A US official tried to bribe the captain of a tanker carrying Iranian oil to deliver the ship into US hands. He emailed, “With this money, you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age…If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you.”
The recent passage of Chinese warships through the Sulu Sea generated an outburst of criticism by Philippine officials and pundits. Their passage was called “illegal”, “unfriendly” and a “deception”. The issue is more complex than these critics would have it.
Since July 2019, peaceful demonstrations in the city of Hong Kong has transformed into large-scale pro-independence clashes with the police. The Hong Kong people’s identity crisis has contributed to the demonstrations.
The ability to mobilize several thousand misinformed youths to paralyze airport operations showed the mastery of the radicals to use modern media platforms to spread false or fake news to rally the crowd.
The general strike called by Hong Kong’s anti-extradition bill netizens on August 5, 2019 wreaked havoc in the city. The general strike reflected both the strengths and weaknesses of the anti-extradition movement and offered some clues on how to resolve the impasse.
The US is proposing Operation Sentinel to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.
Philippines Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration victory against China.
A proposed extradition law that is supposed to address the legal loopholes allowing fugitives to hide in Hong Kong boomeranged and triggered the worst political crisis in the city since the 1997 handover.
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
The US is proposing a “coalition of the willing” to protect “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz. This cooperative protection might take the form of maritime and air surveillance, a “picket line of ships” or military escorts for tankers.