Japan scrambles jets over China drone flight

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Japan scrambled warplanes on Thursday after four Chinese coast guard ships and a drone aircraft entered territory it claims around disputed islands in the East China Sea, according to Defense Ministry officials.

The agreement suits China's goal of managing rather than solving the disputes, with Beijing still certain that it will eventually reach solutions through bilateral talks, Huang said.

Huang said it likely contains clauses barring the use of force or unilateral changes to facts on the ground, such as the construction of man-made islands by China that it has equipped with airfields and military installations.

They are controlled by Japan but claimed also by China.

In this week's analysis and commentary, Mira Rapp-Hooper of the Center for New American Security and Charles Edel of the U.S. Naval War College weigh "the high cost of stopping Freedom of Navigation operations" in the South China Sea.

But longer term, the viability of fire ice could be a downer for countries like the United States, Australia, and Qatar, which have geared up to become big exporters of liquefied natural gas - with an eye, in particular, on hungry Asian markets.

"Let's start with it being binding, gentlemen's agreement".

"All parties have vowed to continue to constructively advance the negotiations" toward the early conclusion of the code of conduct, Liu said following Thursday's meeting in the southern Chinese city of Guiyang. It was unclear if that was mentioned in the framework draft, which has not been made public.

An global tribunal ruled in July a year ago that China's claims to most of the sea were without legal basis, in a case filed by the Philippines under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Chee Wee Kiong said the sides hoped that would produce needed "political support" from the ministers.

India and Singapore, both notably underrepresented or absent from the One Belt One Road summit, began major military exercises in the South China Sea this week.

"We have a very open attitude to normal exchanges between various countries", she said when asked for China's reaction to the joint naval exercise of India and Singapore.

In its terms of reference released Friday, the consultative body said the two countries would use the BCM to promote maritime cooperation and security in the disputed waters, as had been agreed following President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Beijing past year.

"It does not mean the differences have disappeared".

"We intend to drill oil there, if it's yours, well, that's your view, but my view is, I can drill the oil, if there is some inside the bowels of the earth because it is ours", Duterte said in a speech, recalling his conversation with Xi.

Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

India, along with the USA, has voiced its support for freedom of navigation in the South China Sea region, as foreign trade worth more than a trillion dollar moves through the disputed waters.

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