naturalfeature:south china sea

  • Inside the Close Naval Encounters in the South China Sea - Bloomberg

    On notera que la seule chose que confient les officiers interrogés sur ce navire amiral est que le comportement des navires qui les ont pistés à de multiples reprises à toujours été extrêmement sûr. Ils ne disent pas a toujours été extrêmement professionnel, car cela contredirait trop ouvertement les déclarations officielles.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-13/south-china-sea-naval-encounters


    The U.S. Navy’s USS Blue Ridge in Singapore on May 9.
    Photographer : Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg

    The voice on the radio in the middle of the South China Sea follows a familiar script for Captain Eric Anduze, who helms the USS Blue Ridge. It’s China on the phone.

    They’ll contact us and they’ll go — ‘U.S. government vessel, this is Chinese Navy vessel’ number whatever — ‘we will maintain five miles from you and escort you as you make your transit,”’ Anduze said, describing the English-speaking voice from a rival Chinese warship.

    The U.S. response is short: “Chinese vessel, this is government vessel 1 9, copy, out.” From there on, silence, as the vessels of the world’s rival powers steam onward together.

    The ship-to-ship interactions are a regular potential flash point for the world’s two biggest militaries in contested waters. In September, a Chinese destroyer sailed within a football field’s distance of the USS Decatur in what the U.S. said was an “unsafe and unprofessional” maneuver. That hasn’t deterred future sailings — the U.S. sent two guided-missile destroyers within 12 nautical miles of disputed islands earlier this month.

    Based in Japan, the Blue Ridge is a frequent traveler through the South China Sea, which Beijing considers its waters against an international community increasingly concerned by its encroachment. The area is home to key shipping lanes and fisheries that have sparked dispute between China and its neighbors.
    […]
    The U.S. Navy allowed media outlets, including Bloomberg, an inside look at the sort of ship it’s using to sail through the disputed waters. The oldest operational warship in the American Navy, the Blue Ridge is the flagship of the 7th Fleet, and docked in Singapore as part of a tour of southeast Asian port cities.

    The Blue Ridge is billed as one of the most technologically advanced ships in the world. It operates as a central information node for a fleet whose range stretches from the Indian-Pakistan border to the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean. Through its several computers flow a database the Navy says gives it a “complete tactical picture of air, surface and subsurface contacts.” That’s what it does: it sails and it knows things.

    The ship is a small floating town of more than 1,000 sailors at any given time. There are beds and cafeterias, fitness centers and a post office. A miniature hospital has sick beds and an operating room, along with a dentist who can fill a cavity or pull a tooth — unless the waves get too rough. Up on deck, sailors can jog around a makeshift track around the ship, at about seven laps to a mile.

    Since February, Captain Anduze said the Blue Ridge has been escorted by Chinese vessels about six times in an almost unremarkable and now routine manner.

    In Washington, the view is that China uses “coercive tactics” including its naval and paramilitary vessels to enforce claims in the South China Sea, the Pentagon said last week in its annual report on China’s military power. Those are targeted “in ways calculated to be below the threshold of provoking conflict,” though have escalated into near-misses with U.S. warships.

    Naval officials on the Blue Ridge declined to comment in detail on those more aggressive encounters, except to say nothing similar had happened with them as they passed through the South China Sea’s shipping lanes.

    We have had ships that come about three to four miles away and then just navigate with us throughout the area,” Anduze said. Those interactions have been “very safe.


  • China wants ’tranquillity’, navy chief says ahead of new warships reveal - Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-military-anniversary-idUSKCN1RY0WB


    Chinese navy personnel attend an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in Qingdao, China, April 22, 2019.
    REUTERS/Jason Lee

    President Xi Jinping is overseeing a sweeping plan to refurbish the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by developing everything from stealth jets to aircraft carriers as China ramps up its presence in the South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, which has rattled nerves in the region.

    The navy has been a key beneficiary of the modernization plan, with China looking to project power far from its shores and protect its trading routes and citizens overseas.

    Last month, Beijing unveiled a target of 7.5 percent rise in defense spending for this year, a slower rate than last year but still outpacing its economic growth target.

    Tuesday’s parade in the waters off the eastern city of Qingdao will feature 32 vessels and 39 aircraft, some of which will not have been unveiled before, as well as warships from 13 foreign countries including India, Australia and Vietnam.
    […]
    Military officers accompanying reporters in Qingdao have been at pains to point out China has no hostile intent with the naval parade and it is not a show of force but a sign of a genuine desire for global maritime cooperation.

    • La parade navale a eu lieu dans une brume épaisse.
      Présage funeste pour l’empereur, maître du temps et des éléments ?…
      (si vous n’aimez pas la musique martiale, coupez le son !)

      An overview of the Chinese Navy parade in 120 seconds - YouTube
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxzEyX2fzzk

      A naval parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China’s Navy was held on April 23 near Qingdao City. The PLA Navy sent 32 vessels and 39 warplanes into six groups and 10 echelons for President Xi’s inspection.

      RT en espagnol, reprenant les images (et le son…) de la vidéo officielle

      Gran desfile naval en la clausura del 70.º aniversario de la Armada china - YouTube
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzJh2xWs-Jc

      Un gran desfile naval ha protagonizado el final de las celebraciones en la ciudad china de Qingdao dedicadas al 70.º aniversario de la fundación de la Armada del país asiático. Además, China exhibió su nuevo portaviones llamado ’Liaoning’ por primera vez. El evento contó con la presencia de 60 delegaciones internacionales.


  • China Spying: The Internet’s Underwater Cables Are Next - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-09/china-spying-the-internet-s-underwater-cables-are-next


    Underwater eyes on China.
    Photographer: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

    As the West considers the threat posed by China’s naval ambitions, there is a natural tendency to place overarching attention on the South China Sea. This is understandable: Consolidating it would provide Beijing with a huge windfall of oil and natural gas, and a potential chokehold over up to 40 percent of the world’s shipping.

    But this is only the most obvious manifestation of Chinese maritime strategy. Another key element, one that’s far harder to discern, is Beijing’s increasing influence in constructing and repairing the undersea cables that move virtually all the information on the internet. To understand the totality of China’s “Great Game” at sea, you have to look down to the ocean floor.
    […]
    But now the Chinese conglomerate #Huawei Technologies, the leading firm working to deliver 5G telephony networks globally, has gone to sea. Under its Huawei Marine Networks component, it is constructing or improving nearly 100 submarine cables around the world. Last year it completed a cable stretching nearly 4,000 miles from Brazil to Cameroon. (The cable is partly owned by China Unicom, a state-controlled telecom operator.) Rivals claim that Chinese firms are able to lowball the bidding because they receive subsidies from Beijing.
    […]
    A similar dynamic [as in 5G equipment] is playing out underwater. How can the U.S. address the security of undersea cables? There is no way to stop Huawei from building them, or to keep private owners from contracting with Chinese firms on modernizing them, based purely on suspicions. Rather, the U.S. must use its cyber- and intelligence-gathering capability to gather hard evidence of back doors and other security risks. This will be challenging — the Chinese firms are technologically sophisticated and entwined with a virtual police state.

    And back doors aren’t the only problem: Press reports indicate that U.S. and Chinese (and Russian) submarines may have the ability to “tap” the cables externally. (The U.S. government keeps such information tightly under wraps.) And the thousand or so ground-based landing stations will be spying targets as well.

    #cables_sous-marins #internet #espionnage


  • China Military Threat: Seeking New Islands to Conquer - James Stavridis - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-21/china-military-threat-seeking-new-islands-to-conquer

    The constant refrain was simple: The West is becoming a less reliable partner. These allies are dismayed by a U.S. administration that has repeatedly criticized its closest partners and accused them of freeloading on defense. They are also worried about weakness and distraction of a Europe facing Brexit. This is compounded as they watch China increase pressure on Taiwan to accept a “one nation, two systems” deal a la Hong Kong and militarize the #South_China_Sea by constructing artificial islands.
    […]
    There is also a less-noticed but extremely worrisome aspect to China’s increasing boldness: It seems to be building its naval capability to dominate farther into the Pacific — as far as what Western analysts call the “second island chain.

    When thinking in a geo-strategic sense about China, the island-chain formulation is helpful. Since the 1950s, U.S. planners have delineated a first island chain, running from the Japanese islands through the Philippines, and down to the tip of Southeast Asia. Dominating inside that line has been the goal of China’s recent buildup in naval and missile capabilities. But U.S. officials warn that Chinese strategists are becoming more ambitious, set on gaining influence running to the second island chain — running from Japan through the Micronesian islands to the tip of Indonesia. As with its initial forays into the South China Sea, Beijing is using “scientific” missions and hydrographic surveying ships as the tip of the spear.

    Japan and Singapore are essentially anchors at the north and south ends the island chains. They have been integrating their defense capabilities with the U.S. through training, exercises and arms purchases. They are exploring better relations with India as the Pacific and Indian Oceans are increasingly viewed as a single strategic entity. This is a crucial element in the U.S. strategy for the region. But there are changes coming.

    First, there are expectations that China will eye the third island chain, encompassing Hawaii and the Alaskan coast before dropping south down to New Zealand. This has long been regarded as the final line of strategic demarcation between the U.S. and China. Second, some analysts are beginning to talk about a fourth and even fifth island chain, both in the Indian Ocean, an increasingly crucial zone of competition between the U.S. and China.

    Two obvious Indian Ocean chains exist. The first would run from southern Pakistan (where China has created a deep-water port at Gwador) down past Diego Garcia, the lonely atoll controlled by the U.K. from which the U.S. runs enormous logistical movements into Central Asia. As a junior officer on a Navy cruiser in the 1980s, I visited Diego Garcia when it was essentially a fuel stop with a quaint palm-thatched bar. The base has expanded enormously, becoming critical to supporting U.S. and British combat efforts in the Horn of Africa and Middle East.

    The fifth and final island chain could be considered to run from the Horn of Africa – where the U.S. and China now maintain significant military bases – down to the coast of South Africa. Little wonder the U.S. military has renamed its former Pacific Command as the Indo-Pacific Command.

    #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • Britain admits warship threat upset China | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-china-idUSL9N1YF004

    Britain on Thursday admitted that talk by its defence minister of deploying a warship in the Pacific had complicated the relationship with China.

    When asked directly on BBC radio if the relationship had been damaged by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s threat to deploy a new aircraft carrier to the Pacific, finance minister Philip Hammond said:

    It is a complex relationship and it hasn’t been made simpler by Chinese concerns about royal navy deployments in the South China Sea.

    British media reported that China cancelled trade talks with Hammond because it was upset about Williamson’s speech.

    Hammond said he was disappointed that the Chinese had reacted in the way they had.

    This is entirely premature, the aircraft carrier isn’t going to be at full operational readiness for another couple of years, no decisions have been made or even discussed about where its early deployments might be,” Hammond said.


  • Richard Haass : Iran Is The Most Likely Setting For A Major New War In 2019 | Video | RealClearPolitics
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/12/27/richard_haass_iran_is_the_most_likely_setting_for_a_major_new_war

    If I were going to place a bet on 2019, where there could well be a serious new war in the world, it wouldn’t be North Korea, it wouldn’t be the South China Sea. You never know what Mr. Putin will do in Ukraine, but I would bet on Iran, whether it is Israel vis-a-vis Iran or it is the Saudis doing something

    #arabie_saoudite #prophétie_autoréalisatrice


  • Photos Show Confrontation Between USS Decatur and a Chinese Navy Warship in South China Sea – gCaptain
    https://gcaptain.com/photos-show-confrontation-between-uss-decatur-and-chinese-navy-warship-in-


    U.S. Navy photo showing a confrontation between the USS Decatur (left) and PRC Warship 170 (right) in the South China Sea on Sunday, September 30, 2018.
    U.S. Navy Photo

    gCaptain has just obtained photos showing a confrontation involving the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur and a Chinese Navy warship in the disputed South China Sea over the weekend. 

    The U.S. Navy confirmed the incident on Tuesday, accusing China’s navy of conducting an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” that nearly led to a collision as the U.S. destroyer was underway “in the vicinity” of Gaven Reef in the #Spratly Islands on Sunday, September 30.

    According to a Navy spokesman, during the incident, the Chinese warship “approached within 45 yards of Decatur’s bow, after which Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision.

    As was reported over the weekend, the USS Decatur on Sunday conducted the U.S. Navy’s latest #freedom_of_navigation operation in the South China Sea, coming within 12 nautical miles of the Gaven and Johnson Reefs claimed by China.

    China issued a statement Tuesday accusing the U.S. of violating its “indisputable sovereignty” over the #South_China_Sea islands. “We strongly urge the U.S. side to immediately correct its mistake and stop such provocative actions to avoid undermining China-U.S. relations and regional peace and stability,” a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday in a statement.

    #Spratleys #mer_de_Chine_Méridionale


  • U.S. warship sails near disputed South China Sea islands - U.S. official
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-china/u-s-warship-sails-near-disputed-south-china-sea-islands-u-s-official-idU

    The United States has criticised China’s construction of islands and military facilities in the area and is concerned they could be used to restrict free nautical movement.

    The U.S. military has a long-standing position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and are separate from political considerations.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis


  • Venezuela : arrivée à La Guaira du navire hôpital chinois Hé Píng Fāng Zhōu (ou Arche de la Paix)

    Buque Chino llegó a Venezuela para «iniciar operación estratégica»
    http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/buque-chino-llego-venezuela-para-iniciar-operacion-estrategica_252868


    Foto: @ArmadaFANB

    Este sábado arribó al Puerto de La Guaira, estado Vargas, el Buque Hospital chino «Arca de la Paz».

    Bienvenidos. Sigamos estrechando nuestros lazos de amistad y cooperación, para la paz”, escribió Vladimir Padrino López, ministro de Defensa, en su Twitter.

    El ministro detalló que el “Arca de la Paz” atenderá a personas de todas las nacionalidades, incluyendo a 1.200 colombianos.

    La visita de este buque hospital también se inscribe en una operación defensiva estratégica. Va a ser muy satisfactorio tener este buque en Venezuela”, precisó.

    El Ministerio de Comunicación e Información detalló que el buque tiene 500 camas, 35 unidades de ciudados intensivos y 12 quirófanos.

    «Sus equipos permiten atender problemas cardiovasculares, ginecología, odontología, oftalmología, pediatría y medicina interna, entre otros», informó el Ministerio en su página web.

    • Pour l’opposition, ce sont les conseils communaux qui désigneraient («  choisiraient  ») les patients à traiter à bord du navire chinois.

      Le ministre de la Défense répond qu’il va (même !…) soigner 1200 Colombiens…
      Rocío San Miguel : Consejos comunales « escogerán » pacientes del buque chino
      http://www.el-nacional.com/noticias/politica/rocio-san-miguel-consejos-comunales-escogeran-pacientes-del-buque-chino

      Rocío San Miguel, abogada y defensora de Derechos Humanos, denunció este sábado que los consejos comunales «escogerán» a los pacientes que recibirán atención médica por parte del buque hospital chino «Arca de la Paz».

    • Durée du séjour non précisé dans l’article. Lors de son escale à Papeete fin août, il était précisé qu’il repasserait à Tahiti le 22 décembre.

      Le He Ping Fang Zhou a accosté au port de Papeete | La Dépêche de TAHITI
      http://www.ladepeche.pf/he-ping-fang-zhou-a-accoste-port-de-papeete


      Photo : Yan Roy

      Le navire hôpital chinois, He Ping Fang Zhou, était attendu mardi dans la rade de Papeete. Il a finalement accosté ce vendredi matin dans le port de Papeete, après avoir passé près de trois jours au large de Tahiti, pour des raisons administratives. Cependant, le bâtiment militaire ne va pas s’attarder dans nos eaux. Il repartira dès 20 heures ce vendredi soir, après avoir refait le plein en carburant. À noter qu’un retour du navire est prévu le 22 décembre prochain, selon le calendrier des arrivées du Port autonome de Papeete.

      Pour rappel, cette « arche de la paix » a déjà pris en charge 90 000 patients, et intervient principalement dans les zones de guerre, peu équipées ou nécessitant une aide humanitaire. Le navire comprend à son bord une pharmacie, une salle de radiothérapie, un scanner, huit salles d’opération, un laboratoire d’analyses, une salle d’examens, une zone de stérilisation des instruments, des services gynécologiques, stomatologie, ophtalmologie, pédiatrie, médecine interne,…

    • Double nom, double lecture évidente : #soft_power ou #bâtiment_de_soutien_d'assaut_amphibie.

      Mystery Chinese Hospital Ship : What’s It For ? | WIRED
      (article de novembre 2008)
      https://www.wired.com/2008/11/mystery-chinese

      Late last month, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) accepted its first purpose-built floating hospital, the 10,000-ton “Ship 866.” While seemingly innocuous on the surface, ships like this are windows into an evolving military strategy for an emerging world power. Hospital ships can be used for a wide range of missions, from supporting full-scale amphibious assaults against heavily defended targets, to humanitarian “soft-power” expeditions winning hearts and minds.

      The question is: what is Ship 866 intended for? I asked two leading naval analysts for a new piece in World Politics Review.

      • It’s for #soft_power, contends Bob Work, from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He says Ship 866 has its roots in the 2004 tsunami. Many world powers sent ships to help out in the aftermath of the storm, which killed more than 200,000 people in countries bordering the Indian Ocean. But not China: the PLAN didn’t have any ships capable of assisting. “The tsunami embarrassed them,” he says. “The Chinese respond to embarrassments in very focused ways.” In this case by building a hospital ship.

      • John Pike from Globalsecurity.org disagrees. He says Ship 866 is probably intended to support the growing Chinese amphibious fleet, which in turn is meant for enforcing China’s claim to South China Sea oil reserves. It’s a far cry from humanitarian soft-power missions.

      Of course, intentions are only intentions. Regardless of the original motive, the PLAN now has a ship capable of both humanitarian missions and supporting amphibious assaults. The Chinese are still decades from matching the U.S. Navy’s huge amphibious and humanitarian fleet, but it’s a start.

      Pour mémoire, la marine états-unienne dispose de 2 navires-hôpitaux (3 fois plus gros)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USNS_Mercy_(T-AH-19)

      La France ne peut se payer ce luxe et utilise ses navires de soutien amphibie (à coque grise donc) pour ces missions humanitaires, les 3 BPC de la classe Mistral qui ont succédé aux 2 TCD de la classe Foudre.

      cf. Irma en septembre 2017
      Ouragan Irma : première mission humanitaire | colsbleus.fr : le magazine de la Marine Nationale
      http://www.colsbleus.fr/articles/10267

      A la fois bâtiment amphibie, porte-hélicoptères, bâtiment de commandement et navire hôpital, le bâtiment de projection et de commandement (BPC) présente une polyvalence exceptionnelle dont le déploiement du Tonnerre aux Antilles a montré une nouvelle fois. Mis en alerte le 8 septembre, après le passage de l’ouragan Irma, le Tonnerre a appareillé, avec un préavis très court, dès le 12 septembre, pour apporter son soutien aux populations de l’île sinistrée de Saint-Martin. Retour sur cette mission.

      Le module de rétablissement sommaire sur la plage à Saint-Martin

    • Tiens, d’ailleurs, après l’ouragan Maria à Porto-Rico en septembre-octobre 2017…

      Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Will Deploy to Colombia to Care for Venezuelan Refugees - USNI News
      (article du 20/08/2018)
      https://news.usni.org/2018/08/20/35918


      The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. Comfort will help support Hurricane Maria aid and relief operations.
      US Air Force photo.

      The Navy’s hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is being deployed to Colombia this fall to provide medical care to a growing regional humanitarian crisis, as Venezuelans steadily pour over the border to escape a deteriorating health and political climate.

      While visiting Colombia late last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced he was sending Comfort at the request of Colombia’s government. The hospital ship will assist the Colombian medical services network in providing medical care to what has been reported as an influx of more than 1 million Venezuelans into neighboring Colombia.

      The plan is for that hospital ship, USNS Comfort, to deploy this fall,” Col. Robert Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said during a Monday media briefing. “The details are being worked out as far as a detailed timeline.

      A departure date has not been set, and medical staffing needs aboard the ship are still being determined, Manning said.


  • Russia detects missile launches from French frigate off Syria’s coast in Mediterranean — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/438676-french-frigate-mediterranean-missiles


    © French Navy

    Russian airspace control systems registered missile launches from a French frigate in the Mediterranean on Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
    The French Navy’s newest frigate, FS Auvergne, fired rockets at around 8pm GMT on Monday, the Russian military said. “Airspace control has recorded rocket launches from the French frigate ’Auvergne,’” the ministry’s statement read. The ’Auvergne’ is deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Syria.

    Paris denied “any involvement in [the] attack,” a French army spokesman said, as cited by AFP.

    It is a ’European multi-purpose frigate’ (FREMM) which entered the service of the French Navy in February this year. Prior to its official commissioning, the Aquitaine-class warship underwent deployment across the globe, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

    The launch was detected at around the same time that air traffic controllers at Khmeimim Airbase “lost contact” with a military Il-20 aircraft during an attack by Israeli F-16 fighters on Latakia. Some 14 people were on board the plane at the time of the disappearance. A search and rescue mission is underway.

    The IDF has refused to comment on the report. Despite the fact that Israel rarely acknowledges striking specific targets inside Syria, earlier this month the IDF admitted hitting at least 202 “Iranian targets” in the country.

    As tensions over Idlib rise, Turkey and Russia on Monday agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” between militants and government troops as part of an effort to clear the remaining jihadists from Syria.


  • Japan at the crossroad of US-China rivalry — La Cité
    https://www.lacite.info/politiquetxt/2016/5/9/japan-us-china-rivalry

    Territorial disputes in the South China Sea have persisted for decades. In addition to the important gas and oil reserves the seabed is believed to contain, rich fishing grounds, and strategic sea lanes of communication, the region is today at the center of US-China systemic rivalry. How does Japan fit into this picture?

    Lionel Fatton
    9 May 2016

    Last February, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed serious concerns about satellite images showing the deployment by China of surface-to-air missile batteries on a contested island in the Paracel chain. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea between nine countries of the region have persisted for decades. Recently, however, China’s massive land reclamation and infrastructure building projects on islands and reefs, as well as a growing militarization of disputes, have pushed international tensions up to a new level.

    #japon #chine #états-nis #pacifique #géostratégie #géopolitique


  • U.S. Was Right to Give China’s Navy the Boot - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-02/u-s-was-right-to-give-china-s-navy-the-boot

    By James Stavridis
    [ex-SACEUR]

    The vast annual military operation known as the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (simply #RIMPAC in Pentagon jargon) just concluded on the beaches of Southern California with a huge demonstration of an amphibious assault, which involves sending troops ashore from warships at sea — a highly complex maneuver whether D-Day or present day.

    The exercise is held every two years all over the Pacific Basin, and is the largest international maritime exercise in the world. It is globally regarded by naval officers as the Olympic Games of naval power. Run by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which is headquartered in Pearl Harbor, it normally includes warships and troops from every branch of the U.S. armed forces, and those of than 20 foreign nations.
    […]
    But this year, in a break with recent tradition, China was “disinvited” in May because of its militarization of a variety of artificial islands in the volatile #South_China_sea, where it is sending troops and setting up combat-aircraft, runways and missile systems. There was also a distinct undercurrent of opposition to China’s presence by the Donald Trump administration, which sensibly criticizes Beijing for trade practices and theft of intellectual property.

    While I’ve repeatedly criticized Trump for his dealings with allies and foes, cutting Beijing “out of the pattern” this year was the right decision. It deprived China of not only the chance to observe and learn about allied naval practices, but also of the prestige of engaging with the top navies in the world. The increasing involvement of India — the obvious strategic counterweight to China — as well as this year’s addition of Vietnam — a growing naval actor deeply concerned about Chinese dominance in the South China Sea — sends a powerful signal.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • China holds missile drills in #South_China_Sea amid heightened tension | World | Reuters
    https://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN1JB0C9

    China’s navy carried out drills in the South China Sea to simulate fending off an aerial attack, state media said on Friday, as the country trades barbs with the United States over responsibility for heightened tension in the disputed waterway.
    […]
    China’s navy carried out a simulated missile attack in an unspecified area of the South China Sea using three target drones making flyovers of a ship formation at varying heights, the official army newspaper said.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • “South Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea were omitted” ...

    Gap apologizes after Chinese netizens slam it for T-shirt with incomplete China map - Global Times

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1102187.shtml

    US apparel company Gap apologized and vowed a more “rigorous reviews in the future” after one of its T-shirts was found with an incomplete map of China and sparked outrage among Chinese netizens on Monday.

    “Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. We’ve learned a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error,” read a statement sent to the Global Times by Gap on Monday.

    #chine #frontières #territoires #représentation #chantage (qui marche)


  • Exclusive: U.S. warships sail near South China Sea islands claimed by Beijing | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-military-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-warships-sail-near-south-china-sea-islands-claimed-by-beijing

    Two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, two U.S. officials told Reuters, in a move that drew condemnation from Beijing as President Donald Trump seeks its continued cooperation on North Korea.
    […]
    The U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Higgins guided-missile destroyer and the Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, came within 12 nautical miles of the #Paracel_Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

    The U.S. military vessels carried out maneuvering operations near Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody islands in the Paracels, one of the officials said.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale #Îles_Paracels
    #FoN #Freedom_of_Navigation

    USS Antietam, CG-54 (croiseur lance-missiles)
    USS Higgins, DDG-76 (destroyer lance-missiles)


  • China Sends Military Plane to Third #South_China_Sea Airstrip - Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-10/china-deploys-military-plane-to-third-south-china-sea-airstrip


    Subi Reef in the South China Sea.
    Source: DigitalGlobe via Getty Images.

    China has landed a military plane on the last of its three airstrips in the disputed South China Sea, a Washington-based research institution said, amid renewed complaints about the country expanding its military presence in the busy shipping lane.

    The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said satellite images from April 28 showed the first confirmed deployment of a military aircraft — a Shaanxi Y-8 transport plane — on #Subi_Reef. The structure hosts one of three runways China has built as part of a massive dredging and reclamation operation in the Spratlys chain since 2013, and was the last of three where military aircraft had been observed.

    This should be particularly concerning to the Philippines,” AMTI, a unit of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said on its website. About 100 Philippine civilians and a small military garrison are stationed on the Thitu islet, about 12 nautical miles away from Subi.

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it wasn’t aware of situation described by AMTI. “China’s peaceful construction activities on the #Spratly_Islands, including the deployment of necessary homeland defense facilities, is necessary to protect sovereignty and national security,” the ministry said in an emailed response to questions. “It is an absolute right a sovereign country enjoys and it doesn’t target any country.”

    #Spratleys #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • China installs cruise missiles on South China Sea outposts: CNBC | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china-missiles/china-installs-cruise-missiles-on-south-china-sea-outposts-cnbc-report-idUS


    FILE PHOTO: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Fiery Cross Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015.
    U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters/File Photo

    China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea, U.S. news network CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing sources with direct knowledge of U.S. intelligence reports.

    The installations, if confirmed, would mark the first Chinese missile deployments in the Spratly Islands, where several Asian countries including Vietnam and Taiwan have rival claims.

    China has made no mention of any missile deployments but says its military facilities in the #Spratlys are purely defensive, and that it can do what it likes on its own territory.
    […]
    CNBC quoted unnamed sources as saying that according to U.S. intelligence assessments, the missiles were moved to Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef within the past 30 days.

    #mer_de_Chine_méridionale
    #Spratleys


  • Vietnam halts South China Sea oil drilling project under pressure from Beijing
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-vietnam/vietnam-scraps-south-china-sea-oil-drilling-project-under-pressure-from-bei


    le bloc 07/03 dans le bassin de Nam Con Son

    Vietnam has halted an oil drilling project in the “Red Emperor” block off its southeastern coast licensed to Spanish energy firm #Repsol following pressure from China, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Friday.

    It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to suspend a major oil development in the busy #South_China_Sea waterway under pressure from China.
    […]
    #Red_Emperor, known in Vietnamese as the #Ca_Rong_Do field, is part of Block 07/03 in the #Nam_Con_Son basin, 440 km (273 miles) off the coast of Vietnam’s southern city of Vung Tau.

    The $1-billion field of moderate size by international standards is seen as a key asset to help slow the decline of Vietnam’s stalling oil and gas production.

    But the block lies near the U-shaped “#nine-dash_line ” that marks the vast area that China claims in the sea and overlaps what it says are its own oil concessions.

    Located in waters around 350 metres (1,148 ft) deep, it is considered to be profitable from around $60 per barrel. Current Brent crude oil prices are almost $70 per barrel.

    On est très très bas, dans la #mer_de_Chine_méridionale, mais trop proche de la #ligne_en_neuf_traits

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligne_en_neuf_traits
    #langue_de_bœuf #Đường_lưỡi_bò

    #Cá_Rồng_Đỏ
    cf. https://seenthis.net/messages/617802 (avec autre carte)


  • Exclusive: U.S. Warship Sails Near Disputed South China Sea Island, Officials Say - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/03/23/world/asia/23reuters-usa-china-southchinasea.html


    Guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG-89) transits the Philippine Sea on March 14, 2018.
    US Navy photo.

    A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a “#freedom_of_navigation ” operation on Friday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters.

    The operation, which infuriated Beijing, was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as China’s efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters.

    The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the destroyer _Mustin traveled close to #Mischief_Reef in the #Spratly Islands and carried out maneuvering operations. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.

    #Mer_de_Chine_Méridionale
    #Spratleys
    #FoN


  • Suspected Chinese #Cyber_Espionage Group Observed Targeting U.S. Maritime Industry – gCaptain
    http://gcaptain.com/suspected-chinese-cyber-espionage-group-observed-targeting-u-s-maritime-in

    #FireEye, a leading cybersecurity company, released new research on Friday shedding light on activity from suspected Chinese cyber espionage group, dubbed #TEMP.Periscope, targeting U.S. engineering and maritime industries.

    Since at least early 2018, FireEye has observed an ongoing wave of intrusions suspected to be from TEMP.Periscope, the company said. These intrusions have primarily targeted engineering and maritime entities, especially those connected to #South_China_Sea issues.

    TEMP.Periscope, which has been active since at least 2013, has primarily focused on maritime-related targets across multiple verticals including engineering firms, shipping and transportation, manufacturing, defense, government offices, and research universities.

    Identified victims were mostly found in the United States, although organizations in Europe and at least one in Hong Kong have also been affected.

    According to FireEye, TEMP.Periscope had gone quiet just like many other Chinese groups after the Obama-Xi agreement in late 2015. However, the group was observed resurfacing in the summer of 2017, and it has been particularly active since this past February.

    The organizations targeted by TEMP.Periscope have a connection to the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea,” said Fred Plan, Senior Analyst at FireEye. “They or their customers are involved in military and defense, or the shipping business, or they are developing technologies that would be advantageous to the defense industry or governments in the region. Because of the group’s tendency to target engineering organizations we believe the group is seeking technical data that can help inform strategic decision-making. Hypothetically, this could be used to answer questions like ‘what is the range and effectiveness of this marine radar system?’ or ‘how precisely can a system detect and identify activities at sea?’

    #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale


  • Britain to sail warship through disputed South China Sea | UK news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/13/britain-to-sail-warship-through-disputed-south-china-sea

    A British warship will sail from Australia through the disputed South China Sea next month to assert freedom of navigation rights, the UK’s defence secretary said on Tuesday in a move likely to irk Beijing.

    China claims nearly all of the resource-rich waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them.

    Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said HMS Sutherland, an anti-submarine frigate, would arrive in Australia later this week.

    She’ll be sailing through the South China Sea (on the way home) and making it clear our navy has a right to do that,” he told The Australian newspaper after a two-day visit to Sydney and Canberra.

    He would not say whether the frigate would sail within 12 nautical miles of a disputed territory or artificial island built by the Chinese, as US ships have done.

    But he said: “We absolutely support the US approach on this, we very much support what the US has been doing.


  • EXCLUSIVE: New photos show China is nearly done with its militarization of South China Sea | INQUIRER.net
    http://www.inquirer.net/specials/exclusive-china-militarization-south-china-sea

    Aerial photographs obtained by Inquirer.net from a source show that China is almost finished transforming seven reefs claimed by the Philippines in the Spratly archipelago into island fortresses, in a bid to dominate the heavily disputed South China Sea.

    Most of the photos, taken between June and December 2017, were snapped from an altitude of 1,500 meters and they showed the reefs that had been transformed into artificial islands in the final stages of development as air and naval bases.

    Shown the photographs, Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., the former mayor of Kalayaan town on Pag-asa Island, the largest Philippine-occupied island in the Spratlys and internationally known as Thitu Island, recognized new facilities on the man-made isles.

    ‘Photos are authentic’

    Bito-onon saw the construction going on when he flew over the islands with foreign journalists nearly two years ago.

    “These photos are authentic. I flew with HBO before the elections in 2016. We got repeated warnings from the Chinese because we were circling over the islands. I see there are now additional vertical features,” Bito-onon said.

    With its construction unrestrained, China will soon have military bastions on Kagitingan Reef, known internationally as Fiery Cross Reef; Calderon (Cuarteron), Burgos (Gaven), Mabini (Johnson South), Panganiban (Mischief), Zamora (Subi) and McKennan (Hughes) reefs from which to project its power throughout the region.


  • China says U.S. warship violated its South China Sea sovereignty
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-us-sovereignty/china-accuses-u-s-warship-of-violating-its-sovereignty-idUSKBN1F9088

    A U.S. Navy destroyer this week sailed near the #Scarborough_Shoal, a disputed lagoon claimed by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Saturday, and Beijing vowed to take “necessary measures” to protect what it said was its sovereignty.

    China’s foreign ministry said USS Hopper missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles off #Huangyan_island, better known as the Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States.

    Et donc, les marronniers :
    #Mer_de_Chine_méridionale
    #freedom_of_navigation #FoN
    #innocent_passage #passage_inoffensif
    et tout le toutim…


  • How much trade transits the South China Sea? | ChinaPower Project

    https://chinapower.csis.org/much-trade-transits-south-china-sea

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that roughly 80 percent of global trade by volume and 70 percent by value is transported by sea. Of that volume, 60 percent of maritime trade passes through Asia, with the South China Sea carrying an estimated one-third of global shipping.1 Its waters are particularly critical for China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, all of which rely on the Strait of Malacca, which connects the South China Sea and, by extension, the Pacific Ocean with the Indian Ocean. As the second-largest economy in the world with over 60 percent of its trade in value traveling by sea, China’s economic security is closely tied to the South China Sea.

    #chine #transport #transport_maritime #commerce_mondial


  • Hayley’s Fantasy Island: US Representative to UN Served by Russian Pranksters
    https://sputniknews.com/viral/201712231060270869-us-ambassador-geography-knowledge

    When the pranksters told Haley that the country recently proclaimed independence and that the Russians have meddled in the elections held there she immediately replied “of course they did!” The ambassador also stated that the US is aware of the situation that it will continue to monitor it closely just as Washington deals with all issues “that keep coming up in the South China Sea.”

    #binomo