News / Asia

Chinese Naval Fleet Heads Deep Into Disputed Waters

Chinese Navy warships take part in an international fleet review, April 23, 2009.
Chinese Navy warships take part in an international fleet review, April 23, 2009.
Simone Orendain
A small fleet of Chinese naval ships recently concluded drills in a disputed part of the South China Sea, some 80 kilometers from Malaysia’s shores. The People’s Liberation Army’s naval foray so far south is a first in recent memory.
 
The fleet of four ships headed to the Spratly Islands and made their way to James Shoal - less than 100 kilometers from Malaysia - to carry out their drills. The fleet included two guided missile frigates and a guided missile destroyer.  The Xinhua news agency says the vessels did formation exercises with some land-based aircraft, which were fighters and fighter-bombers.
 
Ian Storey of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies says the number of ships involved was “not significant.” 
 
“This, again, is designed to send a message that China has the capabilities to operate far from the mainland and also to land forces and retake these islands in order to resolve the dispute, should it so wish to do so,” Storey said.
 
Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
x
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Resources are at the heart of the disputes over sovereignty of the South China Sea.  The area is an abundant fishing location and is believed to hold significant hydrocarbon deposits.  It also straddles some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. China, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan all have total or partial claims there.
                                                                                      
James Shoal is almost 2,000 kilometers south of Guangzhou province.  And it is about 100 kilometers from Brunei.  But historically Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan have been more vocal that Malaysia and Brunei in opposing the presence of Chinese ships in waters each nation claims.
 
When these exercises first commenced, the Philippines said it “strongly objected” to the presence of Chinese military ships in waters where it has claims.
 
Storey says he expects Malaysia and Brunei will keep quiet about these exercises.  And he says it is no coincidence that PLA ships were near Brunei, which is chairing all meetings this year of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
 
Rommel Banlaoi heads the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research.  He also pointed out the significant role Brunei will play at next month’s ASEAN security forum.
 
“I think China is conveying a message to ASEAN that China is not only asserting its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, but testing its military capability to defend their territorial claims,” Banlaoi said.
 
Banlaoi says the disputes are high on the agenda at the April meeting. 
 
While some member countries like the Philippines prefer to deal with the disputes with the involvement of the international community, China has steadfastly sought one-on-one talks with each claimant country.
 
On Thursday, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei again reiterated China’s position on the South China Sea.
 
Hong says, China has played an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea and that it is exercising its inherent right by holding these drills.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ching from: China
March 28, 2013 10:01 PM
Bejing is making enemy with their neigbors. They show off their strength with the disable. What's a shame!


by: SEATO
March 28, 2013 3:55 PM
Where is America's 7th fleet? Too scared to show your face? How could you call yourselves an Asia-pacific superpower when you let the Chinese fleet roam freely through South China sea,terrorising the whole region.America showed its untrustworthiness when it betrayed its South Vietnamese allies and let the Chinese grab the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam right under their noses in 1974.

The following year they left South Vietnam to be overrun by the North Vietnamese without making any effort to help.If you are not serious,you might as well let Japan run the show.I am sure with Japan at the helm,China would have to think twice before they attempt anything adventurous !


by: musawimelake
March 28, 2013 1:46 PM
They should proceed further and take over Malaka starit and police the water further , to hinder any American influence in the Bay of Bengal.

In Response

by: Senkaku from: South China Sea
March 28, 2013 5:16 PM
Ridiculous. Like Taiwan, Hainan should be its own sovereign nation. All those little islands belong to other people. China should only do what it does best: manufacture disposable plastic goods, and keep off the seas.


by: Hovhannes from: Montevideo
March 28, 2013 10:44 AM
China has played an important role in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea? Mr. Hong must be joking. The People’s Liberation Army’s naval foray so far south is actually raising tensions in the South China Sea.

In Response

by: Anonymous
March 31, 2013 5:37 PM
I can't agree more.Mr Hong Lei is just a parrot who does not know what the heck he talks about.In order to maintain peace and stability in the region,China firstly has to renounce all its stupid and unreasonable territorial claims.Secondly,it has to scrap its weapon modernisation programs to make its neighbours less nervous.And lastly,learn to show respects for all the treasured human values such as freedom of expressions,religious belief,intellectual property and territorial integrity

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid