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Home Weekly Bulletin Weekly Bulletin 17/7-23/7

Weekly Bulletin 17/7-23/7

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US asks countries in East and South China Sea to exercise restraint;  Australia opposes militarisation of South China Sea; India for freedom of navigation in South China Sea…

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Activities of Related Parties

China

China opens cinema on Phu Lam (Woody) Island

China recently opened first cinema on Phu Lam Island. "The cinema will show at least one film every day," said Gu Xiaojing, general manager of Hainan Media Croup.

The US

US asks countries in East and South China Sea to exercise restraint

Responding to questions on Chinese H-6 bombers flying over the Bashi Channel and the Miyako Strait several times over the past week, Pentagon Spokesman Navy Capt Jeff Davis said: "We would continue to urge everybody in that area, in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, to exercise restraint and not do things that are provocative and to respect each other's sovereignty in their operations."

Australia

Australia opposes militarisation of South China Sea

Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop on July 18 said her country opposes Beijing’s construction of artificial reefs and their militarisation in the disputed South China Sea, holding that freedom of navigation must be ensured. Bishop, who was on a two-day visit to New Delhi, added “i is important that all states respect international laws including the United Nation’s Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) using it as a guide to resolve disputes.”

Regional Snapshots

U.S. Navy destroyer monitored Chinese carrier in Taiwan Strait

The U.S. Navy deployed an Aegis destroyer to monitor the passage of China’s first aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait last week, local media reported on July 18. The China Times reported that it was rare for U.S. naval vessels to enter the Taiwan Strait, a 160-km-wide body of water separating Taiwan and mainland China, and that this move carries a high degree of military and political significance. In addition to the destroyer, the report said, the U.S. Navy also deployed a nuclear-powered submarine to waters near Taiwan to gather intelligence.

India for freedom of navigation in South China Sea

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on July 20 stated: "Our stand is there should be freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce (in South China Sea). China has been building ports and facilities close to Indian maritime boundaries... But to say that India is being surrounded is not correct. India is alert towards its security. No power can surround or corner India."

Vietnam, Cambodia treasure close-knit relations

Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid an official visit to Cambodia from 20-22 July. On the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, Vietnamese and Cambodian leaders agreed to continue working closely with countries concerned to push for the settlement of the dispute in the sea by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and regional commitments, the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early completion of a Code of Conduct in the area to maintain peace, stability, maritime and overflight safety and freedom there.  


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