Photo credit, NASA Landsat 7 image of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea
The former USCGC Hamilton, now BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is at the center of a standoff with the Chinese over a remote atoll shaped group of rocks and shallows called variously Scarborough (or Panatag) Reef or Shoal.
Both the Chinese and the Philippines claim sovereignty.
A Philippine patrol plane located eight Chinese fishing vessels inside the atoll. With the Gregorio del Pilar now on scene, two Chinese Maritime Surveillance vessels are blocking Philippine fisheries enforcement action against the fishing vessels and the Chinese are demanding the Philippine Navy depart their waters; while the Philippines is asserting it will enforce its sovereignty. Diplomacy is given lip service, but the standoff is ongoing. The US has a treaty obligation to the Philippines (subject to interpretation of course) and there are calls for US assistance.
A long discussion from the Philippine point of view here.
Photo: Philippine flag planted on Scarborough Shoal, Photographed by Adel Rosario, 05:11, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
China may be floating nuclear reactors on the South China Sea relatively soon.
China threatens the Philippines with war. https://www.marinelink.com/news/philippines-threatened425512
USN destroyer transits within 12 miles of Mischief Reef and conducts man overboard drill to deny China’s claims to territorial sea. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-southchinasea-navy-idUSKBN18K353
US, Australia, Japan and India slam China’s actions in South China Sea.. http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/171864-us-japan-australia-slam-china-south-china-sea-dispute
USN LCS and Philippine former USCGC conduct joint patrol in the Sulu Sea. http://thediplomat.com/2017/07/whats-with-the-new-us-philippines-sulu-sea-patrols-under-duterte/
I suspect the USCG may have been there too.
“Crises provide pretexts to punish other states, another benefit not lost on the authors. Jin, Hui and Wang show no scruples about recommending that their country “savagely strike others where it hurts” (狠狠敲打其痛处). After all, they write, some claimants must be sacrificed to teach lessons to others and discourage collusion, that is, “kill a chicken to scare a monkey” (杀鸡骇猴).”
Speculation about how the next round between China and the Philippines might go. http://www.eaglespeak.us/2017/07/plan-for-philippines-bid-round.html
Thoughts on how to handle Chinese aggression in the SCS. http://www.eaglespeak.us/2017/08/from-foreign-affairs-ely-ratner-and-how.html
China attempts to use a new but also invalid basis for claims in the South China Sea. http://m.philstar.com/782974/show/2bbeb6e519fa29c2c499176a0d91521f/
China poised for additional assertiveness in the S. China Sea https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china/beijing-seen-poised-for-fresh-south-china-sea-assertiveness-idUSKBN1D00Y0
China continues buildup of military facilities on artificial islands in the South China Sea. https://www.defensenews.com/flashpoints/2017/12/15/as-tensions-ease-china-keeps-building-on-disputed-islands/
Info on the development of Fiery Cross Reef that would allow Chinese bombers to reach Guam.
Latest “Freedom of Navigation” exercised bungled. http://nationalinterest.org/feature/china-wants-confrontation-the-south-china-sea-24203?page=show
Pessimistic view of our prospects with China. https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/02/03/china_will_pull_the_trigger_in_the_south_china_sea_113008.html
Photos of artificial islands China has built up West of the Philippines. Includes photos of Chinese Coast Guard Cutters at these bases. http://www.inquirer.net/specials/exclusive-china-militarization-south-china-sea
“Panel: Navy and Coast Guard Operating More in a Maritime ‘Grey Zone’ ” https://news.usni.org/2018/02/09/panel-navy-coast-guard-operating-maritime-grey-zone
Commentary on the transfer of China Coast Guard to Central Military Commission from the civilian State Oceanic Administration. http://gcaptain.com/military-control-of-china-coast-guard-adds-edge-to-sea-disputes/
A look at Philippines current actions. https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/29/south_china_sea_the_philippine_fissure_113256.html
China has reportedly challenged an Australian frigate in passage from the Philippines to Vietnam. https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/04/20/australian_warships_challenged_in_south_china_sea_113349.html
China installing anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles on artificial islands in the South China Sea. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/02/china-added-missile-systems-on-spratly-islands-in-south-china-sea.html?platform=hootsuite
Some good diagrams of range v geography here. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/05/04/how-far-can-chinas-long-range-missiles-reach-in-the-south-china-sea/
Excellent examination of what the Chinese are doing in the South China Sea now. https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/21/chinas_strategic_strait_in_the_south_china_sea_113468.html
Philippines “concerned” over Chinese deployment of bombers in the South China Sea. https://www.stripes.com/news/philippines-has-serious-concerns-about-beijing-bombers-in-south-china-sea-1.528191
A description of facilities China has been building on their artificial islands. https://www.marinelink.com/news/beijings-south-china-sea-building-boom-437870
A rather pessimistic view of what is happening in SE Asia. https://news.usni.org/2018/06/01/panel-chinese-navy-maritime-militia-given-beijing-de-facto-control-south-china-sea
France conducts freedom of navigation exercise in the South China Sea with other European observers aboard. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-french-navy-stands-up-to-china-1528411691?mod=djcm_OBV1_092216&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral
Good article on dealing with China, peacefully, but firmly, over the long term. https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2018-06/deal-china-position-strength
China becoming more belligerent toward vessels and aircraft approaching their artificial islands. https://www.businessinsider.com/china-warns-foreign-ships-planes-to-steer-clear-of-its-islands-or-pay-2018-7?utm_source=facebook&utm_content=top-bar&utm_term=desktop
Excellent report on the Chinese Maritime Militia. https://nationalinterest.org/feature/exposed-pentagon-report-spotlights-china’s-maritime-militia-29282
Unsafe actions by Chinese warship forces course change by DDG USS Decatur during Freedom of Navigation exercise. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/politics/china-us-warship-unsafe-encounter/index.html
Chinese response to the last “Freedom of Navigation” exercise was very different from anything we have seen before. Were the Chinese messaging a disapproval of other US actions? https://news.usni.org/2018/10/03/37076
More Chinese Gray Zone activity in the Philippine EEZ. https://opinion.inquirer.net/117346/and-now-chinese-weather-stations?fbclid=IwAR13jLxOoqgRWobNsaU8zxici6L9nzhF1pQJv8zrGmLVuBuGFfWePdEckWg
Increasing push back from the US. http://www.atimes.com/article/us-drops-the-gauntlet-in-the-south-china-sea/
Increasingly aggressive talk from the Chinese may be preparing their people to use violence. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3592985?fbclid=IwAR0b6ujBTtW1HVEoshz2dIRxsP5vTsxBwDLaBZhplGAnh4Voflllko04U78
Admiral Harry Harris nominated as US ambassador to Australia warns we must prepare for the possibility of war with China. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/16/admiral-warns-us-must-prepare-for-possibility-of-war-with-china?fbclid=IwAR1whr-igzVvs9dRN-HoyrPEpPsTzzrGOzpeffH7VLVJNMTaA4QVBatkfu0
A look at what may be going on with Chinese fishing vessels in the South China Sea. https://www.bairdmaritime.com/fishing-boat-world/regulation-and-enforcement/4425-feature-the-dark-harvest-of-chinese-black-ships
China attempting to block Philippine access to an island they already occupy. https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/02/article/new-hot-spot-boils-in-the-south-china-sea/
US reaffirms commitment to protect the Philippines for Chinese hostile action. https://news.abs-cbn.com/overseas/03/01/19/us-warns-philippines-on-china-says-treaty-obligations-clear-real
Chinese military activities increasing. https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2189088/philip-davidson-top-us-officer-asia-warns-beijings-military
“Sooner or later there will be a violent incident, most likely involving those militia and a Filipino or Vietnamese vessel, which will escalate to involve naval forces before anyone can stop it,” Poling warned. “And if the Philippines is involved, there is a good chance the U.S. will be dragged in without China actually intending for that to happen.”
“Beijing plans ‘strategic service and logistics base’ on Woody Island, two islets in South China Sea” https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3002229/beijing-plans-strategic-service-and-logistics-base-woody
Philippines threatens to stand-up to Chinese aggression. https://strategypage.com/on_point/201904100553.aspx
US, Japanese, Indian, and Philippine Navies sail from S. Korea to Singapore, through the East and South. China Sea. Philippine Navy represented by former USCG 378 foot WHEC. https://globalnation.inquirer.net/175198/in-a-first-philippines-us-japan-and-india-navies-sail-in-south-china-sea?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR09MQkOWOCCoFczoxAgHzGcPPOTxc83Jkvzf00e4wdWuI3smapbnAm7aVI#Echobox=1557374222
“Looming collapse of fisheries in the South China Sea?” https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/05/20/looming-collapse-of-fisheries-in-the-south-china-sea/
Meanwhile, U.S. and Philippine coast guard ships conducted a joint exercise in the South China Sea.
Capt. John Driscoll, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, told reporters during a port call in Manila that two Chinese coast guard ships were spotted in the vicinity of the exercise.
“Coast Guard Gives US New Tool in Disputed South China Sea” https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2019/05/mil-190520-voa01.htm?_m=3n%252e002a%252e2578%252ejj0ao001ud%252e2dkd
A scenario of how war might start in the South China Sea. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/war-south-china-sea-how-bad-it-could-get-58992?fbclid=IwAR2VgShRbINaepmFx461VNJwLZWls82WwiHX-e5ujDuB7G-Oga8Gqa9btao
Chinese vessel rams and sinks Philippine vessel leaving 22 to swim for it. Fortunately rescued by Vietnamese FV. https://juanluna.site/2019/06/12/just-in-chinese-vessel-sunk-philippine-fishing-vessel-and-left-22-poor-filipino-fishermen-to-swim-for-their-lives/?fbclid=IwAR2tEGiwlj_RrAQVj1ZkbuqyZ6qSV19ZGN8o3Tp_XbGHsqJIglE_tTYp1xA
Growing coalition in opposition to China’s expansive claims of sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/06/article/coalition-of-the-willing-builds-in-south-china-sea/
Canadian Navy transits through the Taiwan Strait. The more countries do this the better.
Good News: Philippines and Indonesia officially delineate their EEZ boundary by negotiation. https://navalnews.net/eez-treaty-between-philipinnes-and-indonesia-officially-come-in-force/?fbclid=IwAR39_zMYkDIz9eF0YNtgDkrjXLqAWG8lRtU0VtZfQENGixTLdjE76OQx5Ho
Philippines Pushing Back Against Chinese Militia South China Sea Presence – USNI News https://news.usni.org/2019/08/15/philippines-pushing-back-against-chinese-militia-south-china-sea-presence#more-68851