News Updates

8 - 15 September, 2019
  • India challenging China’s influence in the South China Sea with outreach to Russia and other regional powers, analysts say
    India and Russia have agreed to launch a maritime route that would partly go through the hotly contested waters
    Traditional security allies also could ramp up their military and technological collaboration. India is challenging Chinese influence in the South China Sea with its outreach to regional powers, including Russia, with which it has agreed to launch a maritime route that would partly go through the hotly contested waters, analysts said. (South China Morning Post, China, September 08, 2019)
  • China and India try to set differences over Kashmir aside to focus on economic cooperation
    Both countries use latest strategic economic dialogue in New Delhi to focus on areas such as drug development and technology.
    China and India have pledged to step up their cooperation in areas such as the economy, technology and drug development despite ongoing tensions over issues such as Kashmir. The two countries concluded the sixth India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue held in New Delhi on Monday, saying it had “strengthened communication and the exchange of views”, according to state news agency Xinhua. (South China Morning Post, China, September 11, 2019)
  • US raises the stakes by flagging its Huawei 5G network security concerns to Gulf allies
    Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet while the UAE hosts American soldiers supporting US military operations
    Reuters
    The United States has raised its concerns with Gulf allies over a possible security risk in using Huawei’s technology for their 5G mobile infrastructure, US officials said on Thursday. Washington has been warning allies against using the Chinese company’s equipment, which it says presents a security risk, but has so far largely made public comments to European states. Huawei has repeatedly denied the US allegations, which were raised last week during a visit by Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, all of which are using its equipment. (South China Morning Post, China, September 13, 2019)
  • Canada sails warship through Taiwan Strait for second time in three months
    Disputed waterway was chosen as it was the ‘most direct route between UN Security Council sanctions monitoring activities in Northeast Asia and engagements in Southeast Asia’, Ottawa says
    Royal Canadian Navy ‘does not conduct so-called freedom of navigation operations aimed at challenging the territorial claims of other nations’, it says. Canada said on Tuesday that one of its warships sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, three months after a similar operation and amid strained ties between Beijing and Ottawa over a series of thorny diplomatic issues. (South China Morning Post, China, September 12, 2019)
  • Taiwan steps into trade war breach for US, saying it will buy US$3.6 billion in American agricultural products
    The rising tension between Beijing and Washington has helped Taipei, as the US Congress and Trump administration move to strengthen ties with Taiwan
    A letter of intent for the sale will be signed next week in Washington, signalling the apparent political as well as economic dimension to the purchase. (South China Morning Post, China, September 12, 2019)
  • India’s South China Sea policy has not changed. Now, as before, there’s no appetite to challenge China
    India’s back-to-back moves to boost relations with Japan and Russia, particularly in security matters, appear to indicate it wants a bigger naval role in the contested South China Sea to counter a rising China. The reality is far different. Two developments in recent days have given rise to speculation that India’s South China Sea policy could be shifting. First, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Tokyo last week, where the two countries reviewed their security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and reportedly even discussed developments in the South China Sea. (South China Morning Post, China, September 13, 2019)
  • US Senate passes Uygur Human Rights Policy Act calling for sanctions on Chinese officials over Xinjiang camps
    Bill also urges Trump administration to prohibit export of goods and services to state agents in Chinese region where upwards of 1 million Uygurs are being held
    Beijing describes move as a ‘gross interference in China’s internal affairs’. The United States Senate has passed a bipartisan bill urging the government to take action to counter China’s crackdown on Muslims and other minorities in its far western region of Xinjiang. (South China Morning Post, China, September 13, 2019)
  • China, Malaysia seek to resolve South China Sea disputes with new dialogue mechanism
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says arrangement will provide a ‘new platform for cooperation’
    Tensions in disputed waterway ‘have dropped recently’, he says. China and Malaysia have agreed to set up a joint dialogue mechanism for discussing
    South China Sea issues at a time of simmering tensions between Beijing and its neighbours over the disputed waterway. (South China Morning Post, China, September 13, 2019)
1 - 7 September, 2019
  • A blow to US, China to invest $280bn in Iran sectors targeted by sanctions
    China is planning to invest $280 billion in Iran’s oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors that are being affected by US sanctions, according to Petroleum Economist magazine.
    The energy affairs magazine quoted a senior source who was linked to the Iranian Oil Ministry, as stating that this enormous investment represents a key point in a new agreement between the two countries. This was confirmed during Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to China in late August, to present a roadmap for the strategic comprehensive partnership agreement, which concluded in 2016. (Middle East Monitor, September 7, 2019)
  • Hong Kong's leader withdraws extradition bill that ignited mass protests Chief executive did not concede to other demands including an inquiry into police violence
    Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has said her government will formally withdraw an extradition bill that has ignited months of protests and plunged the territory into its biggest political crisis in decades. (The Guardian, September 4, 2019)
  • China opts for low-key coverage of Hong Kong extradition bill withdrawal
    Comments and hashtags disappear as the authorities muffle backlash after weeks of rhetoric.
    One analyst says that Beijing is worried about mainland citizens believing that protests can achieve results. Beijing has kept a tight grip on coverage of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s decision to withdraw the city’s extradition bill, focusing on the need to restore order and economic development in Hong Kong. (South China Morning Post, China, September 6, 2019)
  • Giant China crane ship turns up near Vietnamese coast
    Beijing stretches Hanoi’s maritime capacity after weeks of tension in South China Sea
    A Chinese giant crane vessel has been tracked to 90km (56 miles) from the Vietnamese coastline – in an area claimed by Hanoi as its exclusive economic zone – ueling the risk of further maritime confrontation between the two countries. (South China Morning Post, China, September 6, 2019)
  • US using trade war to stop China overtaking it: ex-Singapore diplomat Kishore Mahbubani
    Kishore Mahbubani says the US could have solved its trade dispute with China if it wanted to, but it is now a ‘geopolitical contest’ China’s Belt and Road Initiative was a ‘pre-emptive strike’ against the US and current world order. (South China Morning Post, China, September 5, 2019)