China Reportedly Installs Rocket Launchers On Disputed South China Sea Island

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After a meeting between Chinese and ASEAN officials in the Chinese city of Guiyang, China's foreign ministry said the framework had been agreed upon, but gave no details of its contents.

Japan said Friday it scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese vessel sailing in disputed waters launched a drone, the latest bout of tension in a longstanding territorial row.

Having stalled on code of conduct for over a decade, China, perhaps seeing a decisive tip in its favor, is now pushing to see a draft by a provisional deadline of August. ASEAN is now chaired by the Philippines, whose leader Rodrigo Duterte has pursued a bilateral rapprochement with Beijing since being sworn into office in June 2016.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin, in comments carried on state television, said the framework was comprehensive and took into account the concerns of all sides.

The island is a part of the small Natuna archipelago, remote Indonesian islands in the South China Sea.

China has deployed anti-frogmen rocket launchers meant to fend off Vietnamese intrusions on one of its man-made islands in the contested South China Sea, Chinese state media reported Wednesday.

The South China Sea dispute involves islands and maritime claims in the region among several sovereign states besides China, like Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam.

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In China, the hydrate has been widely detected in permafrost in areas like the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, as well as under the South China and East China seas.

The issue has come to a head in recent years as China has pursued a strategy of building artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities in the region, provoking strong reactions from other claimants as well as the USA, which argues Beijing's actions threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the strategically vital waters.

The Philippines, chairman for this year's ASEAN, earlier promised to finish the framework in June.

He stated during an inspection at an experimental exploration platform in the Shenhu area in northern South China Sea, that this is China's first success in mining flammable ice or natural gas hydrate at sea, after almost two decades of research and exploration. Most notably, in 2012, ASEAN leaders failed to issue a joint statement after a summit in Cambodia over these divisions.

In July 2016, in a case brought by the Philippines, an arbitral tribunal in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague found no legal basis for China's claim of "historic rights" within the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea.

The binding code of conduct, which shall replace the non-binding 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, will lay down the rules for all claimant states.

Indonesia maintains it has no maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea, unlike other Asian nations, and does not contest ownership of reefs or islets there.

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