Diplomatic Relations Between China & ASEAN / Japan / DPRK & RoK : News, Discussions & Analysis

RISING SUN

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Cambodia requests support for infrastructure development from United States
Minister of Public Works and Transport, Sun Chanthol has requested the US Ambassador to Cambodia Patrick Murphy, to consider providing assistance in the ports sector, transportation, land infrastructure and railroad.

Mr Chanthol said this during his bilateral talks with Ambassador Murphy on Thursday and in addition he requested support for capacity building for the Ministry’s technical and expert officials on road construction.

He said the United States can assist the ministry’s officials on training and exchange tours between the Los Angeles Port and Cambodia’s Sihanoukville Port.

Mr Chanthol informed the US Ambassador that the situation in Cambodia is better, both in terms of economic situation and the traffic of cargos across the border with neighboring countries though some countries have implemented quarantine measures.

Ambassador Murphy thanked the Cambodian government for allowing the Westerdam to dock at the Sihanoukville port. He also welcomed the close collaborations between US and Cambodia on public works and transport.

“To commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relation between Cambodia and US, the US embassy in Phnom Penh, has arranged events in each month, focusing on different topics. April and May is for environment and public health, and September is for trade and investment which will have a group of US-Asean Business Council members to visit Cambodia,” said Mr Murphy.
 

RISING SUN

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Indonesian Tourism Buckles as Chinese Tourists Stop Coming
Foreign tourist arrivals plummeted in Indonesia in March as the country's tourism industry started feeling the pinch of the coronavirus crisis, the central statistics agency reported on Monday.

The agency (BPS) said fewer than 471,000 tourists visited Indonesia in March, down 64 percent from the same month a year ago.

The number of Chinese tourists – who normally make up the second-largest group of foreign travelers in Indonesia after the Malaysians – fell 97 percent to just over 196,000 in March.

The number of Australian tourists to Indonesia also dropped by more than 56 percent to 249,000, the agency said.

Indonesia recorded a total of 2.6 million foreign visitors in the first three months of this year, down 31 percent from 3.8 million during the same period a year ago.

Indonesia announces its first two cases of Covid-19 on March 2, just over two weeks after the country closed its borders to travelers from China.

The government has since extended the travel ban to travelers coming from Covid-19 epicenters Italy, Iran and South Korea and stopped issuing visas on arrival.

Travels to Indonesia from those countries are only possible with special permits from the government.

The Tourism Ministry had said the massive drop in tourist arrivals from China, which accounted for 13 percent of total foreign visitor arrivals last year, would lose Indonesia up to $2.8 billion in revenue.

The tourism sector was last year one of the top contributors to Indonesia's foreign exchange income along with coal and palm oil exports.

Hotels Are Struggling
Since the tourists are gone, hotels suffer. Occupancy rate dropped to just 32 percent in March, the lowest in almost five years, BPS data showed.

Hotels in North Sulawesi, a favorite destination for Chinese visitors, were hit the hardest. Occupancy rate in the province dropped by almost a third in March to just over 25 percent.

Hotels in West Nusa Tenggara fared even worse. Only one out of five hotel rooms was occupied last month.

In Bali, Indonesia's most popular tourist destination, the hotel occupancy rate dropped to 25 percent.

Only hotels in South Sumatra, East Kalimantan and West Papua were able to maintain occupancy rates of above 35 percent.
 

BMD

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US carriers drill after Southeast Asian nations rebuke China

Associated Press June 29, 2020, 8:47 AM GMT+1

PHILIPPINE SEA (June 23, 2020). The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group while conducting dual carrier and airwing operations in the Philippine Sea June 23, 2020. Dual carrier operations unify the tactical power of two individual carrier strike groups, providing fleet commanders with an unmatched, unified credible combat force capable of operating indefinitely. The Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike groups are on scheduled deployments to the Indo-Pacific. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dylan Lavin/U.S. 7th Fleet)

PHILIPPINE SEA (June 23, 2020). The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group transits in formation with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group while conducting dual carrier and airwing operations in the Philippine Sea June 23, 2020. Dual carrier operations unify the tactical power of two individual carrier strike groups, providing fleet commanders with an unmatched, unified credible combat force capable of operating indefinitely. The Nimitz and Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike groups are on scheduled deployments to the Indo-Pacific. (Photo: Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dylan Lavin/U.S. 7th Fleet)More
BEIJING (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves.
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US CARRIER STRIKE GROUPS DRILL
Two U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups are conducting dual operations in the Philippine Sea in a show of the service’s ability to rapidly deploy overwhelming force in support of allies locked in disputes with China.
Ships and aircraft assigned to the Nimitz and Ronald Reagan groups began the drills Sunday, the U.S. 7th Fleet responsible for operations in the Indo-Pacific said in a news release.
“Dual carrier operations demonstrate our commitment to regional allies ... and our readiness to confront all those who challenge international norms,” Rear Admiral George Wikoff, commander Carrier Strike Group 5, was quoted as saying.
“The U.S. Navy regularly conducts integrated strike group operations to support a free and open Indo-Pacific, and promote an international rules-based order wherein each country can reach its potential without sacrificing national sovereignty,” the release said.
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ASEAN LEADERS REBUKE CHINA
Southeast Asian leaders have issued one of their strongest ever statements opposing China’s claim to virtually the entire disputed waters on historical grounds.
The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations took the position in a statement issued by Vietnam on Saturday on behalf of the 10-nation bloc.
“We reaffirmed that the 1982 UNCLOS is the basis for determining maritime entitlements, sovereign rights, jurisdiction and legitimate interests over maritime zones,” the ASEAN statement said.
The leaders were referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that defines the rights of nations to the world’s oceans and demarcates exclusive economic zones where coastal states are given the right to exclusively tap fishery and fuel resources.
Three Southeast Asian diplomats told The Associated Press the statement marked a significant strengthening of the regional bloc’s assertion of the rule of law in a disputed region that has long been regarded as an Asian flash point. China has been seen as seeking to block such statements by calling on support from Cambodia and other allies within ASEAN.
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PHILIPPINES WARNS ON CHINESE ADIZ
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is warning that any move by China to establish an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea would be highly destabilizing.
“It is my fervent hope that China would not proceed with this planned action for the continued peace and stability in the entire South China Sea,” Lorenzana said in a statement on June 25.
China is believed to be considering setting up an ADIZ in the region similar to the one it declared over the East China Sea in 2013. That earlier declaration was largely ignored, with the U.S. among countries saying it would not cooperate with Chinese demands to announce flight plans and identify its aircraft.
China has said a decision on whether to set up an ADIZ in the South China Sea would depend on to what degree it felt threatened.
Lorenzana said a Chinese ADIZ would violate other countries’ rights to their exclusive economic zones.
“They would continue to use these waters and airspace, and thus would further raise an already heightening tension and could result in mishaps or miscalculations at sea and in the air,” Lorenzana said.
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US, JAPANESE SHIPS EXERCISE TOGETHER
U.S. and Japanese naval vessels held joint exercises in the South China Sea on June 23, bringing together two of China’s biggest military rivals in a waterway Beijing claims as its own.
The exercise was designed to “practice and enhance bilateral interoperability between the two navies,” the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a news release.
The drills brought together the Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kashima class-training vessel JS Kashima and Shimayuki-class training vessel JS Shimayuki (TV-3513)
China frowns on all U.S. military activity in the South China Sea and says Japan’s presence there reawakens concerns about Japanese militarism dating before World War II.
 
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BMD

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_Anonymous_

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Ex-premier of PRC China getting arrested on orders of Jinping.
Looks like Zhu Rongji Premier to President Jiang Zemin & prominent member of his faction. Looks like the power struggle is much more bitter in PRC than we thought. If this continues, they'd be looking for a diversion. The happenings in Ladakh suit it just fine. I'm not sure if Modi will attack but if this continues in China, they'd be the ones to attack first.
 
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