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Home Weekly Bulletin Weekly Bulletin 28/11-4/12

Weekly Bulletin 28/11-4/12

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Vietnam opposes Taiwan’s drill in Spratlys; China to make documentary on South China Sea ecology; Trump takes on China in tweets on South China Sea; US Coast Guard chief seeks expanded Asia-Pacific role…

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China

China to make documentary on South China Sea ecology

A documentary on the marine ecology of the South China Sea is to be produced, local sources said on November 27. Production of the documentary, currently known as "Beautiful South China Sea, My Home," will start next February, said Yao Hongzhao, head of the Hainan Shellfish and Coral Protection Association, and an underwater photographer in a press conference at the second China (Hainan) International Marine Tourism Fair in South China's Hainan province. The documentary will be made by volunteers. Yao did not give an exact number of the his team members, saying that it is still changing and rising.  A photography exhibition of marine life in the South China Sea was held at the fair.

Vietnam

Vietnam opposes Taiwan’s drill in Spratlys

In reply to a reporter’s query on Vietnam’s reaction to the Taiwanese side organising a drill at sea in the Ba Binh (Itu Aba) area in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratlys), Vietnames Foreign ministry's spokesperson Le Hai Binh said: “Taiwan’s organisation of the drill in Ba Binh area in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelago is a serious violation of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty over the archipelago, threatening peace, stability, security, navigation safety, sparking tensions, and complicating the situation in the East Sea, the spokesperson added. Vietnam resolutely protests and demands Taiwan not to repeat similar activities.”

England

British fighters to overfly South China Sea

Speaking to a Washington think tank on December 1, Britain's ambassador to the United States British fighter planes visiting Japan will fly over the South China Sea and Britain will sail aircraft carriers in the Pacific once they are operational in 2020. “We absolutely share the objective of this U.S. administration, and the next one, to protect freedom of navigation and to keep sea routes and air routes open," he said.

The U.S.

Trump takes on China in tweets on South China Sea

Donald Trump took on the Chinese government via social media on December 4, rejecting criticism of his decision to take a phone call from Taiwan’s president at the risk of triggering a backlash from Beijing. “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!” Trump tweeted.

Regional Snapshots

US Coast Guard chief seeks expanded Asia-Pacific role

Speaking to VOA on November 30, US Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft said that the U.S. Coast Guard could be the face of U.S. military presence in disputed waters without appearing too threatening. The U.S. Coast Guard also could help Vietnam, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries develop maritime law enforcement capabilities, and help maintain peace and security in the surrounding waters.

Vietnam, Indonesia hold 9th negotiation round on EEZ delimitation

Vietnamese Vice Chairman of the National Boundary Commission under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Duy Chien led the Vietnamese delegation to the negotiation, while the Indonesian delegation was headed by Bebeb A.K.N Djundjunan, Director of the Directorate of Political, Security and Territorial Treaties under the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, both sides continued discussing issues relating to the delimitation of the two countries’ EEZ boundary based on international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They expressed their belief that the progress reached at the gathering will contribute to strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations.


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