton, Navy operators may spot a target of interest and order the aircraft to a lower altitude to make positive identification,” stated Mike Mackey, Northrop Grumman’s Triton UAS programme director. “The wing’s strength allows the aircraft to safely descend, sometimes through weather patterns, to complete this manoeuvre”. The Triton can fly more than 24 hours at a time and has an operational range of 8,200 nautical miles. The data collected by the two drones will be fed back to ground stations at Naval Station Mayport in Florida, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington, or to P-8A Poseidon submarine hunters.

The Continuous U-Shaped Line Does Not Have Legal Status

9-dash-line-274x300SCSC - Hong Kong media recently reported a China’s maritime research project proposing “a new boundary line” in the South China Sea, which can help the study of natural science” while “adding weight to China’s claims over the sea area. The proposed boundary is a continuous line coinciding exactly with the current U-shaped line that encircles a vast area rich in natural resources in the South China Sea, over which China lays its claims.

How America Is Losing the Battle for the South China Sea

What a difference a year makes. In late summer 2016, there was some hope the July 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling in favor of the Philippine interpretation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal would curtail Beijing’s subsequent activity in the South China Sea (despite China’s refusal to even participate in the arbitration case or recognize the court’s jurisdiction, let alone accept the ruling).

In fact, some optimists, like Lynn Kuok from the National University of Singapore, have pointed to small developments—such as China this year permitting Filipino and Vietnamese fishing around Scarborough Shoal for the first time since 2012—as encouraging signs that the Hague’s ruling is having a positive effect. [READ MORE]

How America Is Losing the Battle for the South China Sea

What a difference a year makes. In late summer 2016, there was some hope the July 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling in favor of the Philippine interpretation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea regarding the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal would curtail Beijing’s subsequent activity in the South China Sea (despite China’s refusal to even participate in the arbitration case or recognize the court’s jurisdiction, let alone accept the ruling).

In fact, some optimists, like Lynn Kuok from the National University of Singapore, have pointed to small developments—such as China this year permitting Filipino and Vietnamese fishing around Scarborough Shoal for the first time since 2012—as encouraging signs that the Hague’s ruling is having a positive effect. [READ MORE]

Maritime delimitation between Indonesia and the Philippines and the South China Sea dispute

On the occasion of the House of Representatives of Indonesia on April 27, 2017 ratifying the Maritime Agreement between Indonesia-Philippines - a historical agreement signed in 2014, BienDong.net would like to introduce the article “Indonesia-Philippines Agreement: Lessons for South China Sea Claimants” written by Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno, Deputy Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Resources of Indonesia.

Joint Communiqué of the G7 FMM: Settlement of disputes in the SCS must comply with int’l law

On 10-11 April 2017, the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Group of Seven countries (G7) held in Lucca, Italy issued the Joint Communiqué addressing major international issues that impact global peace and security, including maritime security.

The Joint Communiqué of the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting clearly states as follows:

China’s aggressive activities in the Johnson South Reef violate Vietnam’s sovereignty

SCSC - Spratly archipelago of Vietnam has an important strategic location in the world’s busiest maritime route in the South China Sea, which is considered the “pharynx” connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Indian Ocean.

International strategists say anyone who controls the Spratly can dominate the South China Sea. That’s why, Beijing authorities have attempted and sought ways to occupy the islands.

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