Philippine defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa on February 29 signed a new defense agreement to allow the transfer of defense equipment and technology from Japan to the Philippines. It also provides for the Philippines and Japan to conduct joint research and development, and even joint production, of defense […]
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was unanimously reelected during the 12th National Congress of Vietnam’s Communist Party, held January 21-28. Trong, who is less strident than other Vietnamese leaders in his criticism of Beijing’s behavior in the South China Sea, has been seen as leading the party’s more conservative, pro-Chinese faction. But many in Hanoi […]
This promises to be a landmark year for the claimant countries and other interested parties in the South China Sea disputes. Developments that have been underway for several years, especially China’s island-building campaign in the Spratlys and Manila’s arbitration case against Beijing, will come to fruition. These and other developments will draw outside players, including […]
The recent deployment of Chinese surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to Woody Island is a notable tactical development, but a far more significant strategic signal. Tactically, the HQ-9 batteries deployed to Woody Island could target aircraft at ranges up to 125 miles (200 kilometers), covering much of the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and […]
China may be gaining the strategic upper-hand in the ongoing scramble in the South China Sea thanks to its newly-built artificial islands, but it is facing increasing backlash in the region. Neighboring states as well as external powers have stepped up their diplomatic pressure on Beijing, while coordinating their efforts at safeguarding freedom of […]
The Navy destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur passed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, the southernmost of the Paracel Islands, on January 30 in the second operation in the South China Sea in recent months under the Department of Defense’s Freedom of Navigation Program. And despite significant disappointment in some quarters, the operation was a […]
In November, Singapore hosted a visit by Chinese president Xi Jinping. Notwithstanding the conclusion of several bilateral agreements, the spotlight invariably focused on Xi’s comments on the South China Sea, where he reiterated China’s commitment to freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes. Xi’s assurances were timely given regional […]
I visited Itu Aba, or Taiping Island in Chinese, on December 12 alongside a group of high-ranking Taiwanese government officials to attend the opening ceremonies for new piers and a lighthouse. It was my fourth visit to the island. These visits provided me an opportunity to answer for myself the following questions being asked of […]
The timing of the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the Philippines’ case against China’s nine-dash-line claims has critical geopolitical implications for Asia’s security. Specifically, a decision delivered well before the Philippine presidential election this May would allow the administration of President Benigno Aquino to respond strategically and with continuity, […]
For a little over a year, between 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, Malaysia’s policy surrounding the South China Sea dispute hit a shroud of confusion. Taken aback by Chinese naval patrols around James Shoal (Beting Serupai in Malay), only 43 nautical miles off the coast of Sarawak State, the government responded with a […]
The Philippines’ arbitration case against China has created significant new dynamics in the South China Sea disputes. With the prospect of a ruling from the tribunal in the coming months, it is time to ponder the case’s possible consequences. The tribunal will likely reach a decision on at least the seven submissions by the Philippines […]
Shen Lyu-shun, representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the United States, sits down with AMTI director Gregory Poling to discuss the recent visit of Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen to Itu Aba, or Taiping Island, Taiwan stance on the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, and Taipei’s South China Sea strategy.
Paul Reicher, partner at Foley Hoag and lead counsel for Manila in its arbitration case against Beijing’s South China Sea claims, sits down with AMTI director Gregory Poling to discuss why Manila is pursuing arbitration, the proceedings to-date, and what comes next. You can listen to the entire interview or skip to individual sections by […]
More than 190 nations have converged in Paris for the United Nations conference on climate change, or the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21). Their goal is to arrest global warming below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) through a legally binding and universal agreement. Scientists posit that temperature is a critical component of the climate […]
Ahead of this month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and ASEAN summits, regional maritime tensions have taken a dangerous turn, potentially setting off a new round of confrontation between relevant powers. A month after the meeting of Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in Washington, during which the two leaders signed off on new confidence-building measures […]
President Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam on November 5-6 was the first by a Chinese president in 10 years. Hu Jintao made a trip in November 2005, when relations between the two countries were relatively relaxed. The period from 2006 to 2008, when China reached out to Southeast Asian neighbors and cooperated with the United […]
AMTI director Gregory Poling sits down with Colm Quinn to discuss the the U.S. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operation, U.S. policy in the South China Sea, the ongoing Philippine-China arbitration case, and what a long-term solution to the dispute might look like. This interview was originally recorded for the October 31 CSIS Podcast.
The United States has started long overdue freedom of navigation (FON) operations in the South China Sea. Washington launched the FON program in 1979 to challenge coastal states’ excessive maritime claims through diplomatic engagement and operational assertion. During the Cold War the United States conducted FON operations in Soviet territorial seas, where Moscow did not […]
Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Project, sits down with CogitAsia editor Jeffrey Bean to discuss the U.S. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea and assess China’s reaction. This interview was originally recorded for the CogitAsia Podcast.
The U.S. Freedom of Navigation (FON) Program has recently drawn significant attention in the United States and abroad. An argument could be made that the program has received more attention in 2015 than in its preceding 35 years combined. This recent focus arose as the world witnessed China engage in reclamation (enhancement of naturally-formed areas […]
On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation (FON) patrol to challenge China’s territorial claims over the 12-nautical-mile region surrounding its artificial islands in the South China Sea. Chinese authorities responded angrily but cautiously, publicly condemning the act and sending two naval ships to trail the Lassen, but stopping short […]
After months of internal debate within the Obama administration, the guided missile destroyer USS Lassentransited within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, one of China’s artificially-built features in the South China Sea, on October 27 in what is termed a “freedom of navigation” (FON) operation. It was accompanied by two maritime surveillance aircraft, a P-8A […]