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  1. #1051
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Chinese Warships, Jets Deployed in South China Sea’s Spratly Islands

    China has deployed warships and sent fighter jets on a long-haul flight to bases it occupies in the disputed Spratly island chain, according to satellite imagery and state media, in the latest show of Chinese military strength in the South China Sea.


    That comes ahead of a major, multi-nation military exercise led by the United States planned for Aug. 17 to 31 near Hawaii which will be attended by nations across the Indo-Pacific. A Philippine naval ship has already set sail for the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) drills. Other nations expected to attend include Vietnam, Australia, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.


    Advanced fighter jets with China’s Southern Theater Command flew to the Chinese-occupied base at Subi Reef within the past week, according to Chinese state media.


    A Hunan province-based Chinese state-owned broadcaster aired a documentary about the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) brigade involved in that drill over the weekend. In the video, four Su-30MKK fighter jets reportedly perform a mid-air refueling while on a 10-hour flight to Subi Reef, with the brigade’s commander noting this breaks the PLAAF’s previous record for long-range flights and demonstrates China’s ability to send any aircraft as far as the Spratlys at a moment’s notice.


    However, experts at the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) – part of the U.S. Air Force-affiliated Air University – pointed out it takes less than 10 hours to fly directly to Subi from Changsha, the brigade’s likely home base in Hunan.


    “Assuming the video is showing the actual event, they appear to be departing and arriving from Changsha,” Brendan Mulvaney, director of CASI, said after seeing the video report and conferring with colleagues.


    “The math on a 10-hour trip doesn’t make sense. It's about 1,300 miles from Changsha to the Spratlys, which should only take two to three hours at typical cruise speeds. At 10 hours round trip, that implies they’re flying at 260 mph which is unlikely,” he said.


    Instead of testing the endurance of the aircraft itself or the feasibility of the trip, experts surmised the exercise was likely aimed at testing the physical fitness of the pilots under the conditions of a grueling long-distance flight.


    “The Su-30MKK is physically capable of sustaining 10-hour flights with mid-air refueling,” Mulvaney said. “The question is whether a pilot is physically capable of doing so.”


    Subi Reef is one of China’s four biggest artificial islands in the Spratlys, an archipelago of rocks and reefs in the southern half of the South China Sea that Vietnam, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei all hold claims.


    It is a key stopping point for China’s ships on their way through the area, and satellite imagery showed two identifiable China Coast Guard ships there on Monday morning.


    Subi Reef sits less than 13 nautical miles from Thitu Island, a feature occupied by the Philippines that was recently upgraded with a beaching ramp and improved airstrip. However, Thitu’s facilities pale in comparison to those at Subi, which has a 3,000-meter runway, radar and communications arrays and shelters for missile batteries.


    China Coast Guard and maritime militia ships are commonplace off the coast of the Philippines, whose President Rodrigo Duterte last week conceded that he had no power to enforce the Philippines’ ownership of territories claimed by China in the South China Sea.


    “China is claiming it, we are claiming it. China has the arms, we do not have it. So, it’s simple as that. They are in possession of the property,” Duterte said in his annual State of the Nation Address.


    “So what can we do? We have to go to war. And I cannot afford it. Maybe some other president can. But I cannot,” he said.


    China also has deployed two warships to Mischief Reef, which lies about 150 miles off the Philippine island of Palawan. Satellite imagery shows what appear to be a Type 054A frigate and a Type 056 corvette in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) sailing in Mischief Reef’s expansive lagoon on Sunday. Other ships running supplies to and from Mischief Reef’s settlement are also visible.


    Mischief Reef is China’s largest artificial island in the South China Sea. Technically, under international law it is considered a “low-tide elevation,” but after large-scale reclamation efforts China has built it into a formidable base of operations, with a massive harbor and airstrip.


    The U.S. updated its position on the South China Sea last month, refuting China’s insistence on holding maritime rights to the area and calling China’s claims to features that sit on the Philippine continental shelf “illegal.” In particular, the U.S. State Department stated on July 13 that China holds no lawful territorial or maritime claim to Mischief Reef or Second Thomas Shoal, both of which lay within Philippine waters.


    For its part, Philippines has sent some conflicting signals about its stance toward China. Duterte has sought closer ties with Beijing, but more recently the Philippines appears to have tracked back toward its long-standing U.S. alliance and repudiated China’s claims to “historic rights” over virtually all the disputed waterway.


    Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana welcomed the U.S. statement of July 13. And the Philippine Navy will attend RIMPAC. Its most modern warship, the BRP Jose Rizal, departed for Hawaii July 29.

    Chinese Warships, Jets Deployed in South China Sea’s Spratly Islands

  2. #1052
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Its most modern warship, the BRP Jose Rizal
    Built by Hyundai....

  3. #1053
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    South China Sea: Asean states set course for Beijing’s red line

    It’s like a fuzzy red line that China imposes on its weaker neighbours involved in the South China Sea dispute: protest all you like about the militarisation and artificial island-building, just don’t mention the international court ruling that rejected Beijing’s far-reaching territorial claims.


    Until recently, the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) appeared to abide by this unspoken rule from the behemoth next door.


    Though the landmark award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in 2016 leaned in favour of the Southeast Asian claimants, statements from those countries’ leaders invoking the ruling against China have been few and far between.

    And while tensions often run high over Chinese maritime assertions, regional hand-wringing has never spiralled into full-on finger-wagging against Beijing’s decision to ignore the ruling.


    The court’s decision, in a case brought by the Philippines, flatly denied China’s historic territorial claims to about 85 per cent of the South China Sea, which it demarks on maps with a nine-dash line.

    The court also noted that no feature in the Spratly Islands, among the two main island groups in dispute, officially constituted a fully entitled island – meaning they generated no more than 12 nautical miles of territorial waters.


    That meant Beijing’s assertion of a vast coastal jurisdiction, based on drawing exclusive economic zones from the land features in the waters it claims ownership to, was invalid according to international law.

    For the most part, since the ruling, Asean as a group has indicated that international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) under which the ruling was made, needs to underpin any resolution of the decades-old dispute.


    But given Chinese antipathy towards the litigation – it did not participate in the case and on the day of the court’s decision President Xi Jinping declared Beijing would not comply with it – the region has until now exercised restraint in mentioning the case.



    Beijing also argues that Asean claimants are bound by a 2002 document, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, to settle the dispute bilaterally rather than through a world body such as the UN.

    Its laundry list of gripes over the ruling include assertions that the Philippines initiated the case in bad faith, and the court had ruled on issues that China had lawfully declared it would not submit to the compulsory dispute settlement of Unclos. The arbitral tribunal, which considered these arguments, ruled that Manila was within its rights to launch the case.

    Vietnamese ocean law scholar Trang Pham said Asean countries had refrained from invoking the ruling in public because of Chinese sensitivities.

    “We did not want to immediately condemn or humiliate China just because they lost a case,” Pham said. “We first tried to see the reaction of China, and then we would react to that reaction.”

    But with the sea dispute emerging this year as a proxy arena for the strategic battle between Beijing and Washington, scholars like Pham believe Southeast Asian countries may be about to take a new tack.

    Legal researchers, in interviews with This Week in Asia and in recent public comments, say Southeast Asian claimants may be ready for a new escalatory phase in their lawfare over the row.

    Robert Beckman, the Singapore-based emeritus professor seen as the region’s most eminent ocean law scholar, said in an August 12 webinar: “There’s clearly a change in attitude, due in part I think to China being increasingly viewed as a threat to the rules-based order set out in Unclos [and] because it is asserting rights in particular to the ocean resources that belong to its neighbours.”

    Chinese scholars, such as Ding Duo from the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Hainan, acknowledge the uptick in legal activism from Asean claimants.

    Ding told This Week in Asia there were several reasons for the change in attitude. Among them, the belief among some of the countries that they should move now to capitalise on open US support for their lawfare amid the superpower tussle, and frustration over the slow pace of negotiations over a code of conduct in the sea between Beijing and Asean.

    The US in July for the first time said it was aligning its views on the sea dispute with the findings of the arbitral tribunal. “What is certain is that among Asean countries, those that have territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation disputes with China are constantly invoking arbitration awards to deny China’s claims to the South China Sea,” said Ding.


    BATTLE OF THE NOTES VERBALE

    The most obvious evidence of the lawfare is the series of diplomatic notes, called notes verbale, that Asean claimant states – and non-claimants the US and Australia – have issued to the United Nations over the past nine months with regard to China’s nine-dash line assertions.

    These notes are not normal diplomatic notes between nations, but are submitted to the UN secretary general with a request that they be circulated to other member states.

    They either directly challenged China’s sweeping claims by pointing out the findings of the arbitral ruling, or mentioned its key points.

    The first of the notes was issued by Malaysia last December, as part of its effort to establish an extended continental shelf – beyond the conventional 200-nautical-mile limit – in the northern part of the South China Sea.

    China then responded, asking the UN body in charge of continental shelves to disregard the Malaysian claim, which reached into its nine-dash line boundary.

    Since then, some 15 notes verbale, along with two diplomatic letters addressed to the UN secretary general and a foreign ministry statement – put out by Brunei – have been issued in a flurry of exchanges that have been dubbed the “battle of the notes verbale”.

    In their notes, The Philippines and Indonesia referred specifically to the 2016 arbitral ruling that Beijing had no historic claims in the South China Sea.
    Vietnam did not mention the arbitral ruling, but mentioned its key points in its note verbale.

    Brunei, in its statement in July on the row – a rare act for the kingdom otherwise known for its quiet diplomacy – highlighted the need for the sea dispute to be settled through Unclos mechanisms.

    Also raising eyebrows was a statement issued by senior officials from Asean and the US following routine talks this month.
    For the first time, the bloc as a group directly referenced the 2016 ruling, saying the verdict along with Unclos should form the basis of dispute resolution in the South China Sea.


    FRESH ARBITRATION CASE?

    So what could be the next phase of the lawfare strategy?

    One view is that as like-minded countries join the bandwagon, Vietnam could undertake an arbitration case of its own. The country is already the most strident of the claimants in its criticism of China’s maritime assertions.

    For some time, there have been rumblings from within its communist government that such action could be taken as a “last resort” to resolve its long-standing dispute with China over the waters.

    The two countries are unique among the claimants in having briefly engaged in a bloody naval battle over the control of Johnson Reef in the Spratly Islands in 1988.

    Pham, a lecturer at the Vietnam National University, said various obligations that Vietnam needed to satisfy before mounting such a challenge, such as publicly conveying its views, had been satisfied through its recent note verbale and other actions.

    What was left was a “political decision” for the government in Hanoi to decide whether – and when – it should mount the legal challenge, she said.

    A source said the relationship between the two countries’ communist parties was a key consideration.

    Domestic pressures could also weigh on Hanoi’s decision, amid pressure from within for definitive action amid a series of actions that have riled citizens.

    The Vietnamese government last week criticised Beijing for “jeopardising peace” after Chinese fighter jets and at least one bomber, the H-6J, were deployed to the Paracel Islands close to Vietnam’s 3,200km (2,000-mile) coast.

    Last year, ships from both countries were embroiled in a three-month stand-off after a Chinese oil-exploration ship conducted operations in Vietnamese-controlled waters, in an apparent bid to disrupt drilling conducted by the Russian oil firm Rosneft.

    In 2018, the state oil firm PetroVietnam instructed Spanish energy firm Repsol to suspend a project after coming under pressure from Beijing.

    Ding, the Chinese legal scholar, said various intimations from Vietnam suggested the government there was indeed preparing for arbitration – but questioned whether the move would benefit the Southeast Asian country.

    “The maritime delimitation dispute is only a small part of the bilateral relationship between China and Vietnam,” he said. “However, once Vietnam initiates arbitration, China may adopt various countermeasures … Can Vietnam solve the problem if it raises arbitration? I think the answer is no.”


    FACE-SAVING SOLUTION

    Some scholars argue that if the main issue is ownership of the sea’s resources – it is said to have reserves of seven billion barrels of oil and 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – a face-saving solution for all sides could be greater cooperation with the state-run China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
    Such an arrangement, as well as agreements among the claimants on fishing rights – another key area of contention – was among “conciliatory moves” countries could take in the interim, Beckman said in the webinar organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

    Song Xue, a Fudan University researcher who studies joint development projects in the disputed waters, said Beijing was unlikely to negotiate joint development projects if Asean claimants launched a fresh arbitration case.

    Joint development projects, as opposed to ad-hoc cooperative projects, have their own pitfalls as they may involve joint ownership of the resources, which could be construed as an acknowledgement of sovereignty.

    Xue said talks between the Philippines and China over joint development showed China’s willingness to cooperate in such projects if there were signs of genuine goodwill, despite the court case between them.

    “Against the background of Asean claimants’ recent actions, Chinese analysts, observers and scholars [have] not questioned the Chinese government’s supportive stance on joint development,” Xue said. “There is scant pressure to change the policy.”


    CHOOSING SIDES? DREAM ON
    Asked to predict the likely trajectory of the lawfare strategy, observers questioned whether the Asean claimants – Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam alongside concerned party Indonesia – could keep a united front.

    The Southeast Asian countries themselves have conflicting territorial and maritime claims. Two of these disputes, between Malaysia and the Philippines and Malaysia and Vietnam, flared up recently.

    In the Malaysia-Philippines saga, the foreign ministers of both countries in July exchanged barbs over the Malaysian state of Sabah.
    The autonomous region on the island of Borneo is in Kuala Lumpur’s control, but Manila from time to time has asserted that the region is part of its Sulu province.

    And between Malaysia and Vietnam, tensions have risen since the Malaysian coastguard last weekend shot dead a Vietnamese fisherman on a boat fishing illegally in Malaysian waters.

    Men on two boats had thrown diesel bombs at Malaysian coastguard vessels, triggering the use of force.

    Australian observer Bec Strating said the US, which hopes its new stance on the dispute will embolden Southeast Asian claimants to forge this united front, might find the countries reluctant to abandon their long-time strategy.

    “Despite having clear stakes in the disputes, these states largely maintain an approach broadly described as ‘hedging’ – trying not to side with one state or another,” said Strating, a South China Sea expert at La Trobe University

    Beckman, the National University of Singapore professor, said disappointment loomed for those hoping claimant nations – and Asean as a whole – would draw a line with China over the dispute.

    He said: “If people expect Asean to choose sides they are going to be disappointed. Both individual states and Asean as a group, which has to act on the basis of a consensus, are highly unlikely to make a clear choice favouring one side or the other.”

    And from China’s point of view, that could be all the better. As it faces down an increasingly hostile administration in the US wielding an array of policy measures to tighten the screws, not having to deal with a full-on strategic tug of war in the South China Sea could be a welcome reprieve.

    Comments by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a state media interview this month suggested China might be ready to adopt a conciliatory approach in the disputed waters.

    He did not mention the nine-dash line, and said the sea was “the shared home for the countries in the region” that should not be “a wrestling ground for international politics”.

    Ding, the Chinese scholar, echoed these views.

    “Asean countries cannot become the cats paws of the United States and cannot become victims of the strategic confrontation between China and the US,” he said. ■

    South China Sea: Asean states set course for Beijing’s red line | South China Morning Post

  4. #1054
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    China then responded, asking the UN body in charge of continental shelves to disregard the Malaysian claim, which reached into its nine-dash line boundary.
    This is just typical of the chinkies. They turn around and say the UN has no jurisdiction, then ask for its help when it suits their purpose.

    They should either submit the whole issue for arbitration and accept the result, or just fuck off.

  5. #1055
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    This is just typical of the chinkies. They turn around and say the UN has no jurisdiction, then ask for its help when it suits their purpose.
    This surprises no one . . .

  6. #1056
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    This is just typical of the chinkies. They turn around and say the UN has no jurisdiction, then ask for its help when it suits their purpose.
    As the "chinkies" are famous for copycat, wondering where they have seen it before?

  7. #1057
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    As the "chinkies" are famous for copycat, wondering where they have seen it before?
    You are obfuscating again, fuckwit.

    China denies UN jurisdiction until they think it helps them then they accept UN jurisdiction.

  8. #1058
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Vietnam Threatens Fines for Illegal Energy Exploration in its Waters

    Vietnam has issued a new decree against illegal energy exploration in its territory on land and sea, threatening violators with fines and potentially seizing their property, state media reported Monday.


    The law applies to both Vietnamese entities and foreign nationals, and is not explicitly aimed at any particular companies or countries. But Vietnam has long-standing differences with China over competing claims to the South China Sea and rights to resources there.


    Decree No. 99/2020/ND-CP, or “Regulations on Penalties for Administrative Violations in Oil and Gas,” was adopted on Aug. 26 and reported by the Hanoi Moi (New Hanoi) newspaper Monday. The law concerns virtually any unlicensed activity linked to oil and gas exploration or work on oil rigs in Vietnamese territory, and establishes numerous penalties.


    The highest fine possible is between 1.8 billion Vietnamese dong (roughly U.S. $78,000) and 2 billion dong (roughly $86,500), for “acts infringing upon the land areas, islands, internal waters, territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and continental shelf of the host Socialist Republic of Vietnam, to research, search and explore oil and gas.” Other fines for yet more violations can be added on.


    Other potential punishments include the confiscation of property and equipment used to explore for energy reserves, expulsion of foreign nationals involved from Vietnam’s territory, and forcing violators to “pay back illegal benefits” from their operations.


    Numerous agencies, including provincial officials, the Vietnamese Border Guard, and the Vietnam Coast Guard, are empowered under the new law to assess and punish potential violators.


    Vietnam has a documented history of tension with neighboring China over oil exploration in the South China Sea. China claims virtually the entirety of the sea on the basis of “historic rights” – a position unsupported by international law – including parts of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from Vietnam’s coast.


    This tension has sometimes sparked dangerous standoffs between the two countries. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) dropped an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam in 2014, kicking off nationalist protests in both countries and sparking clashes between Vietnamese and Chinese fishing vessels and coastguard ships around the site of the oil rig.


    Additionally, China Coast Guard (CCG) ships and survey vessels owned by the Chinese government have shown up near Vietnamese oil fields, pressuring international oil companies into pulling out of drilling and exploration deals with the Vietnamese government. The Noble Clyde Boudreaux, an oil rig employed by Vietnam to drill at the edge of its waters, had its contract cancelled in mid-July after never leaving port.


    Chinese survey vessels searching for energy reserves have appeared with greater frequency in Vietnamese waters in recent months. Ship-tracking data shows the Hai Yang Di Zhi 8, which has previously been caught surveying inVietnamese waters flanked by CCG ships, was within 145 nautical miles of Da Nang on Sunday.


    Spanish company Repsol and United Arab Emirates-owned Mubadala sold their shares in a Vietnamese oil field to Vietnam’s state oil company, PetroVietnam, on June 12, after political pressure from China rendered them unable to drill. Vietnam ended up paying some $1 billion to compensate the companies for their loss, The Diplomat reported.


    Most recently, China has sent coastguard ships to Vanguard Bank, a submerged feature at the western tip of the South China Sea, off Vietnam’s southernmost coast. It sits on Vietnam’s continental shelf, but China claims it under its expansive “nine-dash line” boundary.


    A CCG ship numbered 5204 has been patrolling around Vanguard Bank, near oil rigs operated by Russia’s Rosneft, since Aug. 17. Prior to that, China’s CCG 5402 was in the same area, meaning China has maintained a constant coast guard presence since early July.


    Rosneft is one of the few remaining international oil companies that works with Vietnam. Exxon Mobil is another one, and in June Vietnam announced a plan for Exxon Mobil to invest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in the country. Exxon Mobil currently holds the right to an oil field just outside of China’s nine-dash line.


    China maintains that any oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea must be done with Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or companies as joint partners. Six other Asian governments have territorial claims or maritime boundaries that overlap with China’s in those waters.


    Since July, the United States intensified its criticism of China’s stance, declaring its claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea as “completely unlawful” and accusing China of bullying its Southeast Asian nations in an attempt to control those resources.

    https://www.benarnews.org/english/ne...020195907.html

  9. #1059
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Watch the chinkies deliberately send a ship right in there and then squeal like schoolgirls if the Vietnamese dare to follow through.

  10. #1060
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Philippines’ Duterte to UN: 2016 Ruling on South China Sea ‘Beyond Compromise’

    The Philippine president made a strident statement Tuesday on the South China Sea to the United Nations General Assembly, describing a 2016 arbitral tribunal award that struck down virtually all of China’s claims in the disputed waters as “beyond compromise.”


    Like other world leaders addressing the pandemic-restricted event, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered the remarks, his first at the world body’s annual meeting of member-state leaders, in a pre-recorded video speech. His address came after years of his rebuffing the meeting and criticizing the U.N. over concerns it has raised about his administration’s controversial war on illegal drugs.


    Duterte's remarks aired shortly after Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered his address at the opening of the 75th session of the General Assembly.


    “The award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish, or abandon,” Duterte said, in reference to the outcome of the case the previous Philippine administration brought to The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.


    “We firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” he added.


    The 2016 award refuted the legal basis for nearly all of China’s expansive maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea. It called Beijing’s insistence on holding “historic rights” to the waters there inconsistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS.


    China has never recognized the 2016 arbitration or its outcome.


    Other countries – the United States, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and most recently the United Kingdom, Germany, and France – have brought up the 2016 arbitration award in their own complaints about China’s behavior in the South China Sea, or have called China to come into compliance with the award as it now constitutes a precedent under international law.


    “We welcome the increasing number of states that have come in support of the award and what it stands for – the triumph of reason over rashness, of law over disorder, of amity over ambition,” Duterte went on to say. “This, as it should, is the majesty of the law.”


    Duterte’s comments suggested a hardening in tone from the Philippines, which put its territorial disputes with China on the backburner after he took office four years ago. Duterte has sought closer economic ties with China and has toyed with a reduction in ties with its long-standing treaty ally, the United States.


    On other topics, Duterte spoke about the climate crisis, the effects of the pandemic on migrants and stranded seafarers, and the need for a COVID-19 vaccine to be available as a global public good.


    Duterte, who has faced international criticism over allegations of widespread extrajudicial killings in a bloody war on drugs, also delivered a lengthy diatribe against human rights advocates. He accused them of having “weaponized” human rights and of “preying on the most vulnerable humans.”


    The opening day of the General Assembly was dominated by the tensions between the U.S. and China, with President Donald Trump blaming China for the spread of COVID-19. He demanded that China be held accountable.


    Xi pushed back, saying China had no intention of entering a “Cold War.”


    ”We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence,” Xi said. “We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game.”


    Xi made no mention of the South China Sea.


    China currently considers itself to have a maritime dispute with six other Asian governments concerning the South China Sea. They are the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and Indonesia.


    The United States recently updated its official stance on the dispute, calling China’s maritime claims and claims to some submerged features in the South China Sea “unlawful” and “illegal,” slowly aligning the U.S. stance with the 2016 arbitration award. It has also recently changed its policies on Marine Scientific Research to reflect UNCLOS, despite the U.S. Senate never having ratified the Convention.

    Philippines’ Duterte to UN: 2016 Ruling on South China Sea ‘Beyond Compromise’

  11. #1061
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post


    ”We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence,” Xi said. “ We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation.
    What utterly hypocritical lies....in the face of what is so blatantly happening.

  12. #1062
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    Bare-faced lying is the new normal.
    The trump cretin (with his idiotic tiny-hand boxing act) does it, the Russian thug does it, and the Chinese stuffed bear does it.
    And the world doesn’t seem to notice it.

  13. #1063
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmartin View Post
    Bare-faced lying is the new normal.

    And the world doesn’t seem to notice it.
    Perhaps you look on (or live in) the wrong world...

  14. #1064
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Perhaps you look on (or live in) the wrong world...
    You may we’ll be right, considering that I live in a very remote part of the world.
    But I don’t hear many howls of outrage from the USA, Russia or China.
    The Americans are too stupid and the others too repressed.

  15. #1065
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Japan to Help ASEAN States Secure Coasts Amid South China Sea Tensions

    Tokyo has agreed to supply Southeast Asian governments with patrol boats – Indonesia and Vietnam in particular – so they can secure their coasts amid tensions in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in Jakarta on Wednesday.


    Japan strongly supports preservation of the rule of law in international waterways and is troubled by some recent activities in the South China Sea that go against maritime law, the new prime minister said.


    “Japan will support measures against illegal fishing by providing assistance in the form of patrol boats to ASEAN countries, including Indonesia and Vietnam,” Suga told a news conference in Jakarta as he wrapped up a visit to both countries – his first foreign trip since he succeeded Shinzo Abe as prime minister in mid-September.


    “Peace and prosperity can be achieved in the region only if we implement the rule of law that allows everyone freedom and openness, but there have been actions breaching this law in the South China Sea and we’re watching with concern,” he said, apparently alluding to escalating Sino-U.S. tensions over the contested waterway.


    Suga said that Japan strongly opposes the use of force to solve any disputes or settle any claims.


    “Japan rejects any action and movement that escalates tensions in the South China Sea,” he said, urging countries to refrain from using “force and intimidation.”


    However, Japan’s efforts towards a free, peaceful and open Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean should not be construed as a slight against any one nation, the prime minister said.


    “For Japan, an Indo-Pacific that is free and open is not aimed at any one country.”


    On Tuesday, Suga had said that Tokyo supported ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific outlook because of its many fundamental similarities to Japan’s vision.


    He also specifically addressed China’s criticism of The Quad – an informal strategic forum of four Indo-Pacific democracies: Australia, India, Japan and the United States.


    Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi took aim at the U.S. government, saying it was seeking an “Indo-Pacific NATO” with The Quad.


    “We are open to cooperate with any country that shares our outlook and there’s no intention to create an Indo-Pacific NATO,” Suga said.


    Meanwhile on Wednesday, Japanese media reported that Japan’s Fisheries Agency had flagged a recent surge in Chinese fishing boats in the country's exclusive economic zone, or EEZ.


    The rise of Chinese vessels was seen in the Yamatotai fishing grounds located in the center of the Sea of Japan, according to a report by the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper.


    A record 102 orders to leave the EEZ had been issued to Chinese fishing boats this year as of Oct. 16, a significant increase over the 89 and 12 of 2018 and 2019, the Japan Coast Guard said.


    Boosting defense ties


    Japan has been ramping up its engagement in Southeast Asia, especially by bolstering its defense and civilian ties with countries whose borders extend into the South China Sea.


    After talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday, Suga agreed to accelerate talks on the export of defense hardware and transfer of technology to Indonesia.


    On Monday, while in Vietnam, Suga agreed in principle to Tokyo supplying Hanoi with military equipment. In August, Japan signed its first major defense export deal, the sale of advanced long-range surveillance radar to the Philippines.


    And earlier this year, Japan promised to supply the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) with coastal defense vessels, Teuku Faizasyah, a spokesman for Indonesia’s foreign ministry, told BenarNews.


    Bakamla and the Japan Coast Guard also signed a cooperation agreement in 2019, he said.


    “Since then, various cooperation programs have been implemented, including to increase the capacity of Bakamla,” he said.


    Faizasyah said the cooperation deal had nothing to do with the South China Sea issue, although Indonesia had in recent years and on multiple occasions detected Chinese fishing or coast guard ships in its EEZ off the Natuna Islands.


    These islands lie in the southern reaches of the South China Sea, an area that Indonesia calls the Natuna Sea. The latest such incursion took place in September, in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.


    In its protest to the Chinese government about the ship, Indonesia reiterated that it rejected China’s so-called Nine-Dash Line, which Beijing uses to demarcate its claims in the South China Sea, and that the Indonesian government has no overlapping claims with Beijing in its EEZ.


    Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, have territorial claims or maritime boundaries in the South China Sea that overlap with the sweeping claims of China.


    While Indonesia does not regard itself as party to the South China Sea dispute, Beijing claims historic rights to parts of the sea that overlap Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone.


    America’s top diplomat to visit Indonesia


    Meanwhile, in its latest push to engage Southeast Asia for its support on the South China Sea, the U.S. announced on Wednesday that Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo would visit Indonesia during a five-nation tour from Oct. 25-30.


    At a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday, Pompeo said that in addition to bilateral issues, he would discuss how Indonesia and the U.S. could cooperate toward a free and open Indo-Pacific, in the face of what he described as a Chinese threat to Southeast Asian countries’ sovereignty.


    “[I]t’s no surprise that the United States firmly believes that it is in Southeast Asia … that it’s in their best interest to ensure that their sovereignty is protected against the continued efforts to encroach upon their basic rights – their maritime rights, their sovereign rights, their ability to conduct business in the way that they want to inside of their country that the Chinese Communist Party continues to threaten,” Pompeo said, according to a transcript from the State Department.


    “I know the Indonesians share our desire to make sure there’s a free and open Indo-Pacific, and we want to make sure they know they have a capable, willing partner in the United States of America.”

    Japan to Help ASEAN States Secure Coasts Amid South China Sea Tensions

  16. #1066
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmartin View Post
    Bare-faced lying is the new normal.
    The trump cretin (with his idiotic tiny-hand boxing act) does it, the Russian thug does it, and the Chinese stuffed bear does it.
    And the world doesn’t seem to notice it.
    The first one will soon be consigned to history's rubbish bin and listed as "The Worst President ever".

    The other two kinda kill or jail anyone who disagrees with them, so although people might notice, they won't say.

    It is up to us to highlight their crimes, despite the pathetic bleatings of our resident sycophants.

  17. #1067
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Japan to Help ASEAN States Secure Coasts Amid South China Sea Tensions

    Tokyo has agreed to supply Southeast Asian governments with patrol boats – Indonesia and Vietnam in particular – so they can secure their coasts amid tensions in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
    Come on nips, you just picked up a new sub. Give it to them loaded with torpedoes and let them have at it.

  18. #1068
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Nice to see some initiative . . . now let's see how weak-willed ASEAN leaders are

  19. #1069
    Lone Monarchist
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    These are nice outposts. They spared no expense.


  20. #1070
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Nice to see some initiative . . . now let's see how weak-willed ASEAN leaders are
    Weak willed? They are trousering chinky payoffs left right and centre, they're being paid to do fuck all.

  21. #1071
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    ^^ Yeah, and they screwed up the seabed and all its life for miles around by dredging material to build up those artificial islands.

  22. #1072
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    by dredging materia
    UNCLOS states the islands must be formed by natural material.

    https://www.un.org/Depts/los/convent...s/unclos_e.pdf

  23. #1073
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    I don't think the Chinese recognize UNCLOS, do they ?

  24. #1074
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    I don't think the Chinese recognize UNCLOS, do they ?
    And do you think that any superpower do mrecognize something what's not advantageous for them?

  25. #1075
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    I don't think the Chinese recognize UNCLOS, do they ?
    Signed up in 1982. Unlike some alleged exceptional countries.

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