VIF Information Alerts - 6 Feb 2018

China nearly done militarizing South China Sea
Asia Times

06 Feb 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s rapprochement with China, a gambit that has traded security concessions for economic and investment largesse, has once again been undermined by developments in the South China Sea

Undisclosed sources, most likely from the Philippine defense establishment, gave the Philippine Daily Inquirer a new cache of satellite images which show China has virtually completed its militarization of the artificially-created islands it controls in the contested maritime area. The high-resolution photos were published on the liberal newspaper’s website on Monday. Click here to read...

Philippines’ Duterte reneges on China deal, bans foreign research ships.
The Hindu
06 Feb 2018

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has banned all foreign scientific research off the country's Pacific coast and told the navy to chase away unauthorised vessels, despite earlier allowing Chinese oceanographers to operate there.

There was no clear explanation for the about-face by the mercurial Mr. Duterte, who has cultivated warm ties with China, ostensibly to attract loans and investments and lessen Manila's dependence on the United States. Click here to read...

Land reclamation to expand in South China Sea islands: expert
The Global Times

05 Feb 2018

China is concentrating on civil - not military - construction on islands in the South China Sea and will expand land reclamation, Chinese experts said on Monday.

"Most of the construction on islands in the South China Sea were completed in 2015 and the pace then slowed. Civilian facility construction is the major focus of the South China Sea islands building and the portion of defense deployment is relatively small," Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times. Click here to read...

Asean foreign ministers stress need for non-militarisation, restraint in South China Sea
The Straits Times
06 Feb 2018

Asean's foreign ministers have emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in all activities in the South China Sea, especially those that could complicate the situation and escalate tensions.

Their position was outlined in a statement by Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan at the end of an Asean Foreign Ministers' Retreat which he chaired on Tuesday (Feb 6). Click here to read...

China hopes Maldives can resolve crisis by itself
The Statesman
06 Feb 2018

China on Tuesday expressed hope that the Maldivian government and the opposition parties have the wisdom to resolve the political crisis on their own.

The island nation has plunged into crisis, with the government led by President Abdulla Yameen imposing a state of emergency for 15 days and arresting Supreme Court judges who ordered the release of leaders of the main opposition party. Click here to read...

US introduced Bill to cut non-defence aid to Pak; funds to go for infra
The Business Standard

06 Feb 2018

A bill was introduced on Tuesday in the US House of Representatives to end non-defence aid to Pakistan as it "provides military aid and intelligence" to terrorists. It sought that the amount be redirect to infrastructure projects in the country.

Introduced by Congressmen Mark Sanford from South Carolina and Thomas Massie from Kentucky, the legislation will prohibit the US State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from sending American taxpayer money to Pakistan. Click here to read...

Defence tech start-up CRON partners with Bangladesh’s GETCO
The Hindu Business Line

05 Feb 2018

YourNest Venture Capital investee CRON Systems, an Internet of Things-based border security start-up, said on Monday it has entered into a partnership with Bangladesh-based GETCO Group, its first global foray.

GETCO, an engineering consultancy and services company that provides technology for perimeter security along the Bangladesh border, will provide marketing and channel support for some of CRON’s products that are already being deployed by Indian paramilitary forces. Click here to read...

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