Friday, June 29, 2012

South China Sea in real time straights

UPDATE 1-China starts "combat ready" patrols in disputed seas
China has begun combat-ready patrols in the waters around a disputed group of islands in the South China Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest escalation in tension over the potentially resource-rich area.

"In order to protect national sovereignty and our security and development interests, the Chinese military has already set up a normal, combat-ready patrol system in seas under our control," he said.

"The Chinese military's resolve and will to defend territorial sovereignty and protect our maritime rights and interests is firm and unshakeable," Geng added, according to a transcript on the ministry's website (www.mod.gov.cn) of comments at a briefing.

He did not elaborate. The ministry does not allow foreign reporters to attend its monthly briefings.

Philippines says Chinese boats have returned to disputed lagoon despite agreement

China pledges to protect maritime sovereignty
The US is beefing up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Deliberately highlighting the military and security agenda and deploying more military forces in the Asia-Pacific "go against the global pursuit of peace, development and cooperation, as well as trust among nations in the region", Zhang Junshe, deputy director of the Naval Military Studies Research Institute said.

Loose cannons and stormy skies
The arrival of the USS Louisville comes just weeks after another US attack submarine, the USS North Carolina, made a port call at the same Philippine naval base. The high-profile dockings have been billed as part of the US's plan to host more rotating American naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

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