Lawfare's weekly roundup of the latest news, analysis, and opinions related to ongoing tensions in the South and East China Seas.
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Just weeks after China’s roll-out of the world’s largest deep sea offshore platform, further developments in China’s exploration efforts affirm the country’s intent to explore the South China Sea’s oil and gas resources, and promise to add fuel to the region’s already simmering tensions.
The Trump administration this week dispatched Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to send an unequivocal message that China cannot use its military or economic might to coerce other South China Sea claimants.
Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion surveillance plane in international airspace southeast of Hong Kong last Wednesday, less than a week after a similar intercept of a WC-135 Constant Phoenix radiation detection aircraft.
This week, the United States navy carried out what may be its first Freedom of Navigation Exercises (FONOPs) in the South China Sea since President Trump took office, just a few days after a close encounter between American and Chinese aircraft.
With the United States embroiled in controversy, China continues to make moves on several fronts to broaden its influence in the South China Sea and in Asia more broadly.
This week, American officials sought to allay concerns that Washington is failing to address China’s activities in the South China Sea, which have showed no signs of slowing.
The annual ASEAN Summit wrapped up in Manila on Saturday, and the official closing statement notably failed to mention the UNCLOS arbitration ruling last year or China’s ongoing land reclamation and militarization activities in the South China Sea.
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces General Eduardo Año made an unexpected visit last Friday to the disputed South China Sea island of Pag-Asa, also known as Thitu.