The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative recently released a “A Blueprint for Oil and Gas Production in the South China Sea.” It is an important contribution to thinking about interim solutions to these seemingly intractable disputes.
Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad visited Beijing from August 17-21, 2018, with the aim of seeking understanding from his Chinese hosts that his government needs to re-adjust Malaysia’s financial situation.
A US Navy Poseidon 8-A flew over or “near” four of China’s occupied features in the South China Sea. A radio voice identifying itself as “the Chinese military” requested the plane to “leave immediately and keep off to avoid any misunderstanding.”
In 2016, the Chinese government provided over RMB 33 million for the Pilot Project for Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia which is based on technical and financial support from China for the specific purpose of poverty alleviation in Laos.
At the ASEAN meetings, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated an indirect but obvious warning to China that Washington was committed to the rule of law in the South China Sea. He then announced a security aid package to Southeast Asia prioritizing maritime security.
Singapore hosted the 51st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting from July 30 to August 4, 2018. ASEAN will certainly seek to augment its community building in a world where geopolitical shifts and disruptive forces are taking place.