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EU’s Ursula von der Leyen Takes Aim at China During Philippines Visit, Pledges Maritime Security Assistance

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sharply criticized China's increasingly assertive behavior in the South China Sea and vowed closer security cooperation with the Philippines. "We are concerned about the rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific," she said during a visit to ...

New Philippine Military Head Signals China Focus

The Philippine government announced that its new military chief will be Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., the former head of its army. Brawner’s appointment seems to strengthen the Marcos administration’s hardening towards China in relation to territorial disputes in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. ...

China Turns to Ex-President Duterte to Try and Salvage Ties With the Philippines

Chinese President Xi Jinping turned to an old friend this week in an effort to repair badly-damaged ties with the Philippines. Xi met with former president Rodrigo Duterte at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Monday in what appeared to ...

South China Sea Ruling Anniversary Adds Pressure to ASEAN Gatherings

Protests in Manila this week marked the seventh anniversary of a Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal’s finding in favor of a Philippine claim over a stretch of the South China Sea also claimed by China. This comes as a week of ...

A Primer on the Escalating Tensions in the South China Sea

The South China Sea is one of the world's most strategically vital maritime zones where more than $5 trillion of trade passes through each year -- a whopping 60% of the globe's total maritime commerce. It's also the epicenter of an ...

Vietnam Takes Delivery of Two New Warships From India While U.S. and Japanese Carriers Make Ports of Call

India announced that it will provide two domestically-made warships to Vietnam that will help bolster the Southeast Asian country's coastal defense capabilities, presumably against incursions by Chinese maritime forces. The donation was the highlight of a visit this week by Vietnamese Defense ...

China, U.S. Compete in Military Cooperation With South China Sea Countries As Tension Simmers

This week it was confirmed that the U.S. and Japan will conduct joint exercises in the South China Sea with the Philippines. This comes as duels between Chinese vessels and counterparts from around the South China Sea are becoming an almost daily occurrence.

Chinese Ships Ignore Vietnam Demand To Leave Area Close to Russian-Run Gas Fields

A Chinese research ship and five escort vessels were in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on Friday, close to gas blocks operated by Russian firms in the South China Sea, a day after Vietnam urged the ships to leave. The Chinese ...

WEEK IN REVIEW: Official Navigation Beacons Placed Close to Contested Spratly Islands in South China Sea

China’s Transport Ministry confirmed that three official navigation beacons have been placed close to the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. This follows a similar positioning by the Philippines as the countries pursue competing claims to the island group. Meanwhile, a Chinese naval vessel is on ...

Taiwan, South China Sea and Other China-related Issues Loom Large at ASEAN Leaders Summit in Indonesia

Mounting concerns over Taiwan and maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea figured prominently on the opening day of a Southeast Asian leaders summit in Indonesia. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said on Tuesday that he plans to raise the ...
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