2022-09-05 | The CFRA
Katsuwonus pelamis, listed in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as a highly migratory stock, is a South China Sea species that is fished heavily by rival claimants. Political disputes over sovereignty claims have made joint fisheries management difficult, if not impossible. The absence of a regional fisheries management organisation (RFMO) in the South China Sea further compounds this difficulty. As a result, no authoritative collaborative stock assessment on this or other stocks in the South China Sea has been carried out in recent years. New efforts by fisheries scientists from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam to develop a Common Fisheries Resource Analysis (CFRA) of katsuwonus pelamis in the South China Sea therefore represents a significant development in both regional science and regional cooperation. Using the Length-Based Spawning Potential Ratio (LBSPR) methodology, this paper examines the stock health of katsuwonus pelamis in the South China Sea. This delivers increased evidence to support domestic fisheries policymaking and develops norms and standards for regional cooperation.
2022-03-27 | BY SCSPI
In 2021, as the US placed great emphasis on military deterrence against China, the US armed forces maintained a high tempo of military activities in the South China Sea, such as close-in reconnaissance operations, Taiwan Strait transits, forward presence, strategic deterrence, “freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs)”, military exercises and drills, and battlefield preparation. Specifically, large reconnaissance aircraft conducted nearly 1,200 close-in reconnaissance sorties over the South China Sea, several of which came close to only around 20 nautical miles away from China’s baselines. The US carrier strike groups (CSGs) and amphibious ready groups (ARGs) entered the South China Sea 12 times, more than twice the frequency in 2020. At least 11 nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) deployed to the South China Sea and its surrounding waters throughout the year, among which the Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) even “struck an underwater mountain” in the northern waters of the South China Sea. In addition, with a significantly stronger focus on China, the US military has given more emphasis to “great power competition” with respect to strategies, tactics, concepts of operations (CONOPS) and weapons research and development.
2021-04-06 | BY Chen Qi
In 1975, Vietnam went back on its long-standing position over Spratly islands in the South China Sea – these islands are part of China’s territory – and occupied five ‘features seized by the Republic of Vietnam, or South Vietnam with its capital in Saigon, in the name of “emancipating Quan Dao Truong Sa” (an illegal name of the main islands and reefs of Spratly Islands coined by Vietnam). As of 1998, the country invaded the other 24 islands and reefs of Spratly Islands in succession, bringing the total number of Vietnamese-occupied islands and reefs in the region to 29. Over the past 46 years, in order to reinforce its claimed “sovereignty” and develop marine resources, Vietnam has painstakingly developed those occupied islands and reefs of the Spratly Islands, irrespective of its weak national strength and teetering economic conditions. Among all the Spratly Islands claimants, Vietnam has occupied most of islands and reefs and was the first to deploy heavy weapons to these features unceasingly for a long time.
2021-03-12 | BY SCSPI
Even though COVID-19 wreaked havoc worldwide in 2020, the US military continued to carry out intensive military activities in the South China Sea, with their strategic weapon platforms, typically carrier strike groups, strategic bombers and nuclear attack submarines, operating in the region frequently, posing unprecedented deterrence against China. In the meantime, the US Navy and Air Force continued to conduct frequent reconnaissance operations in the region, deploying a mix of reconnaissance aircraft, including those of civilian contractors, to the South China Sea, all of which built up strong momentum for battlefield construction and warfighting readiness across the US military.
2020-03-28 | BY SCSPI
In 2019, the US armed forces continued to carry out intensive military activities in the South China Sea, with their strategic platforms coming in and out of the region frequently, sea and air reconnaissance forces conducting various operations vigorously, the freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) near China’s stationed islands and reefs in the South China Sea increasing rapidly, and military diplomacy intensifying unprecedentedly. Though the US has become slightly more prudent in its words and deeds with regard to the military conflicts with China in the South China Sea, its operations in this region, in terms of both scale and intensity, have been significantly reinforced, compared to those in 2018. With the continual military exercises and various drills of the US armed forces and the rushing deployment of forces and platforms in the South China Sea, the region has become a front line of the maritime strategic competition between China and the US.
2019-12-27 | BY SCSPI
In 2019, the US military substantially strengthened the contents and intensity of military exercises in the South China Sea and its neighboring areas, and pressed ahead with over 100 reinforced joint military exercises and drills with countries surrounding the South China Sea and extra-regional powers.  

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