This tag is associated with 94 posts

China consolidates sea claims as Asian diplomacy struggles

For decades, fishermen along the northwestern Philippine coast treated the teeming fishing grounds of the Scarborough Shoal as their backyard, less than a day’s boat ride away. Now, they see it as a foreign country. “I lost my livelihood when we lost the Scarborough Shoal to the Chinese,” said Mario Forones, a 53-year-old who owns … Continue reading

Japan seeks defence ties with ASEAN amid China rows

Japan on Wednesday, March 13, called for stronger security ties with Southeast Asia as Tokyo looks to boost alliances at a time of growing territorial tensions with China. Vice-minister level representatives from Japan and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were beginning a two-day gathering at a Tokyo hotel, with several participating nations embroiled in … Continue reading

China builds hydroelectric dams in Cambodia

In the hilly wilderness across southwestern Cambodia, the foundations of the country’s strengthening bonds with China are taking root. It is there that large dams supported by Chinese money are being built to literally bring the impoverished Southeast Asian nation out of darkness. The largest of them so far, the US$280 million Kamchay Dam in … Continue reading

China invests heavily in Malaysia

Chinese and Malaysian companies agreed to invest 10.5 billion Ringgit ($3.4 billion) on an industrial park in the Southeast Asian nation, which will include steel and aluminum plants as well as a palm oil refinery. This comes just a few days after the Chinese Xiamen University announced to open its first overseas campus in the Malaysian … Continue reading

China says Philippines’ UN request on seas complicates issue

China said on Wednesday that a request by the Philippines for a U.N. tribunal to intervene in its longstanding South China Sea territorial dispute with China would only complicate the issue, and denounced Manila‘s “illegal occupation” of islands there. Manila has asked the tribunal of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) … Continue reading

Philippines seeks U.N. help to resolve maritime row with China

The Philippines has asked an international tribunal to intervene in its long-standing South China Sea territorial dispute with China and declare that Beijing’s claims are invalid, the government said on Tuesday. Manila asked the tribunal of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to order a halt to China’s activities that the … Continue reading

Shinzo Abe’s first overseas trip to Southeast Asia: a measure against China?

New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes his first official visit overseas to Southeast Asia instead of the United States. This trip highlights two main points: Japan’s ‘return’ to the region and the rise of Southeast Asia in Japan’s strategic calculations. The newly elected Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has chosen to make his first … Continue reading

China and regional economic partnership

In November talks kicked off for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Program, a free-trade agreement of Asean plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement was formally endorsed at the Asean Summit in Phnom Penh by all countries involved. If implemented it would be the biggest free trade zone and integrated … Continue reading

Japan’s Abe turns to South East Asia to counter China

The last time he was prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe‘s inaugural foreign trip was to China. In the job again 7 years later and relations with Beijing now chilly, Abe is turning first this time to the rising economic stars of Southeast Asia. A hawkish Abe wants them to help counterbalance the growing economic … Continue reading

New ASEAN chief seeks talks with China.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is seeking early talks with China to discuss a code of conduct to manage tensions over the disputed South China Sea, the bloc’s new chief. China claims most of the South China Sea, including a vital shipping lane and resource-rich areas. The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei have … Continue reading

East Asian cooperation: Is Japan falling behind China?

China’s presence in East Asian regional cooperation has been conspicuous. As one of the founding members of the two key regional institutions – the Asean +3 and the East Asia Summit – Beijing seems to be an indispensable partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the process of regional cooperation in East … Continue reading

China’s coercive economic diplomacy

Chinese willingness to use economic leverage to settle international disputes in its favour is a worrisome trend. When the 10 member nations of ASEAN failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most pundits blamed this year’s ASEAN chair, Cambodia, for failing to forge a … Continue reading

Obama eyes $108 billion annual Asia prize vying with China trade

More than a century and a half after Millard Fillmore dispatched an emissary to Asia to transform commerce across the Pacific, a U.S. president again sees an historic opportunity to strengthen America’s role in the region. Barack Obama sent his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, to Asia for a record 86 days in his first term, including — … Continue reading

China is the trouble maker in the South China Sea

For the nth time, the giant bully has struck once again with another provocative statement. This time, ‘a state-owned Chinese news agency has called the Philippines a “trouble maker in the region”’. Not content on that label and being true to their being a bully even ‘warned the country against losing its “credibility” if “Manila … Continue reading

US recognises Arunachal Pradesh as part of India, not China

US ambassador to India Nancy J Powell on Friday said the US still adopts the 1962 policy of recognising the McMahon Line regarding the India-China border dispute. She, however, said the US does not position itself in the dispute. Interacting with newsmen here on Friday, Powell said she recognises Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part … Continue reading

China’s imperialist designs; showing it’s ugly head and bloody arms (South China Sea)

I refer to the report of Reuters by Matthew Bigg “ASEAN chief voices alarm at China plan to board ships in disputed waters” last Friday, November 30th. Said report pertains to China’s plan to “board and search ships” it deemed to have illegally entered what it considers its “legitimate” territory in the disputed South China … Continue reading

Philippine Government denounces China’s new maritime law (South China Sea)

The Philippine Government recently denounced China‘s new maritime law that will allow its border patrol to board and expel foreign ships in the South China Sea. In a statement through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine officials described the policy as a “gross violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South … Continue reading

China: The world through the eyes of the dragon

While climbing the steps of global prominence, the new Chinese leadership will have to deal with various challenges in its foreign policy, including contentious issues about security. Still great ambiguity. The gigantic economy of the rising country dazzles the rest of the world in addition to creating a feeling of fear and respect of the … Continue reading

The end of the “ASEAN way” as the South China Sea takes centre stage

The long-time jouanalists in this region have joked that it didn’t really matter if they missed out on covering ASEAN summits as nothing ever really happened at them anyway. The ten-member regional organisation composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam was seen as a bit of a toothless … Continue reading

China angers neighbours with sea claims on new passports

The Philippines and Vietnam condemned Chinese passports containing a map of China‘s disputed maritime claims on Thursday, branding the new design a violation of their sovereignty. The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view. Stand-offs between Chinese … Continue reading

China might be moving closer to ASEAN on South China Sea.

China’s new leaders may be moving closer to resolving disputes over the South China Sea through a regional alliance rather than through separate negotiations with each of its territorial rivals. This week’s summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations showed again the scale of sensitivities over the South China Sea with the Philippines objecting … Continue reading

South China Sea dispute wrecks Asean unity

Asean unity yet again lay in tatters [Monday] night – thwarting a Chinese-backed effort to keep South China Sea territorial disputes off the agenda of [the] international leaders’ summit in Cambodia. Host Cambodia’s claim on Sunday that the 10 leaders of Southeast Asia had agreed not to “internationalise” the issue by limiting it to meetings … Continue reading

Asean demands maritime talks on South China Sea

Southeast Asian nations displayed a rare show of unity yesterday against China‘s sweeping maritime claims, calling for the first formal talks with Beijing over a sea dispute that has raised tensions and exposed deep divisions in the region. As Chinese premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Cambodia for meetings with Southeast Asian leaders, the 10-member Asean … Continue reading

Leaders of China, Japan will attend ASEAN, East Asia Summits in Cambodia

The leaders of two of Cambodia’s biggest donor countries, China and Japan, will attend the upcoming ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Phnom Penh. The leaders of the 10 ASEAN countries and other Asian leaders will be joined by Russia, the US and India in these major regional summits in Phnom Penh on November 18 … Continue reading

Decoding China’s core interests – an analysis.

The over-all core interest doctrine of China, which evolved under the outgoing leadership of Hu Jintao, is likely to continue after Xi Jinping takes over from Mr Hu. The 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which completed its term at Beijing on November 4, 2012, did not throw much light on any changes … Continue reading

China strives to set up Asian trade bloc to counter US move

China will later this month enter talks to create an Asian free-trade bloc covering 28 percent of world GDP, a reaction to U.S. progress in forming a Trans-Pacific Partnership that excludes China, South Korean Trade Minister Taeho Bark said on Monday. The RCEP, or Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, will be comprised of the 10-nation ASEAN … Continue reading

Japan firms turn to booming Southeast Asia, hedging China risks

Almost a quarter of Japanese manufacturers are re-thinking their China investment plans. Japanese firms, encouraged to expand abroad by a strong yen, are increasingly using Southeast Asia as an alternative manufacturing base to balance their China risks. Japanese government and business leaders have also been among the fastest to tap the potential of Myanmar’s dramatic … Continue reading

China snubs SE Asia push for South China Sea deal

China is stonewalling attempts to start talks on a multilateral “code of conduct” governing the strategically located South China Sea and an agreement could still be years away, Southeast Asian officials said on Monday. Beijing‘s assertion of sovereignty over the vast stretch of the water has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while … Continue reading

China must learn that size only gets you so far

For more than three decades, China has been courting its neighbours to the south. Enticing the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations into closer cooperation has been a top goal of Chinese foreign policy since the days of Deng Xiaoping, and it has brought great rewards. In 2010 the two sides entered into … Continue reading

Gunboat diplomacy in the South and East China Sea – China’s strategic mistake

As the recent maritime contests in both the South and the East China Sea has shown, Beijing underestimated an emotional charge that the territorial disputes carry along, as well as the convenience given to the neighbours to escalate these frictions in order to divert public attention from their own pressing domestic socio-economic and political issues. … Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping: sea dispute hardliner or peace seeker?

We now have two conflicting reports on China’s leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping’s speech to Southeast Asian leaders in Nanning, Guangxi yesterday. Reuters gives its report the title “China’s Xi seeks to reassure Southeast Asia on sea dispute”. SCMP’s title, however, is “Xi Jinping uses tougher tone on South China Sea disputes at Asean meeting” They both … Continue reading

China gives Cambodia aid and thanks for ASEAN help

China has pledged more than $500 million in soft loans and grants to Cambodia and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao thanked it for helping Beijing maintain good relations with the regional grouping ASEAN, a Cambodian junior minister said. A summit of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July failed to … Continue reading

China warns America not to get involved in South China Sea and other disputes

China warned the United States not to get involved in South China Sea territorial disputes on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to Beijing pledging to pass on a strong message on the need to calm regional tension. The last time Clinton visited the Chinese capital, plans to highlight improving U.S.-China ties … Continue reading

More US firms may shift some business from China to ASEAN

A growing number of U.S. companies plan to shift some operations from China to Southeast Asia in the next two years as confidence in countries such as the Philippines improves, a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore showed. AmCham Singapore said on Thursday its survey of 356 senior executives working for U.S. … Continue reading

Bullyism: The new face of imperialism (China’s invocation of its so-called historical right)

I am writing once again to highlight to the international community and to the family of nations China’s aggressive imperialist design, to point out its continuous and hilarious invocation of its so-called historical right over the islands, shoals and islets that it is vigorously claiming ownership, not only in Southeast, but also in South Asia … Continue reading

Cambodia’s subservience to China: a tale of treachery and selfishness

I refer to the AFP report concerning Manila’s act of summoning the Cambodian envoy. As reported by the said newspaper: “The Philippines has summoned Cambodia’s ambassador to explain comments he made accusing it and Vietnam of playing “dirty politics” in trying to solve a maritime row with China. “The move appeared to further deepen divisions … Continue reading

China rebukes US diplomat for sending ‘wrong signal’ on South China Sea

China‘s foreign ministry has called in a senior US diplomat to express “strong dissatisfaction” at remarks by the US state department raising concerns over tensions in the disputed South China Sea, in the latest political spat between the two countries. In a statement released late on Saturday, China’s foreign ministry said assistant foreign minister Zhang … Continue reading

China’s use of economic stick is troubling

Countries must push back against Beijing’s troubling tendency to use China’s ports, natural resources and overall economic strength to force rivals to bring policies in line with its interests. When the 10 member nations of Asean failed to reach agreement on the wording of a joint communiqué for the first time in 45 years, most … Continue reading

China warns ASEAN not to talk about South China Sea disputes

China warned ASEAN nations to avoid mentioning territorial disputes with the Philippines and Vietnam at a security meeting this week, rebuffing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for talks on the issue. Clinton indicated yesterday the U.S. would raise concerns over the South China Sea during meetings in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where envoys from … Continue reading

China’s dream of a greater Asia co-prosperity sphere

In my post “China’s Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere” on January 29, I say that if China succeeds in turning North Korea into a prosperous country by its model of free economy, China may set a North Korea model for poor Asian countries to copy. It will facilitate realisation of China’s dream of a greater Asia … Continue reading

Manila appoints envoy to Beijing

SCMP’s Raissa Robles reports that veteran diplomat Sonia Brady, familiar with Sino-Philippine relations, has been appointed the new Philippine ambassador to China. The appointment is waiting for parliamentary approval. It shows the Philippine president’s efforts to ease the tension in the South China Sea. The report from SCMP A veteran diplomat has been appointed the … Continue reading

Expansion of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

China’s official Xinhua News Agency says that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a press conference on May 23 to reveal information on the coming June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing. In my Jan. 19 post “China’s Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere“, I mentioned China’s efforts in setting up a North Korean … Continue reading

China’s “small stick” approach to South China Sea

In a month-long standoff between China and the Philippines over a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, Beijing has so far refrained from sending warships from its increasingly powerful and modern navy to enforce its territorial claims. Instead, China has deployed patrol vessels from its expanding fleet of paramilitary ships to Scarborough Shoal, known … Continue reading

The Mystery of China’s Restraint in South China Sea

While most Chinese are vehemently calling for their government to order the PLA to deal a heavy blow at the Philippines in order to teach it a lesson, the Chinese government persists in pursuing a peaceful solution even though the face-off was described by former Philippine foreign minister Domingo Siazon as “between an elephant and … Continue reading


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