Vietnam strengthens fortifications in disputed South China Sea, satellite images reveal

MELBOURNE, Australia — Vietnam has continued to beef up its outposts in the disputed South China Sea with improved fortifications and infrastructure, although the scale of its activities is modest compared to that carried out by China, according to a new report. Emplacements for anti-aircraft and coastal defense systems have been built on reclaimed land at West Reef and Sin Cowe Island, according to the report by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, or AMTI, which is part of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. It made its assessments…

South China Sea news: US warship deployed to disputed region | World | News

Guided-missile destroyer USS Russell travelled close to Islands claimed by China on Wednesday during a freedom of navigation mission. The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said the vessel “asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the Spratly Islands, consistent with international law.” Beijing claims vast areas of the South China Sea up to the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. The global power has increased its military presence in the rich waterways over recent years and has already established military outposts on the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands – two disputed…

Philippines to beef up naval presence in disputed South China Sea, SE Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (REUTERS) – The Philippines will beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea to protect its fishermen, its new military chief said, as concerns grow about the operations of China’s coastguard in disputed waters. The move comes after the Philippines protested a new law in China that allows its coastguard to board or open fire on foreign vessels in waters it regards as its territory, which officials said could heighten risks of a miscalculation. “We will increase our visibility through the deployment of more naval assets, but…

Vietnamese Brewery Names Beers After Disputed South China Sea Islands

Two Vietnamese craft beers named after disputed islands in the South China Sea. Photo: Michael Tatarski A brewery in Vietnam has waded into one of the most contentious maritime disputes in the world by naming craft beers after islands claimed by China in a hops-flavored act of patriotism guaranteed to irritate Beijing. While several countries in Asia lay claim to various remote shoals, reefs and outcrops in the resource-rich South China Sea, Vietnam and China’s competing claims over the Spratly and Paracel Islands may be the most heated, leading to…

Naval base expansion ‘gives China more power in disputed sea’

Over the past year, China’s navy expanded Yulin naval base on the island province of Hainan from a conventional submarine facility into a bay that berths nuclear submarines, military news database GlobalSecurity.org said. Four trestles for submarines, each 229 metres long, can hold 16 submarines, it says. Aircraft carriers and remote-sensing equipment are also expected to be based at or near Yulin, the report said. The Yulin Naval Base on the Chinese island province of Hainan. (Nine) “It’s going to be kind of a future-oriented construction,” said Alexander Huang, strategic…

Heralding Deal with China, Philippines Restarts Offshore Oil-Gas Exploration in Disputed Sea

TAIPEI, TAIWAN —  The Philippine government’s lifting of a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration reopens the door to joint energy development with China, the erstwhile biggest player in a regional maritime sovereignty dispute, analysts believe. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a Department of Energy proposal to resume exploration in the South China Sea, the department said October 15 in a statement online. Exploration was called off six years ago as a Sino-Philippine maritime dispute peaked. Resumption of oil and gas exploration will “infuse the economy with fresh…

PH air presence up in disputed sea – The Manila Times

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said Philippine air surveillance in the West Philippine (South China) Sea had a 30-percent increase in 2019. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana In his speech during the virtual celebration of the Defense department’s 81st anniversary, Lorenzana attributed the increase to the military’s acquisition of new equipment. Without going into details, he said the military’s air domain coverage increased from 27 percent to 57 percent. “This was due to our air defense surveillance radars, surveillance aircraft and long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles,” Lorenzana said. The surveillance…

Heralding Deal with China, Philippines Restarts Offshore Oil-Gas Exploration in Disputed Sea | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – The Philippine government’s lifting of a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration reopens the door to joint energy development with China, the erstwhile biggest player in a regional maritime sovereignty dispute, analysts believe.     Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a Department of Energy proposal to resume exploration in the South China Sea, the department said October 15 in a statement online. Exploration was called off six years ago as a Sino-Philippine maritime dispute peaked.   Resumption of oil and gas exploration will “infuse the economy with…

South China Sea news: Super Typhoon on track to hit disputed waters as tensions escalate | World | News

The Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) warned residents to brace for the incoming thunderstorms. The South China Sea region has been subject to territorial disputes and conflict for years. Dr Herizal, BMKG’s deputy for climatology, said Indonesia could be hit with strong winds and thunderstorms in the coming days. He warned that the typhoon has developed into a Category 5 tropical cyclone, which is the highest classification on the scale. According to the Jakarta Post, on Monday Dr Herizal said: “Typhoon Goni, which has developed into a Category 5 tropical…