China, Malaysia locked in S. China Sea standoff: Report

ANKARA China and Malaysia are locked in an ongoing standoff over hydrocarbon exploration in the South China Sea, according to a US think tank report published on Wednesday. A Chinese vessel “harassed” a drilling rig and supply ships off Malaysia’s coast last week, said the report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Institute (AMTI). “China Coast Guard [CCG] ship 5402 harassed a drilling rig and its supply ships operating just 44 nautical miles from Malaysia’s Sarawak State on November 19,” read the report. “Malaysia deployed…

China’s First Homemade Aircraft Carrier Is Nearly Ready for War

China’s first home-built carrier will soon fire weapons, launch fighter jets and coordinate with other surface warships in the South China Sea on a high-profile deployment, a moving signaling the rapid growth of the countries’ expansionist Naval ambition to project greater amounts of global power.  The Shandong, China’s first indigenous carrier, has deployed on its “third voyage” of the year, according to a Chinese government-backed Global Times newspaper, which is reporting that the carrier “could return to the South China Sea, where its homeport is located.”  “For its latest sortie,…

New Wescom commander a Cebuano

REAR Admiral Ramil Roberto Enriquez, a Cebuano, has assumed as new commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command (Wescom). Enriquez, outgoing deputy chief of staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs J9, succeeded Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria, who recently assumed as the new Vice Chief of Staff after the retirement of Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr. Both Enriquez and Gloria are members the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class of 1988. AFP Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay virtually led the change of command ceremony on Tuesday, November 24,…

Japan Inc readies for face off with Beijing offshore Vietnam

A pair of oil and gas fields controlled by Japanese companies offshore Vietnam could become a potential flash point in the disputed waters of the South China Sea as Beijing continually seeks to aggressively assert its claims. Japan’s Idemitsu and Inpex, in partnership with Vietnam’s national oil company, PetroVietnam, operate the two fields, Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet. The fields, in Block 05-01, straddle China’s sweeping claim to most of the South China Sea via its U-shaped ‘nine-dash line’, which is not recognised by its neighbors or internationally by The…