News / Asia

    China Patrol Ship Heads to Tense South China Sea

    Protesters shout slogans during a rally outside the Chinese Consulate at financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines to protest alleged Chinese government's alleged military incursions into the disputed Spratly group of islands in the S
    Protesters shout slogans during a rally outside the Chinese Consulate at financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines to protest alleged Chinese government's alleged military incursions into the disputed Spratly group of islands in the S

    One of China’s largest civilian patrol ships is crossing through the South China Sea, where tensions are heightened because of territorial disputes over islands believed to sit on top of huge oil and gas deposits.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Haixun 31 has already left from its home base in southern Guangdong province.

    He said it is heading to Singapore on what he described as a regular visit.

    Disputes in the South China Sea

    1988, March - China sinks three Vietnamese vessels near the Spratly Islands, killing more than 70 Vietnamese.

    1991 - China passes the Law on Territorial Waters and Their Contiguous Areas, laying out its claim to territorial sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

    1995, 1999 - The Philippines discovers Chinese constructions on Mischief Reef, an island located in the Spratly Island chain. Despite efforts to resolve the dispute, more structures are found on the reef in 1999. Manila says the structures are a military installation while Beijing says they are for fishermen.

    2002 - China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations sign a non-binding Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

    2009, March – Chinese ships and fishermen harass a U.S. naval vessel in the South China Sea. According to the Pentagon, the Chinese vessels harassed the Impeccable, about 120 kilometers off Hainan island, south of China.

    2011, May – Chinese vessels cut an exploration cable on a Vietnamese oil survey ship in waters, within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.

    2011, June - The Philippines complains that Chinese ships offloaded building materials and erected marker posts on reefs to the west of its island of Palawan, within Manila's exclusive economic zone.

    The voyage marks the first time Chinese authorities have sent a large patrol boat to visit a foreign country, although other nations routinely carry-out such missions as a way to improve relations.

    The route to Singapore is expected to take the Haixun 31 near areas in which similar Chinese patrol boats were involved in recent incidents that raised tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam.

    The main territorial dispute in the South China Sea involves the Spratly Islands, which are near key shipping lanes and are believed to sit on top of huge deposits of oil and gas.

    China’s claims to the islands overlap with claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

    China in recent weeks has traded heated words about the maritime dispute with the Philippines and Vietnam. Earlier this week Hanoi held live-fire naval exercises.

    Chinese media reports about the patrol ship did not specifically mention territorial disputes.  But they did emphasize that the voyage is aimed at demonstrating Beijing’s resolve to defend its territorial claims.

    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has largely pushed a multilateral solution to the Spratly dispute.

    The Chinese spokesman indicated his country still prefers to deal with each claimant individually.

    He says China wants to resolve South China Sea disputes through direct negotiations and is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.  He said this position will, in his words, never change.

    Legislation in the U.S. Congress condemns China for its aggressive actions in the South China Sea, and urges a peaceful, multilateral, resolution.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora