Operation Temperer activated

In the wake of the horror of the brutal terrorism attack at a teeny-bop pop concert in Manchester on Sunday evening where 22 persons dead and 59 others injured, some critical which include children, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Operation Temperer be activated.

The Independent story:

Theresa May upgrades terrorist threat level to ‘critical’ and puts soldiers on streets

‘It is a possibility that we cannot ignore, that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,’ PM says

The Independent Online

Theresa May has announced the terror threat level in the UK is being raised to “critical” and soldiers will now be deployed on the streets to protect key sites, in a significant escalation of the policing response following the Manchester attack.

The Prime Minister said that police in Manchester were working to establish whether or not arena bomber Salman Abedi, 22, was working alone.

However, she added: “The work undertaken throughout the day has revealed that it is a possibility that we cannot ignore, that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack.”

The threat level has been raised “for the time being”, meaning “a further attack may be imminent”, she said.

In a live address, Ms May said: “The change in the threat level means that there will be additional resources and support made available to the police as they work to keep us all safe.

“As a result of [the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre’s] decision the police have asked for authorisation from the Secretary of State for Defence to deploy a number of armed military personnel in support of their armed officers.

“This request is part of a well-established plan known as Operation Tempora in which both the armed forces and the police officers involved are well-trained and well-prepared to work in this kind of environment.

“The Secretary of State for Defence has approved this request and Operation Tempora is now in force.

“This means that armed police officers responsible for duties such as guarding key sites will be replaced by members of the armed forces, which will allow the police to significantly increase the number of armed officers on patrol in key locations.

“You might also see military personnel deployed at certain events such as concerts and sports matches, helping the police to keep the public safe.”

The UK’s terror threat level has been set at “severe” for some time.

The last time it reached “critical” was in 2007.

**************

The ITV story:

  1. ITV REPORT
  2. 23 May 2017 at 9:43pm

PM Theresa May raises UK threat level to ‘critical’

The UK’s terror threat level has been raised from severe to critical, meaning a terrorist attack is considered imminent.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the sombre announcement in a live television statement from Downing Street.

The move comes because authorities have been unable to say for certain that the perpetrator of the Manchester Arena attack, in which 22 people were killed and 59 others injured, was working alone.

“It is a possibility that we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack,” Mrs May said.

Raising the level to critical means that military personnel could be deployed to support armed police officers – part of a plan known as Operation Temperer.

“The change in the threat level means there will be additional support available to the police as they work to keep us safe,” she said.

“Operation Temperer is now in force.”

The UK’s international terrorism threat level is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), based in MI5 headquarters in London.

****************

Operation Temperer is designed for British Army to be armed and involved in the deployment for security and patrol in civilian area, to complement armed British Police in the event of critical threat of terrorism attack is eminent.

Armed military presence with assets such as mechanised infantry fighting vehicles and light tanks would be felt. It is the most drastic response to establish feeling of blanket of security provided for people to continue in their daily life.

Prime Minister May isn’t a leader without deep understanding of security matters. She was Secretary of State for Home Affairs under Prime Minister David Blair for six years.

By default of her being in Cabinet since May 2010, Prime Minister May has been privileged to sensitive matters pertaining to security. Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBRA) meetings is where key personnel pertaining to defense and security matter discuss information and advise on course of action.

Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the Manchester attack as described by Prime Minister May as “Appalling, sickening cowardice, deliberately targeting innocent and defenceless you people who should be enjoying a memorable night of their lives”.

The ongoing campaign for early June general election has been suspended. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn joined Prime Minister May in Britain’s darkest moment since the London bus attack almost twelve years ago and condemned the mad cowardice attack on innocent civilian.

World leaders expressed their sorrow and dismay for the horror of such atrocious violence. IS terrorists have been mounting similar attacks against French civilian establishment the past two years.

Advertisements
Published in: on May 24, 2017 at 05:00  Leave a Comment  

Lessons from Paracels XXXI: Panda-monium Gambit

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte should seriously consider China’s resolve to get what the new bully-in-the-block desire, ahead of his own domestic politics.

Reuters story:

Duterte says China’s Xi threatened war if Philippines drills for oil

By Manuel Mogato | MANILA

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea.

In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines.

Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning.

“We intend to drill oil there, if it’s yours, well, that’s your view, but my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours,” Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

“His response to me, ‘we’re friends, we don’t want to quarrel with you, we want to maintain the presence of warm relationship, but if you force the issue, we’ll go to war.”

Duterte has long expressed his admiration for Xi and said he would raise the arbitration ruling with him eventually, but needed first to strengthen relations between the two countries, which the Philippines is hoping will yield billions of dollars in Chinese loans and infrastructure investments.

The Hague award clarifies Philippine sovereign rights in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone to access offshore oil and gas fields, including the Reed Bank, 85 nautical miles off its coast.

It also invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim on its maps denoting sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.

Duterte has a reputation for his candid, at times incendiary, remarks and his office typically backpeddles on his behalf and blames the media for distorting his most controversial comments.

Duterte recalled the same story about his discussion with Xi on oil exploration in a recorded television show aired moments after the speech.

He said Xi told him “do not touch it”.

He said Xi had promised that the arbitration ruling would be discussed in future, but not now.

Duterte said China did not want to bring up the arbitral ruling at a time when other claimant countries, like Vietnam, might also decide to file cases against it at the arbitration tribunal.

It was not the first time the firebrand leader has publicly discussed the content of private meetings with other world leaders.

His remarks came the same day that China and the Philippines held their first session in a two-way consultation process on the South China Sea.

They exchanged views on “the importance of appropriately handling concerns, incidents and disputes involving the South China Sea”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that gave few details.

(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Martin Petty)

************

President Duterte should be mindful of China’s hard handedness on security and defense. Energy, if of China’s priority in a nation of 1.3 billion people and within two decades, would be the largest economy in the world.

Perhaps he should consider a more diplomatic approach and not risk getting a threat from the President of China. It would worse mistake to openly share on a privacy of the two Asian leaders’ conversation.

It is not clear what President Duterte was trying to achieve.

If in his mind, getting the global attention by going public with his exchange of words with President Xi Jinping and thus attempting to get the international backing in the attempt to reign in the latest addition of world super power, then President Duterte is wrong.

It is unlikely any other super power would stand up for the Philippines if there is a physical conflict with China. Not even the Phillippines’ status one time as part of United States commonwealth.

The Philippines and China recent stand off on the matter of Scarborough Shoal which is part of the disputed area under the latter’s unsubstantiated claim of ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ saw the former not able getting issues resolved.

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

China unilaterally turned its back on the decision made by the ICJ, after the Philippines took their complaint to the Hague.

The People Liberation Army (PLA) has been modernising since the late 80s and embarked on a more rapid modernisation especially the PLA Navy (PLA-N) since the mid 1990s, in line with the aggressive economic growth embarked under Deng Xiao Ping.

The increased PLA-N capability enabled China to do continuous projection of force in the region, especially in South China Sea where the unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ claim was first laid by the Kuomintang Republic of China Government in 1948.

When the communist under Mao Zedong defeated the Kuomintang under Gen. Chiang Kai-Shek in 1949, the claim was recognised and follow through. China did not aggressively pursuit the claim with military till 2008, though the invasion of the Paracels which happened in 1974.

The latest development in the execution of twenty Langley agents proven China’s resolve for security matters.

New York Times story:

Photo

An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last month. The Chinese government killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 C.I.A sources from 2010 through 2012. CreditWang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A.

Still others were put in jail. All told, the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the C.I.A.’s sources in China, according to two former senior American officials, effectively unraveling a network that had taken years to build.

Assessing the fallout from an exposed spy operation can be difficult, but the episode was considered particularly damaging. The number of American assets lost in China, officials said, rivaled those lost in the Soviet Union and Russia during the betrayals of both Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., who divulged intelligence operations to Moscow for years.

The previously unreported episode shows how successful the Chinese were in disrupting American spying efforts and stealing secrets years before a well-publicized breach in 2015 gave Beijing access to thousands of government personnel records, including intelligence contractors. The C.I.A. considers spying in China one of its top priorities, but the country’s extensive security apparatus makes it exceptionally hard for Western spy services to develop sources there.

At a time when the C.I.A. is trying to figure out how some of its most sensitive documents were leaked onto the internet two months ago by WikiLeaks, and the F.B.I. investigates possible ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, the unsettled nature of the China investigation demonstrates the difficulty of conducting counterespionage investigations into sophisticated spy services like those in Russia and China.

The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. both declined to comment.

Details about the investigation have been tightly held. Ten current and former American officials described the investigation on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing the information.

Photo

Investigators still disagree how it happened, but the unsettled nature of the China investigation demonstrates the difficulty of conducting counterespionage investigations into sophisticated spy services.CreditCarolyn Kaster/Associated Press..

The first signs of trouble emerged in 2010. At the time, the quality of the C.I.A.’s information about the inner workings of the Chinese government was the best it had been for years, the result of recruiting sources deep inside the bureaucracy in Beijing, four former officials said. Some were Chinese nationals who the C.I.A. believed had become disillusioned with the Chinese government’s corruption.

But by the end of the year, the flow of information began to dry up. By early 2011, senior agency officers realized they had a problem: Assets in China, one of their most precious resources, were disappearing.

The F.B.I. and the C.I.A. opened a joint investigation run by top counterintelligence officials at both agencies. Working out of a secret office in Northern Virginia, they began analyzing every operation being run in Beijing. One former senior American official said the investigation had been code-named Honey Badger.

As more and more sources vanished, the operation took on increased urgency. Nearly every employee at the American Embassy was scrutinized, no matter how high ranking. Some investigators believed the Chinese had cracked the encrypted method that the C.I.A. used to communicate with its assets. Others suspected a traitor in the C.I.A., a theory that agency officials were at first reluctant to embrace — and that some in both agencies still do not believe.

Their debates were punctuated with macabre phone calls — “We lost another one” — and urgent questions from the Obama administration wondering why intelligence about the Chinese had slowed.

The mole hunt eventually zeroed in on a former agency operative who had worked in the C.I.A.’s division overseeing China, believing he was most likely responsible for the crippling disclosures. But efforts to gather enough evidence to arrest him failed, and he is now living in another Asian country, current and former officials said.

There was good reason to suspect an insider, some former officials say. Around that time, Chinese spies compromised National Security Agency surveillance in Taiwan — an island Beijing claims is part of China — by infiltrating Taiwanese intelligence, an American partner, according to two former officials. And the C.I.A. had discovered Chinese operatives in the agency’s hiring pipeline, according to officials and court documents.

But the C.I.A.’s top spy hunter, Mark Kelton, resisted the mole theory, at least initially, former officials say. Mr. Kelton had been close friends with Brian J. Kelley, a C.I.A. officer who in the 1990s was wrongly suspected by the F.B.I. of being a Russian spy. The real traitor, it turned out, was Mr. Hanssen. Mr. Kelton often mentioned Mr. Kelley’s mistreatment in meetings during the China episode, former colleagues say, and said he would not accuse someone without ironclad evidence.

Those who rejected the mole theory attributed the losses to sloppy American tradecraft at a time when the Chinese were becoming better at monitoring American espionage activities in the country. Some F.B.I. agents became convinced that C.I.A. handlers in Beijing too often traveled the same routes to the same meeting points, which would have helped China’s vast surveillance network identify the spies in its midst.

Some officers met their sources at a restaurant where Chinese agents had planted listening devices, former officials said, and even the waiters worked for Chinese intelligence.

This carelessness, coupled with the possibility that the Chinese had hacked the covert communications channel, would explain many, if not all, of the disappearances and deaths, some former officials said. Some in the agency, particularly those who had helped build the spy network, resisted this theory and believed they had been caught in the middle of a turf war within the C.I.A.

Still, the Chinese picked off more and more of the agency’s spies, continuing through 2011 and into 2012. As investigators narrowed the list of suspects with access to the information, they started focusing on a Chinese-American who had left the C.I.A. shortly before the intelligence losses began. Some investigators believed he had become disgruntled and had begun spying for China. One official said the man had access to the identities of C.I.A. informants and fit all the indicators on a matrix used to identify espionage threats.

After leaving the C.I.A., the man decided to remain in Asia with his family and pursue a business opportunity, which some officials suspect that Chinese intelligence agents had arranged.

Officials said the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. lured the man back to the United States around 2012 with a ruse about a possible contract with the agency, an arrangement common among former officers. Agents questioned the man, asking why he had decided to stay in Asia, concerned that he possessed a number of secrets that would be valuable to the Chinese. It’s not clear whether agents confronted the man about whether he had spied for China.

The man defended his reasons for living in Asia and did not admit any wrongdoing, an official said. He then returned to Asia.

By 2013, the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. concluded that China’s success in identifying C.I.A. agents had been blunted — it is not clear how — but the damage had been done.

The C.I.A. has tried to rebuild its network of spies in China, officials said, an expensive and time-consuming effort led at one time by the former chief of the East Asia Division. A former intelligence official said the former chief was particularly bitter because he had worked with the suspected mole and recruited some of the spies in China who were ultimately executed.

China has been particularly aggressive in its espionage in recent years, beyond the breach of the Office of Personnel Management records in 2015, American officials said. Last year, an F.B.I. employee pleaded guilty to acting as a Chinese agent for years, passing sensitive technology information to Beijing in exchange for cash, lavish hotel rooms during foreign travel and prostitutes.

In March, prosecutors announced the arrest of a longtime State Department employee, Candace Marie Claiborne, accused of lying to investigators about her contacts with Chinese officials. According to the criminal complaint against Ms. Claiborne, who pleaded not guilty, Chinese agents wired cash into her bank account and showered her with gifts that included an iPhone, a laptop and tuition at a Chinese fashion school. In addition, according to the complaint, she received a fully furnished apartment and a stipend.

****************

As such, the Philippines Foreign Minister Alan Cayetano was quick to downplay President Dueterte’s revelation in the latter’s recent visit to Beijing.

“There was no language or even tone that would lead any of the two Presidents to believe that the was any disrespect to them or their country”.

Reuters story:

China War Talk Not Serious, Philippine Foreign Minister Says

May 22, 2017, 2:01 PM GMT+8 May 22, 2017, 4:40 PM GMT+8
  • President Duterte claimed China’s Xi threatened war at meeting
  • ‘We hate the sin but we love the sinner’: Cayetano on China

China’s President Xi Jinping wasn’t trying to bully the Philippines at a recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to the Southeast Asian nation’s top diplomat.

In a speech last Friday, Duterte said Xi had threatened to go to war with the Philippines after Duterte expressed an intention to drill for oil in the disputed South China Sea.

“It is but natural that when you talk about peace and you talk about conflict that the word ‘war’ may or may not come up,” new Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said at a televised briefing in Manila on Monday. “My interpretation of the meeting is that there was no bullying or pushing around.”

Since taking power last year, Duterte has sought to improve ties with China while deflecting criticism at home that he’s failed to assert Philippine claims to disputed territory. China’s claim to more than 80 percent of the South China Sea has prevented the Philippines and Vietnam from exploring valuable oil and gas deposits.

An international court ruled last July that China had no historic rights to resources in waters claimed by the Philippines in a case brought by Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino. Duterte has sought to put the ruling aside in his dealings with China, which has ignored the ruling. That stance has won Duterte $24 billion in loan and investment pledges from China.

‘Common Development’

Cayetano said Duterte only disclosed details of the meeting with Xi because he was “being barraged with comments with what he should do.” He added that the Philippines won’t form a military alliance with China, nor would it try to raise emotions against the Chinese.

“I hate the fact that China is claiming part of the territory of the Philippines but I love the Chinese,” Cayetano said in a speech during a flag-raising ceremony in Manila on Monday. “Why? Because we hate the sin but we love the sinner.”

Without specifying when or where his meeting with the Chinese president took place, Duterte said Xi had threatened to go to war with the Philippines after Duterte asserted his nation’s sovereignty over the South China Sea by citing last year’s arbitration tribunal ruling upholding the Philippine claim.

“Well, if you force this, we’ll be forced to tell you the truth. We will go to war. We will fight you,” Duterte quoted Xi as saying.

When asked to confirm Xi’s comments at a press briefing on Monday, China foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying referred reporters to Cayetano’s earlier remarks.

“We are committed to resolving the dispute with parties directly concerned, including the Philippines, through dialogue and negotiation,” Hua said. “Pending final settlement, we advocate shelving the dispute for common development.”

Officials from both countries agreed to discuss “mutually acceptable approaches” to South China Sea issues during a bilateral consultation in the Chinese city of Guiyang last Friday, according to a joint statement released by the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.

No Disrespect

Cayetano, who claimed to have been present at the meeting, said he couldn’t divulge the exact conversation between the two leaders but claimed it was meant to “increase mutual trust and respect.”

“There was no language or even tone that would lead any of the two presidents to believe that there was disrespect for them or their countries,” he said.

After hosting a meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders in Manila last month, Duterte said discussing China’s recent actions in the South China Sea would have been useless.

“For those who are peace loving just like me, I don’t want trouble,” Duterte said. “You have to be very careful. Whenever we talk about a buildup it would be useless. It would be useless except for fighting terrorism,” he said, adding that the Philippines intended to ask China for more help to develop its economy.

In a communique released after the summit, Asean welcomed “progress to complete a framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea” by the middle of this year, and recognized the long-term benefits of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.

**************

In the final analysis, it is only diplomacy left as the path of resolution for President Duterte to partake. China is very serious about its economic and trading power, in the recent power projection with the ‘One Belt, One Road’ global economic initiative.

China has agreed to enter into dialogue, to resolve the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ unsubstantiated unilateral claim.

The Document of Conduct (inked 2002)

Despite signing the Code of Conduct with ASEAN in November 2002 where it stated disputed matters amongst signatories should be resolved through dialogue and diplomatic means as per stated under the United Nations Combined Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS), handling China is a complex feat.

China would hold the dialogue on one-on-one basis against a multilateral discourse of parties involved in the disputed areas.

Published in: on May 22, 2017 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

The All-Malaysian Sabahan

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

A proud son of Sabah Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Panglima Anifah Aman is the best man for the job to hold fort for the nation through diplomacy and intricate bi-lateral discourse in the regionally complex geo-political game which inbuilt all the ingredients to go ugly.

At the moment, Foreign Minister Anifah is the United States to attend ASEAN-US dialogue with the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

NST story:

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will lead the Malaysian delegation in the Special Asean-US Foreign Ministers Meeting in Washington DC on May 4. Pix by NSTP/ABD. RAHIM RAHMAT

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman will lead the Malaysian delegation in the Special Asean-US Foreign Ministers Meeting in Washington DC on May 4.

The foreign ministers of all 10 Asean member states and the Asean Secretary-General are expected to attend the meeting with United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

The main agenda for the meeting will be on the US foreign policy towards Asean and the region, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

The special meeting is expected to provide the opportunity to review Asean and US relations apart from exchanging views on regional and international issues, among others.

A day before the special meeting, senior officials from the member states will also be taking part in the 30th Asean-US Dialogue.

According to the statement, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Asean-US dialogue relations.

The Asean foreign ministers are also slated to sit in on a High-Level Roundtable Forum which will be attended by the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security advisor H. R. McMaster.

The forum is organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Asean members are Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

It will be the first time Asean’s foreign ministers will meet with Tillerson since the latter assumed his role on February 1.

*************

The recently concluded ASEAN Summit in Manila failed to see a united region over disputed areas amongst member nations but also unified on China’s imaginary claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

The Diplomat story:

After Summit, ASEAN Remains Divided on South China Sea

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) wrapped up its annual summit in the Philippines on April 29. The regional bloc comprises 10 nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

ASEAN loyalties have been tested in recent years with the active encroachment of China in the South China Sea under the guise of its own nine-dash line maritime claim, despite the singing of a non-binding Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea in 2002 to discourage any hostile acts between ASEAN and China. All 12 nations agreed not to use threats or force to assert any territorial claims; however, China has built artificial islands in disputed areas, including several installations with potential military uses in the Spratly Islands.

In 2013 the Philippines sought clarification from the an arbitral tribunal as to whether China’s nine-dash line could negate the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), of which China is a signatory. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal concluded that China had no historic claim to resources to the sea areas falling within the nine-dash line.

However, at the ASEAN Summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the sitting chairman of ASEAN, said any discussion about the fortification of reclaimed islands in the South China Sea by China was useless, and that he did not seek any “trouble” with China. According to Duterte, the South China Seas issue was never raised during his discussions with the other ASEAN leaders, except for the prospect of a Code of Conduct to be released “at the very least by the end of this year.” The formulation of the code has been ongoing since 2010.

But some ASEAN parties doubt China’s sincerity toward the CoC. China refused to make binding the existing 2002 Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea. ASEAN secretary general and Vietnamese politician Le Luong Minh told Reuters the code needed to be legally binding to put a stop to “unilateral actions,” because a previous commitment to play fair had been ignored.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has proposed that states involved in the South China Sea disputes should engage in “concrete cooperation” before any code of conduct is developed.

Indonesia does not have any active, competing territorial claims with China over any part of the South China Sea, but the Indonesian archipelago does lay claim to EEZs in the resource-rich waters around its islands, and Asia’s third most populous nation has not hesitated to exercise its claims. Indonesia has often responded to incursions with the use of force. Indonesian navy patrol boats have fired upon encroaching Chinese fishing vessels and seized vessels have been sunk. Indonesia has also made plans to deploy extra warships, fighter jets, and surface-to-air missiles into the affected regions.

Knowing China’s preference for bilateral agreements with individual countries, Jokowi says that ASEAN needs to come to a common agreement internally before it can negotiate with China. One of the key issues preventing such unity has been the competing interests of member states, with the likes of Cambodia and Laos (neither of which border the South China Sea) often vetoing any directives that would be detrimental to China’s interests.

“I think we need to have a common stand. The most important is that ASEAN internally needs to have a mutual agreement on this issue,” said Jokowi in an interview with the South China Morning Post. “Then and only then can we communicate with China.”

****************

Foreign Minister Anifah professionalism as the nation’s top diplomat is unsurpassed. No other Minister at Wisma Putra held so many talks and discourse with contemporaries in various capacity, chair and forum.

An example is the agreement he achieved with China.

Foreign Minister Anifah Aman with his China counterpart Wang Yi

This is not withstanding that he is a Sabahan and his home state would be most affected if China eventually had their bullying ways on to the imaginary but contemptuous claim which now a major international, the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

The resolve of Sabahans as Malaysians is never tested worse than the unilateral claim by the Asian superpower, despite the non existence of legality for China to do so.

Perhaps for the rest of the nation ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ is about the threat on exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as per defined under United Nation Combined Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS), where the bulk of Malaysia’s hydrocarbon reserve is sited.

The second of important maritime route and hydrocarbon deposits within China’s unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

This is on top on the right of maritime passage, national defence and security and sovereignty of the Federation of Malaysia, all of which is strategic in nature.

It is also the matter of fishing and tourism, which would affect the ordinary Sabahans. Nature and wildlife is also endearing virtues of Sabahans, jealously protective of God’s gift to the state of biological treasury.

Anifah commands the respect of Sabahans of diverse political divide, when it is the matter of the interest of state and Sabahans. He is also proud to voice the interest of his state and fellow Sabahans, to the right ear, in the right tone, on the right forum.

The Star story:

Sunday, 7 August 2016 | MYT 12:58 PM

Anifah leading push to collect dues owed to Sabah

image: http://www.thestar.com.my/~/media/online/2016/08/07/05/01/aa2e8603.ashx/?w=620&h=413&crop=1&hash=B159414B85DEE6D960A2801F7C5AA62ACEBAE5BB

KOTA KINABALU: A group of Sabah leaders are pushing to collect whatever revenue and dues owed to the state by the federal government.

Leading the push is Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic) who is proposing the setting up of a panel of legal and financial experts to pursue the matter.

Anifah said on Sunday that the proposed Sabah Revenue Rights Technical Committee could comprise representatives from Sabah Attorney General’s Chambers as well as the state Finance Ministry.

Civil society leaders and those in the legal profession could also be invited to sit as members of the committee that would be tasked to come up with a report to be submitted to the Prime Minister, he said after hosting a luncheon meeting with a group of Sabah leaders here.

The meeting was held in the wake of the formation of the National Committee on Sabah and Sarawak’s Constitutional Rights.

The meeting was also aimed at gathering additional information regarding Sabah’s revenue rights under the Special Grants and Additional Revenue Rights provisions of the Federal Constitution.

In particular, Anifah said he sought input on Sabah’s existing revenue collection rights and obligations as specified under the Constitution.

‘We are not seeking a change to the Constitution. We are concerned only with following through on Sabah’s obligations in terms of revenue collection under the Federal Constitution with particular emphasis on past uncollected revenues,” he said.

“That is to say, what revenues should Sabah have collected already and how those same revenues can be collected today and in the future,” Anifah added.

Anifah said he was seeking advice and submissions on the question of Sabah’s constitutional revenue rights in respect of the state’s mutual and shared obligations with the federal government and the extent to which these obligations were mandatory.

“The Federal Constitution contains provisions which are designed to safeguard the rights of Sabah,” he said.

“These provisions also make it obligatory for Sabah to collect revenues from various sectors based on the Special Grants and Revenue Rights provisions of the Federal Constitution,” Anifah said.

“To achieve this, the federal government must play its part as these revenues are essential in developing an economically strong Sabah.  And a strong Sabah means an even stronger Malaysian Federation,” he added.

Among those present at the meeting were Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, former chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, retired civil servant Datuk Udin Dullah, former Petagas assemblyman Datuk James Ligunjang, medical practitioner Dr. Richard Barrow as well as lawyers Ansari Abdullah and Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/08/07/anifah-leading-push-to-collect-dues-owed-to-sabah/#3UMviQRpIw1A1uh7.99

**************

What Anifah achieved in the confine of the right series of discourse with Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and the Federal Government officials is not a matter for his own personal political agenda.

A member of His Majesty’s Cabinet who unfortunately has very limited time to spend on his constituency, let alone his home state, Anifah is a model Minister where the nation comes first.

It would not be surprising if a Second Deputy Prime Minister post is created and being filled by the Foreign Minister. It would complement the role of First Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Home Minister.

Published in: on May 4, 2017 at 10:00  Leave a Comment  

Kera Sumbang

Pengecualian bagi majlis terpenting dalam sejarah negara terutama apabila undangan yang sudah dikeluarkan ditarik-balik, adalah indikasi bahawa perbuatan, tutur-kata dan tindakan seseorang Negarawan itu tidak lagi melambangkan seorang pemimpin yang layak dan wajar dibariskan dalam apa-apa upacara rasmi negara.

Laporan Malaysiakini:

Jemputan Dr M ke majlis Agong dibatal, kerusi tak disedia

 

Undangan supaya Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad ke istiadat menandatangani surat sumpah Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan timbalan baginda pada 13 Disember ini dibatalkan.

Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja dikatakan memaklumkan perkara itu kepada Mahathir melalui surat bertarikh 5 Disember (kelmarin).

Ia juga dikatakan bagi “mengelak kesipuan (embarrassment)” kerana tiada kerusi untuk Mahathir disediakan dalam istiadat itu.

Ia dialamatkan kepada Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana yang diasaskan Mahathir di Putrajaya.

Seorang pegawai Mahathir ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini mengesahkan menerima surat itu.

Malaysiakini sedang cuba menghubungi pejabat Penyimpan Mohor Besar Raja-raja bagi mendapatkan pengesahan dan penjelasan mereka.

Kandungan surat itu dikatakan mendoakan Mahathir berada dalam keadaan baik dan sihat serta turut memohon maaf kepada beliau.

********

Ini kali pertama undangan kepada seorang Mantan Perdana Menteri bagi istiadat yang melibatkan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong ditarik semula.

Bagi seorang Negarawan yang pernah berkhidmat dan berjasa kepada Negara dan dianugerahkan bintang kebesaran tertinggi, untuk dikecualikan menunjukkan bahawa beliau merupakan seorang yang dilayan sebagai persona non grata.

Ada beberapa kemungkinan ini berlaku. Pertama, walaupun Tun Dr. Mahathir merupakan seorang mantan Perdana Menteri, baru-baru beliau melibatkan diri dengan demonstrasi haram BERSIH 5 dan berucap.

Beliau juga pernah meminta kuasa asing untuk campur tangan, dalam kegilaan beliau untuk menumbangkan Perdana Menteri Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak.

Dr. Mahathir pernah juga berkata “Agong dibawah tahanan rumah (house arrest)” apabila pada masa itu permohonan beliau untuk mengadap DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV belum diperkenankan,

Ini semua belum diambil kira ucapan-ucapan dan penulisan yang beliau buat, yang dianggap menghasut agar rakyat membenci, seterusnya bangkit untuk bergerak dan menumbangkan Perdana Menteri Najib.

Istiadat ini merupakan salah satu yang akan menjadi lipatan sejarah dimana ianya akan dihadiri oleh kesemua DYMM Raja-Raja Melayu, TYT Negeri, Menteri Besar, Ketua Menteri, Menteri Kabinet, Hakim Mahkamah Persekutuan, Pegawai-Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan, Panglima Panglima Servis ATM

Published in: on December 7, 2016 at 17:30  Comments (12)  

Lessons from Paracels XXX: ICJ reject China’s claims

China's fictitious 'Nine-Dash-Line'

China’s fictitious ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

The International Tribunal in the Hague rejected claims to rights in the South China Sea, which is a landmark international decision on overlapping claims and disputes in South China Sea by many nations, most members of ASEAN.

BBC.com story:

Beijing South China Sea claims rejected by court

15 minutes ago

China has accelerated construction on some disputed reefs
An international tribunal has ruled against Chinese claims to rights in South China Sea, backing a case brought by the Philippines.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration said there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources.
China described the ruling as “ill-founded”.
China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including reefs and islands also claimed by others.
The tribunal in The Hague said China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights. It also said China had caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment” by building artificial islands.
China’s Island Factory
Mysteries and maritime claims
In pictures: How the ruling affects the livelihood of Filipino fishermen
Why is the South China Sea contentious?
Flying close to China’s new islands
Rivalries underneath the South China Sea
The ruling came from an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which both countries have signed.
The ruling is binding but the tribunal, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, has no powers of enforcement.
The US sent an aircraft carrier and fighter jets to the region ahead of the ruling, prompting an angry editorial in the Global Times, a strongly nationalist state-run newspaper, calling for the US to prepare for “military confrontation”.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy has been carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.

***************

And Bloomberg story:

 

China Has No Historic Rights to South China Sea Resources, Court Says

David Tweed

July 12, 2016 — 5:22 PM HKT

Honda’s Heavy Rare Earth-Free Hybrid Motors Sidestep China

International Court to Rule on China’s Sea Claims
Philippines challenged China’s sea assertions in Hague court
China claims more than 80 percent of South China Sea

China’s assertions to more than 80 percent of the disputed South China Sea have been dealt a blow with an international tribunal ruling it has no historic rights to the resources within a 1940s map detailing its claims.
“There was no evidence that China has historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources,” the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said Tuesday in a statement. “The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the seas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.”
The case was brought by the Philippines, arguing that China’s claims don’t comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. While the court says the ruling is binding, it lacks a mechanism for enforcement.

China’s assertions are based on a 1947 map showing vague dashes — known as the nine-dash line — looping about 1,120 miles (1,800 kilometers) south of China’s Hainan Island and covering about 1.4 million square miles. It contends its claim is grounded in “historic rights” and reclaimed reefs and islands are its indisputable territory. China boycotted the arbitration process and vowed to ignore the result.
The ruling risks inflaming tensions in a waterway that hosts about $5 trillion of trade a year and plays a vital link for global energy shipments. China has stepped up its assertions under President Xi Jinping, straining ties with fellow claimants like the Philippines and Vietnam.
For a QuickTake explainer on China’s territorial disputes, click here.
“The result of the arbitration is non-binding as far as China is concerned,” Chinese Admiral Sun Jianguo said in June. “The Chinese government has already repeatedly made it clear that it will not accept it, will not attend the arbitration, does not acknowledge it and will not implement the result.”
The U.S. insists it has the right to protect freedom of navigation in the waters and has carried out voyages and flights near features claimed by China. In May, China sent fighters and warships to warn the USS William P. Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer, when it sailed close to one of its outposts in the Spratly Islands.
Many of the court’s findings concerned the rights to territorial seas generated by various features. China has reclaimed some 3,200 acres (1,290 hectares) of land and built ports and runways. Under UNCLOS, man made islands don’t generate maritime entitlements.
Scarborough Shoal
The Philippines brought the case to the court after China’s coast guard seized the Scarborough Shoal in 2012. Beijing declined to submit formal documentation in defense of its claims, though it filed a position paper in December 2014 arguing the Philippine submission was a sovereignty dispute and outside the court’s jurisdiction. The PCA rejected that argument.

China has completed at least one of three planned airstrips on the reclaimed reefs, and has installed lighthouses, radar and other facilities it contends are mostly for civilian purposes. It landed a civilian aircraft on Fiery Cross earlier this year and a military plane collected sick workers from the reef in April. China says it has the right to install weapons to defend its sovereign territory.
While the U.S. doesn’t take a position on the claims, it worked diplomatic channels to garner support for the court’s jurisdiction ahead of the ruling.
Map of China and Philippines claims to Scarborough Shoal
Map of China and Philippines claims to Scarborough Shoal
Foreign Ministers from the Group of Seven expressed concern over the territorial tensions in April. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the G-7 shouldn’t “hype” the issue.
China’s actions have pushed some Southeast Asian nations closer to the U.S. and Japan. The U.S. started joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea in March, while Japan has been supplying patrol ships to Vietnam.
“Countries across the region have been taking action and voicing concerns publicly and privately,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said last month. “As a result, China’s actions in the South China Sea are isolating it, at a time when the entire region is coming together and networking. Unfortunately, if these actions continue, China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self-isolation.”

****************

These are the salient points to the decision made by the international tribunal at the Hague this morning:

Inquirer.net story:

Key points of arbitral tribunal’s verdict on PH-China dispute

 

By: Matikas Santos
@MSantosINQ
INQUIRER.net
05:34 PM July 12th, 2016

Demonstrators, police, and media gather outside the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, ahead of a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea. China has intensified the drumbeat of its opposition to an international tribunal’s ruling expected Tuesday that could threaten its expansive claims in the South China Sea. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)
Demonstrators, police, and media gather outside the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, ahead of a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea. China has intensified the drumbeat of its opposition to an international tribunal’s ruling expected Tuesday that could threaten its expansive claims in the South China Sea. (AP Photo/Mike Corder)

The international Arbitral Tribunal on Tuesday issued its award on the arbitration case between Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute.

BACKSTORY: Philippines wins arbitration case vs. China over South China Sea

In a 501-page award, the Tribunal decided in favor of the Philippines and said that China does not have historic rights to the South China Sea and that their “nine-dash line” claim has no legal basis.
READ: Key points of arbitral tribunal’s verdict on PH-China dispute

Below are five key points included in the summary statement released to the media

(1)Historic Rights and the ‘Nine-Dash Line’:

The Tribunal concluded that, to the extent China had historic rights to resources in the waters of the South China Sea, such rights were extinguished to the extent they were incompatible with the exclusive economic zones provided for in the Convention.

The Tribunal also noted that, although 2 Chinese navigators and fishermen, as well as those of other States, had historically made use of the islands in the South China Sea, there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or their resources.

The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.

(2)Status of Features:

The Tribunal noted that the reefs have been heavily modified by land reclamation and construction, recalled that the Convention classifies features on their natural condition, and relied on historical materials in evaluating the features.

The Tribunal found historical evidence to be more relevant and noted that the Spratly Islands were historically used by small groups of fishermen and that several Japanese fishing and guano mining enterprises were attempted.

The Tribunal concluded that such transient use does not constitute inhabitation by a stable community and that all of the historical economic activity had been extractive. Accordingly, the Tribunal concluded that none of the Spratly Islands is capable of generating extended maritime zones.

The Tribunal also held that the Spratly Islands cannot generate maritime zones collectively as a unit. Having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the Tribunal found that it could—without delimiting a boundary—declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China.

(3)Lawfulness of Chinese Actions:

Having found that certain areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, the Tribunal found that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by (a) interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, (b) constructing artificial islands and (c) failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone.

The Tribunal also held that fishermen from the Philippines (like those from China) had traditional fishing rights at Scarborough Shoal and that China had interfered with these rights in restricting access.

The Tribunal further held that Chinese law enforcement vessels had unlawfully created a serious risk of collision when they physically obstructed Philippine vessels.

(4)Harm to Marine Environment:

The Tribunal considered the effect on the marine environment of China’s recent large-scale land reclamation and construction of artificial islands at seven features in the Spratly Islands and found that China had caused severe harm to the coral reef environment and violated its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems and the habitat of depleted, threatened, or endangered species.

The Tribunal also found that Chinese authorities were aware that Chinese fishermen have harvested endangered sea turtles, coral, and giant clams on a substantial scale in the South China Sea (using methods that inflict severe damage on the coral reef environment) and had not fulfilled their obligations to stop such activities

(5)Aggravation of Dispute:

Finally, the Tribunal considered whether China’s actions since the commencement of the arbitration had aggravated the dispute between the Parties.

The Tribunal found that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the implications of a stand-off between Philippine marines and Chinese naval and law enforcement vessels at Second Thomas Shoal, holding that this dispute involved military activities and was therefore excluded from compulsory settlement.

The Tribunal found, however, that China’s recent large-scale land reclamation and construction of artificial islands was incompatible with the obligations on a State during dispute resolution proceedings, insofar as China has inflicted irreparable harm to the marine environment, built a large artificial island in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and destroyed evidence of the natural condition of features in the South China Sea that formed part of the Parties’ dispute.

BACKSTORY: #InquirerSeven FAQ about the Philippines vs. China arbitration case

The Convention

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) a coastal state needs to have land before they can claim rights to the sea. The international treaty has been signed and ratified by both the Philippines and China.

“You need to have land before you can have rights to the sea. It’s as simple as that.You cannot just have rights to the sea without owning land,” former Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza said in a forum at the University of the Philippines (UP) Law Center in 2014, citing the basic principle of UNCLOS.

China asserts it has “indisputable sovereignty” and “historic rights” to over two-thirds of the 3.5 million square kilometers South China Sea using its “nine-dash line” claim that overlaps with the UNCLOS-mandated 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The line, encircling an area roughly the size of Mexico, overlaps territories claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China argues that its historic rights justify the line. But the Philippines insists that these rights cannot be used to define sea borders.

The Philippines says since the South China Sea is mostly sea, there is no land mass or clumps of islands and rocks there large enough to generate sea borders that will span the over 2 million square kilometers China is claiming with its nine-dash line.

In recent months, China has conducted massive land reclamation activities turning submerged reefs into artificial islands capable of hosting military equipment and structures.

Unclos, however, does not recognize artificial islands and states that these are not entitled to a 12 nautical mile territorial sea nor a 200 nm eez.

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/140947/key-points-arbitral-tribunal-decision-verdict-award-philippines-china-maritime-dispute-unclos-arbitration-spratly-islands-scarborough#ixzz4ECXPXTfj
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

*************

This ruling, which would be treated as precedence,  is expected because China had no evidence to furnish their claims on areas which they called ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

China’s refusal to accept the ruling is also expected because their case is lame, based on unilateral pronouncement of the area by Kuomintang in 1947.

Recently, China already pre-empted that they will not recognise any international tribunal which include the United Nations Tribunal on the disputed overlapping territories, when the Philippines decided to take the matter for international arbitration in 2013.

China rejected the Hague ruling.

NST story:

China rejects Hague tribunal judgement

 

BY AFP – 12 JULY 2016 @ 5:54 PM

 

BEIJING: China “does not accept and does not recognise” the ruling by a UN-backed tribunal on its dispute with the Philippines over the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

The comments, in a brief dispatch that did not identify a source, follow a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague that China has no historic rights to its claimed “nine-dash line.”

Earlier, an international tribunal ruled that China has no legal basis to claim “historic rights” to islands in the South China Sea, in a bitter dispute that risks stoking further tensions in Southeast Asia.

“The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’,” the tribunal said in a statement. –AFP

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/07/157869/china-rejects-hague-tribunal-judgement

**************

This would be another phase of game of geo-politics and crafty diplomacy, as China’s influence in the region is an upcoming military superpower as well as major trading partner, particularly amongst ASEAN nations which include the Philippines.

China is expected to be more aggressive in their manoeuvres, especially on the three installations already built presumably grr the China PLA-Navy purposes in the disputed areas.

United States Navy, which is a close ally to the Philippines would use the result on this tribunal and increased PLA=Navy maneuvres to heighten their presence and presentation of power.

ASEAN nations and China are supposed to finalise the Code of Conduct (COC), which all inked as Document of Conduct (DOC) in November 2002. They have agreed to fall back to UNCLOS, as the referral provisions to mitigate any maritime and matters pertaining to the sea.

However, COC is yet to be enforced since the negotiation process for the final document had not been completed at this stage.

It is interesting to observe the outcome of this landmark ruling.

*Updated 1815hrs

Published in: on July 12, 2016 at 17:37  Comments (4)  

Lessons from Parcels XIX: Honouring the code

China's unsubstantiated claim of the 'Nine-Dash-Line'

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

Malaysia and China achieved a landmark diplomatic step to jointly declare that both nations shall resolve any matters pertaining to South China Sea based on the Document of Conduct which was inked in November 2002.

Bernama.com story:

Malaysia, China agree to settle South China Sea dispute via conduct declaration

Tuesday May 10, 2016
03:33 PM GMT+8
PUTRAJAYA, May 10 — Malaysia and China have agreed to settle South China Sea-related issues through the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and to speed up the completion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the agreement was reached at his meeting with visiting China State Councillor Yang Jiechi after the latter called on him at Wisma Putra here today.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Anifah said the issues discussed at their meeting included the encroachment of Chinese fishermen into Malaysian waters.

“We raised our concern and he (Yang) said he will look into it. We believe that between friends we should be able to find solutions.

“We (Malaysia and China) are not exactly neighbours but we share the same South China Sea. So we are bound to have that kind of problems,” he said.

Anifah said Malaysia faced the problem of fishermen encroaching into its waters even with Indonesia because of overlapping areas.

“Therefore, what we (Malaysia and China) have promised is to settle all issues through the DOC and speed up the completion of the COC,” he added.

In March this year, it was reported that about 100 China-registered boats and vessels had been detected encroaching into Malaysian waters near Beting Patinggi Ali in the South China Sea.

It was also reported that the Malaysian Foreign Ministry summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, to provide some clarification and to register Malaysia’s concern over the matter.

Besides China, Asean countries involved in the overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea are Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The overlapping territorial maritime claims had resulted in the signing of the DOC in 2002 between Asean and China to pave the way for and draw up the COC as a guideline to avoid any friction in the area.

Elaborating on Yang’s visit, Anifah, who regarded the one-time China foreign minister as a close friend, said the visit reflected the close ties between China and Malaysia.

Anifah said they also discussed bilateral relations, the economy and ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.

“Because of Malaysia’s close relationship with China, we (both countries) sincerely believe that we should be able to talk to each other about problems that we may have, provided we continue to keep the communication and engagement open,” he said.

Yang arrived yesterday for a two-day working visit. Yang’s visit is the fourth to Malaysia in his capacity as the State Councillor. He had visited Malaysia five times as Foreign Affairs Minister, between 2007 and 2012.

According to a Wisma Putra statement, Yang’s visit reflected the close relations between Malaysia and China and the strong desire of both countries to strengthen the ties. — Bernama

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-china-agree-to-settle-south-china-sea-dispute-via-conduct-declarat#sthash.TBONS5YU.dpuf

**************

Malaysia is one of the claimant in the multiple claimant of disputed territories in South China Sea and have been very strong and consistent to use diplomatic channels and multilateral dialogue as avenues to resolve the complex matter.

Both nations agreed to speed up for the Code of Conduct for all signatories to comply in their engagement with regards to South China Sea.

Published in: on May 10, 2016 at 21:00  Comments (1)  

Make love, not war

China's unsubstantiated claim of the 'Nine-Dash-Line'

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

Malaysia’s position for multilateral dialogues between ASEAN and friendly regional and superpower taking precedence over any attempts of projection of power and/or force in the region not with standing the complexity of the multiple claims dispute within the South China Sea, is the flavour of inaugural Putrajaya Forum.

Bernama.com story:

Najib Highlights Critical Role Of ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) — The ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus plays a critical role in balancing major power influence in the ASEAN region, allowing practical military cooperation to take place involving the middle and super powers of the world, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said this is very important as ASEAN, on its own, cannot guarantee peace in the region without support from friends and partners.

He said the ADMM Plus addressed regional defence and security challenges, including maritime security, counter terrorism, peace-keeping operations, humanitarian disaster and relief, military medicine, humanitarian mine actions and, soon, cyber security.

“These mechanisms will help guide us in the decades to come, long after ASEAN turns 50 next year,” he said when opening the 2016 Putrajaya Forum, held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference 2016 here today.

The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN which aims to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges as well as enhancement of transparency and openness.

The ADMM Plus is a platform for ASEAN and its eight dialogue partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability, and development in the region.

ASEAN’s eight dialogue partners in the ADMM-Plus are Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

On new security threats, Najib said there were cyber terrorists who could operate with ease across any firewall that individual countries put up as well as extremists who do not accept the legitimacy of states and could radicalise from afar.

“Stepping up inter-agency cooperation is vital. Any rivalries and squabbling over jurisdiction and turfs must belong to the past.

“There is too much at stake. In this challenging time of economic uncertainty, governments are forced to optimise the use of resources,” he said.

Najib said Malaysia had adopted the National Blue Ocean Strategy which encourages inter-agency cooperation and collaboration.

The NBOS is the cooperation between the armed forces and the Royal Malaysia Police, he said.

He said that to meet the demands of defence and security challenges these days, a more comprehensive approach underscored by a spirit of openness and inclusiveness was needed.

“We must embrace the fact that defence and security are not the business of the government alone, but of all stakeholders who have common interests and goals,” he said.

— BERNAMA

****************

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak reminded ASEAN and China, signatories the Document of Conduct in 2002 which agreed that dialogue based on the United Nations Convention Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS) shall take priority role to resolve issues.

In his keynote address at Putrajaya Forum 2016 Prime Minister Najib stated the importance of continuous multilateral non military engagement is way forward and ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting Plus is one of the ideal forum to achieve and maintain continuous peace and harmony.

The second of important maritime route and hydrocarbon deposits within China's unsubstantiated 'Nine-Dash-Line'

The second of important maritime route and hydrocarbon deposits within China’s unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

It is an apt message amidst growing military manoeuvres which include superpower in the likes of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) – Navy and US Naby around the region. Particularly, in the disputed areas of South China Sea and building up tension in China’s unsubstantiated claims of the imaginary ‘Nine-Dash-Line’.

ASEAN is a very important global economic region and consumer market, amidst the encouraging regional growth and global trade prominence. This is not withstanding South China Sea is the second globally most strategic and important maritime passage.

This is further echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as Putrajaya Forum 2016 was officially closed on Tuesday.

NST story:

Maintaining peace, security and stability in Asean now a more complex task: Zahid

 

BY ALIZA SHAH – 19 APRIL 2016 @ 6:40 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the intercession of external interests make efforts to maintain Asean’s peace, security and stability even more complex.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the importance of the maritime realm of Southeast Asia that hosts strategic and vital sea lines communication would continue to attract the attention and interest of major powers.

“The geopolitics of the region is also changing rapidly with the competing interest of major powers contesting for supremacy in this part of the world.

“The importance of the maritime realm of Southeast Asia that host strategic and vital sea lines of communication, the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, will continue to attract attention and interest,” he said at the closing of the Putrajaya Forum 2016. Zahid said conflicts related to the territorial disputes and the intercession of external interest would require more than diplomatic efforts by all nations involved.

“Sincere efforts to diffuse tensions may now require a multitude of engagements as well as deft negotiation processes by the leaders of all nations involved.

“Malaysia has always advocated the importance of multilateralism and regional cooperation in particular, Asean, as well as the networks of diplomatic relationships which spans across the globe to collectively address emerging security challenges,” he said.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/04/140226/maintaining-peace-security-and-stability-asean-now-more-complex-task-zahid

**************

Continuous dialogues within ASEAN and at ADMM Plus forum simply translate the all the nations and stakeholders develop their friendly position and maintain diplomatic channels above other options, even the itch to flex muscle by projection of force.

Published in: on April 20, 2016 at 04:01  Leave a Comment  

Lessons from Parcels XXVIII: The Empire oiling the blades

The empire of democracy and free market projected the power and force when US Navy did a massive naval exercise with the Philippines Navy within the disputed areas of South China Sea which the Philippines claim sovereignty, with the specific intention to tell of China.

The Straits Times story:

US gambles by flexing military muscle in South China Sea

PUBLISHED10 HOURS AGO

China may react by taking more aggressive action, some analysts warn
ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS (In the South China Sea) • Over the last week in Asia, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has visited two aircraft carriers, revealed new military agreements with India and the Philippines, and generally signalled that the Obama administration has decided to lean more heavily on military power to counter China’s territorial ambitions in the region.

But the new, muscular approach on display during Mr Carter’s tour represents a gamble. While it sends a message that the United States will work with its allies to challenge Beijing’s expanding presence in the disputed South China Sea, it also plays into fears within the Chinese leadership about US efforts to halt China’s rise.

That may mean that the more the Pentagon steps up in the region, the more China may feel it needs to accelerate its military build-up, including the construction of new islands equipped with radar and airstrips in contested waters.

With a mix of showmanship and concrete initiatives during a six-day visit to India and the Philippines, Mr Carter left little doubt that the US intends both to strengthen alliances and move more hardware and troops here to counter China’s growing military reach.

On Friday, he rode a helicopter to a symbol of American power projection in the Pacific, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, as it cruised through the South China Sea near waters claimed by the Chinese.

Mr Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defence Voltaire Gazmin in a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey as they depart the USS John C. Stennis last Friday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Mr Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defence Voltaire Gazmin in a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey as they depart the USS John C. Stennis last Friday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Before visiting the carrier John C. Stennis, he marked the end of 11 days of military exercises between the US and the Philippines and said some US troops would stay behind “to contribute to regional security and stability”.

He also said the US had begun joint patrols of the South China Sea with the Philippine navy and would soon do the same with the country’s air force.

Earlier in the week, Mr Carter toured an Indian aircraft carrier, the first time a US defence secretary had boarded such a ship, and said the US would help India upgrade its carriers.

He also revealed a new logistics agreement and said the two nations would work together on other military technologies.

Together, the measures announced by Mr Carter hint at a potential US military resurgence in a part of the world where China believes it is destined to surpass the US in influence.

The Obama administration seems to be betting that China will back off rather than continue making moves that lead its neighbours to embrace the US military.

But some analysts warn that China could react to the Pentagon’s moves by taking more aggressive action, challenging America’s commitment to the region in a high-profile game of chicken and raising the risk of a military conflict.

The Chinese have been closely watching Mr Carter’s tour, which had included a stop in Beijing before it was abruptly scrubbed from the schedule a few weeks ago. In a late-night statement on Thursday, the Chinese Defence Ministry accused the US of reverting to a “Cold War mentality” and said the Chinese military would “pay close attention to the situation and resolutely defend China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime interests”.

On Friday, China also disclosed that its most senior uniformed military commander had visited the disputed Spratly Islands, which appeared intended to signal Beijing’s resolve in the South China Sea, most of which it considers Chinese territory.

Dr Su Hao, a professor of international relations at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, said: “China sees its actions in the South China Sea as legitimate in protecting its own sovereignty and integrity. China will not just change its behaviours or deployment plan simply because of the Americans.” NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 17, 2016, with the headline ‘US gambles by flexing military muscle in South China Sea’. Print Edition | Subscribe

***************

Defense Secretary Carter had arrived on CVN 74 USS John C Stennis, which is operating in the South China Sea from the task force led by CVN-71 USS Theodore Roosevelt, where the US Navy and Marine Corp were doing their military manoeuvres.

Earlier, Secretary Carter already warned China that US Naval Forces would remained “Engaged” to the complexity of the problems arisen from the multiple claims on the disputed spots with South China Sea.

China proclaimed the are to be ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ without substantiating them and so far, refuse to enter into multilateral talks to resolve the dispute. This stubbornness of China is despite signing the code of conduct (COC) with ASEAN in November 2002, which stipulated that issues must be resolved based on the United Nations Convention Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS).

China's unsubstantiated claim of the 'Nine-Dash-Line'

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

It is interesting how China PLA-Navy would react to this American provocation.

Published in: on April 17, 2016 at 16:00  Leave a Comment  

A living monster incarcerated

Justice after thirty years. The learned Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic who invented the term ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ for the cold blooded massacre of 8,000 men and boys in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995, has been found “Criminally responsible” and guilty by International Court of Justice and sentenced to 40 years jail.

BBC.com story:

Radovan Karadzic jailed for Bosnia war Srebrenica genocide

11 minutes ago

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and war crimes in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, and sentenced to 40 years in jail.
UN judges in The Hague found him guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Karadzic, 70, is the most senior political figure to face judgement over the violent collapse of Yugoslavia.
His case is being seen as one of the most important war crimes trials since World War Two.
He had denied the charges, saying that any atrocities committed were the actions of rogue individuals, not the forces under his command.
The trial, in which he represented himself, lasted eight years.
The current president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Milorad Dodik, condemned the verdict.
“The West has apportioned blame to the Serbian people and that guilty cliche was imposed on all the decision-makers, including in this case today… Karadzic,” he said at a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the start of Nato air strikes against Yugoslavia in 1999.
“It really hurts that somebody has decided to deliver this verdict in The Hague exactly today, on the day when Nato decided to bomb Serbia… to cause so much catastrophic damage and so many casualties,” Mr Dodik added.
Karadzic verdict vital to Bosnia’s future
Balkans war: a brief guide
Profile: Radovan Karadzic
Exploring the corridors of the Hague tribunal

Many Bosnians have been following the trial closely
Meanwhile, some relatives of victims expressed disappointment at the outcome.
“This came too late,” said Bida Smajlovic, whose husband was killed at Srebrenica.
“We were handed down a verdict in 1995. There is no sentence that could compensate for the horrors we went through or for the tears of only one mother, let alone thousands,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Karadzic’s lawyer said he would appeal, a process that could take several more years.
“Dr Karadzic is disappointed and astonished. He feels that he was convicted on inference instead of evidence and will appeal [against] the judgement,” Peter Robinson told journalists.
Karadzic faced two counts of genocide.
He was found not guilty of the first, relating to killing in several Bosnian municipalities.
But he was found guilty of the second count relating to Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces massacred more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
“Karadzic was in agreement with the plan of the killings,” Judge O-Gon Kwon said.
Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
Media captionWhat happened at Srebrenica? Explained in under two minutes
The massacre happened in July 1995 when Srebrenica, an enclave besieged by Bosnian Serb forces for three years, was overrun. The bodies of the victims were dumped in mass graves.
Karadzic was also found guilty of crimes against humanity relating to the siege and shelling of the city of Sarajevo over several years which left nearly 12,000 people dead.
The judge said he had significantly contributed to a plan which emanated from the leadership and whose primary purpose was to spread terror in the city.
Charges
Genocide
Count 1 – genocide (in municipalities of Bratunac, Foca, Klyuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik) – not guilty
Count 2 – genocide (in Srebrenica) – guilty
Crimes against humanity
Count 3 – persecutions – guilty
Count 4 – extermination – guilty
Count 5 – murder – guilty
Count 7 – deportation – guilty
Count 8 – inhumane acts (forcible transfer) – guilty
Violations of the laws or customs of war
Count 6 – murder – guilty
Count 9 – terror (in Sarajevo) – guilty
Count 10 – unlawful attacks on civilians (in Sarajevo) – guilty
Count 11 – taking hostage of UN observers and peacekeepers – guilty
The full indictment
Mr Karadzic was also found guilty of orchestrating a campaign known as “ethnic cleansing” of non-Serbs from the territory of the breakaway Bosnian Serb republic, in which hundreds and thousands were driven from their homes.
He would only be expected to serve two-thirds of his sentence. His time spent in detention – slightly more than seven years – will count towards the total.
Top UN human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein welcomed the verdict as “hugely significant”.
He said the trial “should give pause to leaders across Europe and elsewhere who seek to exploit nationalist sentiments and scapegoat minorities for broader social ills”.
At least 100,000 people in total died during fighting in the the Bosnian war. The conflict lasted nearly four years before a US-brokered peace deal brought it to an end in 1995.
Gen Ratko Mladic, who commanded Bosnian Serb forces, is also awaiting his verdict at The Hague.
Karadzic Timeline
1945: Born in Montenegro
1960: Moves to Sarajevo
1968: Publishes collection of poetry
1971: Graduates in medicine
1983: Becomes team psychologist for Red Star Belgrade football club
1990: Becomes president of Serbian Democratic Party
1990s Political leader of Bosnian Serbs
2008: Arrested in Serbia
2009: Trial begins at The Hague
2016: Guilty verdict, sentenced to 40 years

***************

Profile of Karadzic:

Radovan Karadzic: Former Bosnian Serb leader

3 hours ago

Radovan Karadzic was handed over to the UN tribunal after 13 years on the run.

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The atrocities during the war have been described as the worst crimes committed in Europe since World War Two.

At a UN tribunal in The Hague, judges found him guilty of 10 out of 11 counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities in the Bosnian war of the 1990s, including leading the slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats.

One count of genocide related to the massacre of more than 7,500 Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995, which the UN said was part of a campaign to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”.

He was found not guilty in one count of genocide, relating to the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs from seven towns and villages in Bosnia.

The trial was a weighty affair – lasting five years, followed by an additional 18-month deliberation by the bench. Over 497 days, Mr Karadzic conducted his own defence, referring to some three million pages of evidence against him.

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison – though his lawyer has indicated he will appeal.
Balkans war: a brief guide
Serbia timeline
How do you define genocide?

Radovan Karadzic (L) reviews the Serbian Volunteers Guard in Bijeljina (Oct. 23, 1995)

Mr Karadzic’s political party organised Serbs to fight against Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia
The former Bosnian Serb leader was also found guilty of orchestrating the shelling of Sarajevo, and the use of 284 UN peacekeepers as human shields in May and June 1995.

As he closed his case, he told the tribunal there was not a shred of evidence against him, although in a written statement he accepted that in his role as political leader of the Bosnian Serbs he bore “moral responsibility” for crimes they had carried out.

Radovan Karadzic spent 13 years on the run before being handed over to the tribunal.

He had been found living in disguise in Belgrade, under a false name and working as a New Age healer. He had even become well-known on the alternative health circuit, reportedly publishing a column in Healthy Living magazine.

A bushy grey beard and thick glasses had transformed his appearance.

Since the court adjourned to deliberate, Serbian prosecutors have arrested and charged eight people with playing direct roles in the Srebrenica massacre.

Poet and psychiatrist

Mr Karadzic was born in 1945 in a stable in Savnik, Montenegro.
His father, Vuk, had been a member of the Chetniks – Serb nationalist guerrillas who fought against both Nazi occupiers and Tito’s communist partisans in World War II – and was in jail for much of his son’s childhood.

Karadzic Timeline
1945: Born in Montenegro
1960: Moves to Sarajevo
1968: Publishes collection of poetry
1971: Graduates in medicine
1983: Becomes team psychologist for Red Star Belgrade football club
1990: Becomes president of Serbian Democratic Party
1990s Political leader of Bosnian Serbs
2008: Arrested in Serbia
2009: Trial begins at The Hague
2014: Judges begin 18-month deliberation
March 2016: Found guilty of 10 out of 11 counts

His mother, Jovanka Karadzic, described her son as loyal, and a hard worker who used to help her in the home and in the fields. She said he was a serious boy who was respectful towards the elderly and helped his school friends with their homework.

In 1960 Mr Karadzic moved to Sarajevo, where he later met his wife, Ljiljana, graduated as a doctor, and became a psychiatrist in a city hospital.

He also became a poet and fell under the influence of Serb nationalist writer Dobrica Cosic, who encouraged him to go into politics.

After working briefly for the Green Party, he helped set up the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) – formed in 1990 in response to the rise of nationalist and Croat parties in Bosnia, and dedicated to the goal of a Greater Serbia.

Less than two years later, as Bosnia-Hercegovina gained recognition as an independent state, he declared the creation of the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina (renamed Republika Srpska) with its capital in Pale, a suburb of Sarajevo, and himself as head of state.

Mr Karadzic’s party, supported by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, organised Serbs to fight against the Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia.

‘Ethnic cleansing’

A vicious war ensued, in which Serbs besieged Sarajevo for 44 months, shelling Bosniak forces but also terrorising the civilian population with a relentless bombardment and sniper fire. Thousands of civilians died, many of them deliberately targeted.

Mladic and Karadzic 5 August 1993,AFPImage copyrightAFP

Ratko Mladic was Radovan Karadzic’s military chief during the war

Bosnian Serb forces – assisted by paramilitaries from Serbia proper – also expelled hundreds of thousands of Bosniaks and Croats from their homes in a brutal campaign of “ethnic cleansing”. Numerous atrocities were documented, including the widespread rape of Bosniak women and girls.

Reporters also discovered Bosnian Serb punishment camps, where prisoners-of-war were starved and tortured.
War crimes were also committed against Serb civilians by the Bosnian Serbs’ foes in the bitter inter-ethnic war.
Mr Karadzic was jointly indicted in 1995 along with the Bosnian Serb military leader, Ratko Mladic, for war crimes they had allegedly committed during the 1992-95 war.

He was obliged to step down as president of the SDS in 1996 as the West threatened sanctions against Republika Srpska.

‘Immunity promise’

After the Dayton accord that ended the Bosnian war, he eventually went into hiding – possibly in the mountainous south-eastern area of the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia, protected by paramilitaries.

Mr Karadzic says Dayton’s chief architect, US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, promised him immunity from prosecution in exchange for quitting the political scene. Mr Holbrooke denies any such deal was struck.

Radovan Karadzic was working as a New Age healer when he was arrested in Belgrade

When he finally appeared before the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in August 2008, he failed to respond to the charges against him and the court entered pleas of “not guilty” on his behalf.

Prosecutors accused him of using delaying tactics as he boycotted the initial hearings and insisted on representing himself.

Launching his own defence in 2012, he sought to cast himself as a “mild man” who should be “rewarded” for having tried to avoid war.

His performance was described by one publication as “by turns eloquent, historically provocative, and self-aggrandising”.

**************

The “Ethnic cleansing” tragedy of fellow Yugoslavian against Muslim men, women and children amongst their own community when the former red Republic of Yugoslavia collapse after the fall of Soviet Union, is the worst genocide and crimes against in Europe since World War II.

Balkans war: a brief guide

18 March 2016
From the section Europe
War in Yugoslavia

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.
War breaks out
After Tito’s death in 1980, tensions re-emerged. Calls for more autonomy within Yugoslavia by nationalist groups led in 1991 to declarations of independence in Croatia and Slovenia. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army lashed out, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia. Thousands were killed in the latter conflict which was paused in 1992 under a UN-monitored ceasefire.
The conflict spreads
Bosnia, with a complex mix of Serbs, Muslims and Croats, was next to try for independence. Bosnia’s Serbs, backed by Serbs elsewhere in Yugoslavia, resisted. Under leader Radovan Karadzic, they threatened bloodshed if Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats – who outnumbered Serbs – broke away. Despite European blessing for the move in a 1992 referendum, war came fast.
Ethnic cleansing
Yugoslav army units, withdrawn from Croatia and renamed the Bosnian Serb Army, carved out a huge swathe of Serb-dominated territory. Over a million Bosnian Muslims and Croats were driven from their homes in ethnic cleansing. Serbs suffered too. The capital Sarajevo was besieged and shelled. UN peacekeepers, brought in to quell the fighting, were seen as ineffective.
An imperfect peace
International peace efforts to stop the war failed, the UN was humiliated and over 100,000 died. The war ended in 1995 after Nato bombed the Bosnian Serbs and Muslim and Croat armies made gains on the ground. A US-brokered peace divided Bosnia into two self-governing entities, a Bosnian Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation lightly bound by a central government.
The cost of war
In August 1995, the Croatian army stormed areas in Croatia under Serb control prompting thousands to flee. Soon Croatia and Bosnia were fully independent. Slovenia and Macedonia had already gone. Montenegro left later. In 1999, Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians fought Serbs in another brutal war to gain independence. Serbia ended the conflict beaten, battered and alone.

************

Karadzic’s general, Gen .Ratko “Butcher of Bosnia” Mladic who commanded Bosnian Serb Forces, is also awaiting his verdict at The Hague. It is expected that he would face his fate next year.

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 03:10  Comments (1)  

Lessons from Paracels XXVII: Kung Fun Panda growth

China's unsubstantiated claim of the 'Nine-Dash-Line'

China’s unsubstantiated claim of the ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

China PLA build up on disputed islands in South China Sea which they unilaterally claim as part of their hereditary territories ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ is clear and present danger.

BBC story:

South China Sea dispute: US attacks China ‘militarisation’

17 February 2016

Media captionWhy is sovereignty of the islands disputed and how serious could the row get? Rupert Wingfield-Hayes explains

US Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington is seriously concerned about increased Chinese militarisation in the contested South China Sea.

He was responding to reports Beijing has deployed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island in the region.
China dismissed the reports as “hype”, but said it had the right under international law to defend itself.
Several nations claim territory in the resource-rich South China Sea, which is also an important shipping route.
A spokesman for Mr Kerry said satellite images appeared to confirm China had deployed anti-aircraft missiles on Woody or Yongxing Island in the Paracels.

The island is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam and the presence of missiles would significantly increase tensions.

Woody Island with the Parcels: Evidence of the military installation built for the PLA-Navy

Woody Island with the Parcels: Evidence of the military installation built for the PLA-Navy

See images from Woody/Yongxing Island
China’s Island Factory
Flying close to Beijing’s new South China Sea islands
What is the South China Sea dispute about?
Mr Kerry said the US expected to have a “very serious conversation” with China over its presence.
“There is every evidence, every day, that there has been an increase of militarisation from one kind or another. It’s a serious concern,” he said.
Map showing military presence on Woody Island – 17 February 2016
The latest images of Woody Island were captured by ImageSat International.
A picture dated 3 February shows a beach on the island empty. By 14 February it contains several missile launchers and support vehicles.
But the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said reports were a Western media invention.
He defended “the limited and necessary self-defence facilities” on islands inhabited by Chinese personnel as “consistent with the right for self-preservation and self-protection…. under the international law”.
Map
China has been carrying out extensive land reclamation work in the region, which it says is legal and for civilian purposes.
But the work has angered other countries which also claim the territory, and there is growing concern about the implications of the area becoming militarised.
The South China Sea dispute has been a topic of debate at a meeting of South East Asian regional leaders in California.
US President Barack Obama said the members had discussed the need for “tangible steps” to reduce tensions.
line break
What is the South China Sea dispute?
Rival countries have wrangled over territory in the South China Sea for centuries, but tension has steadily increased in recent years.
Its islets and waters are claimed in part or in whole by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
China has backed its expansive claims with island-building and naval patrols, while the US says it opposes restrictions on freedom of navigation and unlawful sovereignty claims – by all sides, but seen by many as aimed at China.
The frictions have sparked concern that the area is becoming a flashpoint with global consequences.

***************

US secretary of state John Kerry was aloud on his concern on the China PLA-N aggressive presence in South China Sea, which poised the military threat and stability in the region.

ABC story;

South China Sea: Militarisation of disputed island ‘a serious concern’, John Kerry says

By US correspondent Michael Vincent, China correspondent Bill Birtles and wires
Updated about 9 hours ago

Aerial of Sansha, on Woody Island
PHOTO: The surface-to-air missiles were deployed from Woody Island in the latest in the ongoing dispute over control of the South China Sea. (AFP)
RELATED STORY: Chinese missile base ratchets up tension in South China Sea
MAP: China
The US Defence Department has confirmed that China has deployed a surface-to-air missile system on a disputed island in the South China Sea, in a move Secretary of State John Kerry has described as a “serious concern”.

Key points:

South China Sea islands part of disputed territory
US, Australia concerned about new missiles deployed on Woody Island by China
China dismisses reports as ‘hype’, says it has right to defend itself
Images from civilian satellite company ImageSat International showed two batteries of eight surface-to-air missile launchers as well as a radar system on Woody Island, according to US outlet Fox News.

The Pentagon urged all countries that have staked claims to disputed areas in the region to address their territorial and maritime claims in accordance with international law, and to commit to peacefully manage or resolve their disputes.

The Taiwanese defence ministry confirmed that China had installed surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, although China said its self-defence facilities had existed for many years and latest media reports were “hype”.

“But there is every evidence, every day that there has been an increase of militarisation of one kind or another — it’s of serious concern,” Mr Kerry said.

Mr Kerry said the US would raise its concerns with China to ensure the disputed claims in the South China Sea were resolved peacefully.

“Not through unilateral action, not by force, not through militarisation, but through diplomacy and by working with the other countries and claimants and trying to resolve these differences,” Mr Kerry said.

Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the island in question, Woody Island, which is part of the Paracel Islands.

Satellite image from ImageSat which show a Chinese missile set-up on the South China Sea’s Woody Island
PHOTO: Satellite image shows a Chinese missile set-up on the South China Sea’s Woody Island. (Supplied: ImageSat International)
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop held talks with senior Chinese government officials in Beijing today, a day after raising concerns with China’s foreign minister about reports of surface-to-air missiles.

She met with China’s top-ranked diplomat Yang Jiechi for more than an hour.

Ms Bishop said the South China Sea was discussed, but in all meetings, the Chinese side challenged reports missiles had been deployed, but did not outright deny it.

When asked if she believed Beijing was militarising the disputed sea, she said: “It depends on the definition of militarisation.”

The United States has no territory claims in the South China Sea but has expressed serious concerns about how China’s increasingly assertive pursuit of territorial claims could affect the vital global trade routes that pass though it.

Before and after: South China Sea
See how China is converting reefs to military facilities by building artificial islands in the South China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters the “limited and necessary self-defence facilities” China had on islands and reefs where it has personnel stationed was “consistent with the right to self-protection that China is entitled to under international law”.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year.

News of the missile deployment came as US President Barack Obama and leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) concluded a summit in California, where they discussed the need to ease tensions in the South China Sea.

It also followed a patrol by a US Navy destroyer within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island in the Paracels last month, a move China condemned as provocative.

*************

China has been projecting power with the manifestation of their military might through the constant manoeuvres within several ASEAN exclusive economic zone (Zone) as per outlined under the United Nations Convention Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

The second of important maritime route and hydrocarbon deposits within China's unsubstantiated 'Nine-Dash-Line'

The second of important maritime route and hydrocarbon deposits within China’s unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’

Despite signing the Document of Conduct (DOC) with ASEAN nations in 2002 where all parties agreed to settle disputes which include multiple claim on overlapping territories using UNCLOS provisions.

The vast area in disputes by the various ASEAN nations which over lapped on China unsubstantiated ‘Nine-Dash-Line’ is world’s second most strategic maritime passage and hydrocarbon deposits of China’s much needed energy.

Published in: on February 18, 2016 at 22:00  Leave a Comment