SCSC - To date, China still continues its reclamation and massive island - building efforts to turn features in the South China Sea into “artificial islands”.According to the information on CSIS’s website, China has dredged and built an artificial island of nearly 3 - kilometer long in Fiery Cross that Beijing has built a runway and used to be coral habitats.
SCSC - Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has been more active in forming their external security settings, used trade and investment tools to expand their strategic spectrum, as well as asserted their territorial claims against neighbors.The initiative on “Maritime Silk Route” is influenced by President Xi’s belief that maritime route is the key for China to achieve an outstanding position in Asia.
SCSC - Recently, the international community has been boiled up by US statements on deploying warships and planes in the 12 - nautical - mile zone of several features in the Spratlys that are currently under Chinese occupation. In return, China “expresses concern”.The Global Times even asserts that if the US carries out such actions, a war in the South China Sea is “unavoidable”.
SCSC - Since the “rise” under Deng Xiaoping, China has increasingly shown its strength as an “awaking dragon”. While showcasing the “money” power, China is also “displaying its fangs and claws” to the world, particularly to Asian countries.Since 2005, neighboring countries have been deeply concerned by the maritime ambitions exposed by the Chinese government.
SCSC - China’s growing assertiveness in many sea areas including the South China Sea has caused concern for a number of countries. And the question is: what the China’s South China Sea policy is since such issue has drawn much attention of countries concerned. It is because of the fact that there has been a big difference between statements made by Chinese politicians and realities.Recently, a U.S. newspaper, the Weekly Wonk has interviewed seven scholars from different parts of the world forecasting China’s policy on the South China Sea in the future. These would be serving as suggestive recommendations for policy makers in some other claimant states over the disputed territories in the South China Sea.
SCSC - Asian states that worry about conflict with China have cause to worry even more. China’s recently released white paper, China’s Military Strategy, is new and assertive.
Only eight other defense white papers have been issued since 1998, and none focus on strategy the way this one does. It’s assertive not only because it reiterates a willingness to fight with its neighbors on all the familiar regional flashpoints, but also because it lays out expectations of having to do the same far outside its nine - dash line. [READ MORE]
SCSC - China’s White Paper on Military Strategy  published by China’s State Council on Tuesday formalizes the evolution of China’s naval strategy from “offshore waters defense” to a new maritime strategy that encompasses both “offshore waters defense” and “open seas protection”.
This shift marks the first formal change in China’s maritime strategy since 1993 and has been made possible by significant improvements in naval capabilities that have enabled China to increase reliance on its navy to protect its expanding national interests. [READ MORE]
SCSC - As the ‘war of words’ between China and the U.S. in the South China Sea escalates, questions arise as to exactly what are Australia’s interests in this contested maritime zone. Bonnie Glaser has recently claimed that approximately 60 per cent of Australia’s seaborne trade passes through the South China Sea, and Peter Jennings has suggested that Australia should join the U.S. in conducting freedom of navigation (FON) operations in the area.
These appreciations raise issues about the importance of this region to Australia, economically, politically and strategically. We need to have answers to these questions before determining our future actions. [READ MORE]
SCSC - China was once again the odd country out this year, the only major Asia - Pacific power not to send its minister of defense to attend the Shangri - La Dialogue. United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Cater made the trip, as did the defense ministers of Cambodia, Germany.
Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.K. Sun, with a rank equivalent to a regional military commander, is of decidedly lower status (although, according to Bo Zhiyue, Sun is a top contender for the post of PLA Navy commander in 2017). [READ MORE]
SCSC - China’s dredging activities in the South China Sea are significantly disrupting the region’s marine environment. As James Bortley reminds us, “the Spratly Islands’ immense biodiversity cannot be overlooked”.
In April the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs pointed out that China’s reclamation activities in the South China Sea were causing “irreversible and widespread damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance”. [READ MORE]
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