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Thread: China pledges to board ships in disputed seas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Victoria, Australia

    Default China pledges to board ships in disputed seas

    China pledges to board ships in disputed seas

    Date November 29, 2012 - 3:50PM

    Police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter into what China considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea, state media said.

    The South China Sea is Asia's biggest potential military trouble spot with several Asian countries claiming sovereignty.

    From January 1, Hainan police will have the authority to board and seize control of foreign ships which "illegally enter" Chinese waters and order them to change course or stop sailing, the China Daily reported.

    "Activities such as entering the island province's waters without permission, damaging coastal defence facilities and engaging in publicity that threatens national security are illegal," the English-language newspaper said.

    "If foreign ships or crew members violate regulations, Hainan police have the right to take over the ships or their communication systems, under the revised regulations," it added.

    China's assertion of sovereignty over the stretch of water off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts.

    China occasionally detains fishermen, mostly from Vietnam, who it accuses of operating illegally in Chinese waters, though generally frees them quite quickly.

    Hainan, which likes to style itself as China's answer to Hawaii or Bali with its resorts and beaches, is the province responsible for administering the country's extensive claims to the myriad islets and atolls in the South China Sea.

    The newspaper said that the government will also send new maritime surveillance ships to join the fleet responsible for patrolling the South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas and straddling shipping lanes between East Asia and Europe and the Middle East.

    The stakes have risen in the area as the U.S. military shifts its attention and resources back to Asia, emboldening its long-time ally the Philippines and former foe Vietnam to take a tougher stance against Beijing.

    China has further angered the Philippines and Vietnam by issuing new passports showing a map depicting China's claims to the disputed waters.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Victoria, Australia


    The original article:

    Patrols in Hainan get more clout

    Updated: 2012-11-28 23:02

    By Huang Yiming in Haikou and Wang Qian in Beijing (China Daily)

    Police in Hainan will be authorized to board and search ships that illegally enter the province's waters in 2013, the latest Chinese effort to protect the South China Sea.

    Under a set of regulation revisions the Hainan People's Congress approved on Tuesday, provincial border police are authorized to board or seize foreign ships that illegally enter the province's waters and order them to change course or stop sailing.

    The full texts of the regulations, which take effect on Jan 1, will soon be released to the public, said Huang Shunxiang, director of the congress's press office.

    Activities such as entering the island province's waters without permission, damaging coastal defense facilities, and engaging in publicity that threatens national security are illegal.

    If foreign ships or crew members violate regulations, Hainan police have the right to take over the ships or their communications systems, under the revised regulations.

    Calling the revisions "significant", Zhuang Guotu, director of the Southeast Asian Center at Xiamen University, said: "It is urgent for China to improve its legal system regarding offshore law enforcement because disputes with other countries are on the rise in the South China Sea.

    "Police have clear processes laid out in the new regulations for appraising illegal activities and punishing illegal entry," Zhuang said.

    The revisions also emphasized border police should strengthen the patrolling of the waters of Sansha and coordinate with the routine patrols conducted by the country.

    Sansha, the newest prefecture-level city, which was established in July, administers the islands and waters of the South China Sea. The city is under the jurisdiction of Hainan.

    Bi Zhiqiang, director of the legislative affairs commission of the Hainan People's Congress, said the revised regulations will strengthen offshore patrols of the waters off Hainan, protecting national maritime interests.

    An insider from China Marine Surveillance told China Daily that new ships will join the South China Sea patrol fleet soon.

    On Nov 12, a 3,000-metric-ton inspection ship started patrolling the Yellow Sea, and on Nov 15, another one joined the patrol fleet in the East China Sea.

    All these moves show that the country is preparing itself for dealing with complicated marine disputes, said Qi Jianguo, former Chinese ambassador to Vietnam.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Cleveland OH, looking wistfully towards...Banks of the Brazos River, Republic of Texas


    There WAS a time, when the SecSta would call the Chinese Embassy and invite the Chinese Ambassador to tea, closing with "Be Prompt!" and, over tea explain why the boarding of shios was simply not going to happen. And SecSta would have been listened to, and been deemed correct.

    That time is gone. Sadly.
    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing....only I will remain"
    [Frank Herbert...Bene Gesserit Fear Littany}

    night driver's I-garage:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default New Chinese Law Allows for Search, Expulsion of Foreign Ships

    China will soon allow border police to board and search foreign ships that enter what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea.

    In a move likely to raise regional tensions, state media say police in the southern island province of Hainan will soon be authorized to "land on, check, seize, and expel foreign ships" that enter the area illegally.

    The official China Daily says "illegal" activities include entering the province's waters without permission and "engaging in publicity that endangers China's national security." It says the new rules will take effect January 1.

    Hainan, China's southernmost province, administers nearly two million square kilometers of the sea. In July, the Chinese military angered its neighbors by setting up a garrison in Hainan's newly established Sansha City, in an effort to enforce its claims in the region.

    Many of China's rival claimants, which include the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, are concerned about what they see as Beijing's increasing assertiveness in defending its claims in the energy-rich South China Sea.

    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said in a regular briefing Thursday that China has the right to implement the new regulations.

    "Carrying out maritime management according to law is the justified right of a sovereign country," said Hong.

    The China Daily also said new maritime surveillance ships will soon join Beijing's South China Sea patrol fleet, which has been expanded following recent high-profile standoffs with the Philippines and Vietnam.

    Meanwhile, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Thursday called on China to withdraw three ships from the site of an April standoff.

    Del Rosario told ABS-CBN television that Beijing has not fulfilled its promise to remove its ships from the disputed Scarborough Shoal, as agreed by both countries six months ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default ASEAN head warns China plans to board ships in disputed sea area could 'escalate tens

    ASEAN head Surin Pitsuwan has expressed concerns that China's plan to board ships in disputed areas of the South China Sea could escalate tensions in the region.

    ASEAN's Secretary-General Pitsuwan said that Beijing's plan was "a very serious turn of events".

    On Thursday China said that it granted its border patrol police the power to board and search ships in the area.

    The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also claim parts of the region.

    According to the BBC, state media said patrols in the southern island province of Hainan would be able to board foreign ships that stopped in its waters or violated other regulations.

    The regulation allows police "to board, seize and expel foreign ships illegally entering the province's sea areas," the Global Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

    These activities include "illegal landing" and "carrying out publicity campaigns that endanger China's national security", it added.

    According to the report, China's announcement comes amid an ongoing row over a map on new Chinese passports show disputed areas in the South China Sea as Chinese territory.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Philippines Condemns China's Plan to Search, Seize Vessels in South China Sea

    The Philippines says a plan by China's Hainan province to stop and search foreign ships deemed to be illegally in the South China Sea is a "gross violation" of international law and hampers freedom of navigation.

    The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is demanding clarification from China over the plans. The department said in a statement it is "especially concerned" by media reports that starting next year, Hainan police will have authority to board, search and possibly seize foreign ships they determine have illegally entered Chinese-claimed waters .

    The statement says that since China claims practically the entire sea, this sort of action would pose a "direct threat to the entire international community" and violates the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Philippine Congressman Walden Bello, who has been vocal in opposing China's claim, calls it a "flagrant violation of international law."

    "Basically this is one more step in terms of the really, very, very dangerous escalation- this is a dangerous escalation- of the illegal claim of the Chinese government," said Bello.

    Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon of the Kalayaan Group of Islands, which are the Philippines' claimed parts in the Spratlys, also calls the move dangerous. While Hainan province is two day's boat ride northeast, he is skittish about such a plan in waters being shared by several countries.

    "I'm apprehensive because if they do that then that would be for the first time, I think, very contentious because it would already impinge on our freedom of navigation," said Bito-onon.

    Along with the Philippines and China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all have claims in the sea, which has one of the world's most heavily traversed shipping routes. It is also a rich fishing ground and is believed to hold vast fossil fuel reserves.

    On Friday, the secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said the Chinese action raises the level of concern and great anxiety.

    Ely Ratner, Asia fellow with the Center for a New American Security, says the plan is worrisome, counter-productive on China's part and may be hard to enforce.

    "They end up leading to serious pushback and diplomatic rancor from the rest of the region," said Ratner.

    China's official news agency quoted a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Friday as saying the country gives great importance to freedom of navigation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central Nebraska, USA


    Well, if China wants to act like a super power, than they better stop their whining about still being a "developing Third World country" when it comes to trade negotiations.

    Want to put an end to this behavior real quick? All their "trading" partners just need to raise their import tariffs to match what China has for tariffs on incoming trade. 1 for 1, no exceptions for "humanitarian aid", nothing.

    Hit China where it hurts the most, with trade. Make garbage from China cost just as much as goods made here in the US, then people will start buying for quality, rather than cheapness.

    Their economy is still centered around exports. Hit them hard enough financially and their system will collapse in a heart beat. I know everyone is worried about China holding US debt and trying to collect it. Hard to collect nothing from nothing.
    "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war let it begin here." Captain John Paarker, to his Minute Men on Lexington Green, April 19 , 1775.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Indian Navy will intervene in South China sea, if required

    New Delhi: The Indian Navy is practicing to operate in the South China Sea to protect its economic assets.

    Speaking to reporters in New Delhi Admiral D K Joshi told reporters that "Where our country's interests are involved, we will protect them and we will intervene."

    The Eastern Naval Command - which looks at India's eastern sea board and likely to play a key role when the Navy is deployed in South China Sea- is also being strengthened.

    Admiral Joshi said apart from three stealth frigates, the nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra and INS Jalashva, the amphibious landing ship which is also the biggest platform after INS Viraat, India's lone aircraft carrier.

    The decision to use the Navy in the South China Sea comes days after Chinese state media announced that the southern Hainan province, which administers the South China Sea, approved laws giving its police the right to search vessels that pass through the waters. Also Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and India protested a map on a new Chinese passport that depicts disputed areas as belonging to China. The Philippines also issued a statement saying it wants Beijing to "clarify its reported plans to interdict ships that enter what it considers its territory in the South China Sea," the Associated Press reported over the weekend.

    Admiral D K Joshi said ONGC has 4 oil exploration blocks off the coast of Vietnam. "If required we will intervene to protect (them)," he said and added that it is the navy's duty to protect India's sovereign assets. India, the Admiral said, had two basic concerns- "freedom of navigation in internal waters and protection of our internal assets."

    The decision to prepare to intervene in the South China Sea indicates a huge shift in India's Maritime strategy. Previously, India had consistently maintained that Navy's area focus was the vast expanse of sea that lay between the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf and the Straits of Malacca in the East.

    Acknowledging the rapid modernisation of the Chinese navy, the navy chief said "It is actually a major cause of concern for us, which we continuously evaluate and work out our options and our strategies."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Vietnam Adds Sea Patrols Amid Tensions With China

    Vietnam is adding new patrols to protect its fishing grounds in the South China Sea after the country's state-run energy giant accused Chinese vessels of sabotaging one of its boats in the disputed waters.

    State media said Tuesday the "maritime surveillance force" will have the authority to arrest crews and impose fines on foreign vessels within Vietnam's declared exclusive 370-kilometer economic zone. It will be deployed on January 25.

    It comes a day after PetroVietnam said several Chinese fishing vessels cut the cables of one of its exploration vessels in the South China Sea last week. The state-run company said it later repaired the cable, but called the act a "blatant violation of Vietnamese waters."

    China and Vietnam are in a long-running dispute over their competing claims in the South China Sea, and small-scale clashes occasionally break out between patrol boats or fishing vessels.

    Vietnam, the Philippines and other East Asian nations accuse China of increasing aggressiveness in defending its claims in the South China Sea. China claims nearly all of the 3.5 million square-kilometer area, an important shipping route that also contains potential energy deposits.

    Last week, regional tensions were raised after China announced new rules authorizing police in southern Hainan province to board and seize foreign ships it says are illegally entering its territory.

    Regional power India also says it is ready to deploy naval vessels to protect its oil-exploration interests the South China Sea. Indian Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi said Monday that his ships have the mandate to defend his country's interests in the area when necessary.

    India does not have competing claims with China to the area, but its state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has a stake in a gas field off the coast of Vietnam.

    Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Institute for International Policy says Admiral Joshi's remarks should not be seen as an overt challenge to Beijing.

    "I think his remarks are primarily aimed at a domestic Indian audience, to assure them of India's naval capability and its willingness to protect its interests," he said. "I don't think, however, that India is picking a fight over this."

    Medcalf says he doubts whether India would act unilaterally in the South China Sea, saying it would have difficulty in sustaining any military deployments there.

    But Australian National University defense analyst John Blaxland predicts that regional tensions will continue to rise in the South China Sea, and Beijing is not likely to back down.

    "The oil and gas resources that are understood to be underneath the South China Sea are potentially massive. And for a resource-starved country like China, they are too important for these little countries in Southeast Asia take from them," said Blaxland.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Victoria, Australia


    Vietnam Accuses Chinese Ships

    BEIJING—Two Chinese fishing vessels cut cables of a Vietnamese vessel doing seismic oil exploration work in the South China Sea, the state-run Vietnam Oil & Gas Group said on Monday amid mounting regional concern about new Chinese regulations that appear to authorize its police to board foreign ships around disputed islands in the area.

    The Vietnamese ship, the Binh Minh 02 Ship, was conducting a seismic survey 43 miles southeast of Con Co Island off Vietnam's Quang Tri province when the Chinese vessels ran across its cables and cut them on Friday, according toPham Viet Dung, deputy head of the exploration division of the company, also known as PetroVietnam.

    It was the latest in a string of incidents in the contested and potentially resource-rich waters of the South China Sea and the East China Sea that have heightened regional concerns about China's escalating military power, prompting the U.S. government to shore up defense ties with old allies and build closer military relations with new partners, including Vietnam.

    "PetroVietnam strongly protests the violations of the Chinese fishing vessels and has requested the [Vietnamese] authorities to demand the Chinese side to educate their citizens to respect Vietnam's maritime sovereignty," Mr. Dung said in a statement posted on PetroVietnam's website.

    The statement said PetroVietnam has repaired the cables and resumed seismic work on Saturday. In May last year, the Vietnamese government also accused Chinese vessels of harassing fishermen and cutting the cables of the Binh Minh 02 Ship while doing seismic oil exploration work offshore Vietnam.

    More at

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