Beijing on Monday warned Australia to “act prudently” or face “serious consequences” after Canberra accused a Chinese fighter jet of dangerously intercepting one of its spy planes over the South China Sea.
China launched a month of military exercises in the South China Sea on Monday and accused foreign countries of heightening tensions by increasing their military presence in those contested waters.
On Friday, China’s Maritime Safety Administration announced that an area of roughly 80 square kilometers in Chinese waters to the west of Guangzhou’s Leizhou Peninsula and north of Hainan Island would be closed for military exercises between March 1 and March 31.
These exercises come in the wake of numerous foreign military maneuvers in contested areas of the South China Sea, which appear to have drawn Beijing’s ire.
Just days into Joe Biden’s presidency, China has launched a “strike package” in the disputed South China Sea. And this is just the start.
Two formations of missile-carrying bombers and fighters surged into Taiwan’s airspace at the weekend. Their “target”, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and her escort, were captured by satellite as they faced off against the dummy attack run.
Just days after President Joe Biden took up office in the White House, Beijing is ramping up the pressure.
On Friday, it announced its coast guard and warships were authorised to “open fire” on “intruders” within the East and South China Seas.
On Saturday, it sent a “strike package” of powerful bombers within launch range of an approaching US carrier battle group.
With the US Navy temporarily reducing its activities due to the impact of COVID-19, China has conspicuously increased its presence, conducting more maritime activities in the South China Sea since April 2020. In retaliation, the US Navy dispatched two aircraft carriers to the region in July to conduct drills, and tensions are gradually rising.
NEW YORK/TOKYO — Just five years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping was digging into a basket of fish and chips and enjoying a pint of beer with then-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the latter’s “local” near his countryside residence of Chequers. Along with the iconic images from England came the announcement of a new “golden era” of Sino-British ties.
Xi was also expected to make his first visit to Japan as a state guest this April, while the famed cherry blossoms were in full bloom, before COVID-19 disrupted plans.
But this week, meetings in London between Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab signaled the different direction that the two countries are taking in securing the Indo-Pacific region, and in dealing with China in particular.
“Japan is a close friend of the U.K. and our key security partner in Asia,” Raab said in a statement issued Wednesday after he spoke with Motegi.
Both men shared “grave concerns” over the recent situation concerning the Hong Kong legislative elections, according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They affirmed that they will continue to closely coordinate against Chinese expansionism in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
Philippine protesters, including some members of the nation’s Congress, surrounded the Chinese consulate in Manila and burned Chinese flags to protest Beijing’s disregard for the 2016 international tribunal ruling finding the Communist Party’s colonization of the South China Sea, which turned three years old Friday.
On October 10th 2017, the USS Chafee, a Navy Destroyer, sailed within 12 miles of the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. This was the fourth “freedom of operation” mission since President Trump was inaugurated. The U.S. air force also flew two bombers over the Korean peninsula simultaneously, in another maneuver designed to demonstrate its military might.
These moves were not routine patrols or exercises, but the latest activity in a multi-dimensional chess game in one of the world’s most contested and sensitive regions. The smallest miscalculation from either side could have huge consequences for trillions of dollars in trade and billions of lives, not just in the immediate vicinity but around the globe too.
One Road Research
South China Sea Trade as Percentage of Total Trade
Encircled by Malaysia to the south, the Philippines to the east and Vietnam to the west, the South China Sea is one of the most resource-rich regions on earth and hosts one third of the world’s shipping traffic. It holds a projected 28 billion barrels of oil, 260 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 10% of the world’s fisheries.
Related Story: Chinese report: S. China Sea islands expanded reasonably
BEIJING (Reuters) — China has “reasonably” expanded its islands in the disputed South China Sea and this year construction projects there including radar facilities covered about 290,000 square meters, according to a new government report.