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G7 Virtual Meeting With Zelensky Turns Focus to Beijing and South China Sea

The G7 on Wednesday issued a clear warning against China’s military buildup in the South China Sea and stressed that member countries will divest and diversify from China when needed to keep their economies healthy. The wars in Ukraine and the Middle ...

China Hasn’t Used Economic Coercion Even As Philippines Ramped Up South China Sea Strategy: Analyst

Concerns that China might use economic coercion against the Philippines, particularly as Manila ramps up its strategy of showcasing Chinese “aggression” in the South China Sea, have not been borne out, a noted analyst on the issue said. The Philippines’ strategy ...

PLA Navy Closes Part of the South China Sea for Live-Fire Exercises

The Chinese Navy blocked off a large swathe of the South China Sea on Tuesday for two days of live fire exercises, according to a statement by the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA). Neither the MSA nor the PLA Navy provided details as ...

China Excoriates U.S. as Culprit in Philippine Tensions in South China Sea

Chinese media and official channels shifted into overdrive this week in condemnation of U.S. hegemony as the true source of tensions in the South China Sea, despite the friction ostensibly being a China-Philippines territorial dispute. Government statements called out the U.S.’s ...

China’s ‘Swarming Ships’ and Philippines’ ‘Christmas Convoy’ Reignite South China Sea Tensions

Nerves are back on edge in the South China Sea as confrontations between Chinese and Filipino forces resume after a brief lull in activity. The Philippines is accusing China of “swarming” a disputed reef in the area with more than 100 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Awkward Timing as Italy Withdraws from BRI

Italy has announced its formal withdrawal from the Belt and Road Initiative after joining the China-centered infrastructure and investment project in 2019.
The timing of the announcement that Rome won’t renew its BRI commitment is notable. It came only a day before the EU-China summit, which kicks off on Thursday. The summit will likely be more contentious than usual, with European leaders expected to push China on the treatment of EU firms amid discussions ...

U.S. Navy Ship ‘Seriously Violated’ China’s Sovereignty: Chinese Military

China condemned the U.S. for sending a navy warship through disputed waters in the South China Sea, highlighting ongoing military tensions between the countries. The USS Gabrielle Giffords reportedly sailed near the Second Thomas Shoal on Monday, “seriously violating China’s sovereignty ...

Philippines Defense Secretary: No Point In Talking About Territorial Claims If China Doesn’t Respect International Rules

The Philippines' defense secretary struck a pessimistic tone about territorial discussions with China, saying they were futile unless Beijing was willing to be more sincere and respect a rules-based order. “If there are going to be bilateral discussions, it must be based on ...

Australia-Philippines Joint Military Patrols Begin in South China Sea Week After Similar U.S.-Philippine Patrols

Australia and the Philippines have begun joint sea and air patrols in the South China Sea amid growing tensions with China. Australian warship HMAS Toowoomba on Saturday began "Maritime Cooperative Activity" in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines, under a ...

U.S. Reportedly Cooperating with Philippines on Fixing South China Sea Outpost

The United States is reportedly advising the Philippines on repairing the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II-era ship being used as a makeshift military base and a key marker of Philippine claims on the South China Sea. Manila in 1999 intentionally ...

U.S.-Philippines Joint Air and Sea Patrols Are Back in South China Sea

While the U.S. and the Philippines have conducted numerous joint military drills this year in and around the South China Sea — often alongside Western or regional partners — joint maritime and air patrols have largely been suspended since 2016, as then-President Rodrigo Duterte sought closer ties ...
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