Latest South China Sea News

A little girl holds palm oil fruit collected from a plantation in Sumatra, Indonesia, Nov. 13, 2017. An Associated Press investigation has found many palm oil workers in Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia endure exploitation, including child labor. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks

Sep. 24, 2020 9:30 AM EDT

PENINSULAR MALAYSIA (AP) — Jum’s words tumble out over the phone, his voice growing ever more frantic. Between sobs, he says he’s trapped on a Malaysian plantation run by government-owned Felda, one of the world’s largest palm oil companies. His boss confiscated and then lost his...

In this image made from UNTV video, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, president of the Philippines, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at UN headquarters. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

Duterte gets rare praise for raising sea feud ruling at UN

Sep. 23, 2020 6:37 AM EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president got rare praises Wednesday from his key critics for invoking before the United Nations a 2016 arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, in a surprise move that will likely pique Beijing. President...

In this image made from UNTV video, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, president of the Philippines, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at UN headquarters. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

In UN speech, Duterte defends drug war but tempers tone

Sep. 22, 2020 4:03 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte defended his drug crackdown, dismissed criticism from human rights advocates and underscored his country's claims in the South China Sea as the sometimes aggressive critic of the United Nations addressed its annual gathering of world leaders for...

South China Sea Watch: Taiwan alarm and Indonesia standoff

Sep. 21, 2020 3:15 AM EDT

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. ___...

An image on a sonar screen shows a silhouette shape of a submarine lying on the ocean floor somewhere in the Strait of Malacca on Oct. 21, 2019. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. (Jean Luc Rivoire via AP)

Divers in SE Asia may have found US submarine lost in WWII

Sep. 16, 2020 11:03 PM EDT

BANGKOK (AP) — Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. The divers have sent photos and other evidence from six dives they made from October 2019 to March this year...

FILE - In this July 11, 2019, file photo, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David Stilwell speaks to media as he arrives at the Narita International Airport in Narita, north of Tokyo. Stilwell accused China on Tuesday of bullying and insincerity in its dealings with Southeast Asian nations, but said Washington isn't forcing the region to choose sides between the two world powers. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

US envoy accuses China of insincerity toward Southeast Asia

Sep. 15, 2020 7:19 AM EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A U.S. official accused China on Tuesday of bullying and insincerity in its dealings with Southeast Asian nations, but said Washington isn't forcing the region to choose sides between the two world powers. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell emphasized American...

This undated photo released on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, by Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (BAKAMLA) shows a Chinese Cost Guard ship sails in North Natuna Sea. An Indonesian patrol ship confronted the Chinese vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China's disputed South China Sea claims. (Indonesian Maritime Security Agency via AP)

Indonesian patrol confronts Chinese ship in economic zone

Sep. 15, 2020 5:12 AM EDT

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and are near the southernmost part of China's disputed South China Sea claims. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency said it detected...

In this handout photo provided by the Department of National Defense Public Affairs Office (PAO), Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, left, prepares to sit for a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe, right, at the Department of National Defense in Quezon city, Philippines, Friday Sept. 11, 2020. The two discussed ways in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, revisited the 2004 Philippines-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation and also issues on the South China Sea. (Department of National Defense PAO via AP)

South China Sea Watch: More talks and more tensions

Sep. 14, 2020 12:59 AM EDT

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. ___...

In this handout photo provided by the Department of National Defense Public Affairs Office (PAO), Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, left, exchanges momento with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe during his visit at the Department of National Defense in Quezon city, Philippines, Friday Sept. 11, 2020. The two discussed ways in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, revisited the 2004 Philippines-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation and also issues on the South China Sea. (Department of National Defense PAO via AP)

China, Philippine defense chiefs discuss territorial dispute

Sep. 11, 2020 9:37 AM EDT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine defense chief told his Chinese counterpart on Friday that Manila will adhere “without any possibility of compromise” to a 2016 international arbitration ruling that invalidated most of Beijing's rival claims in the South China Sea, according to a...

This image taken from video provided by VTV shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking during an online meeting with ASEAN foreign ministers on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. During the meeting, Pompeo slashed out on China saying Beijing does not respect fundamental democratic values and urged ASEAN nations to act against China's dominance. (VTV via AP)

US to ASEAN: Reconsider deals with blacklisted China firms

Sep. 10, 2020 4:34 AM EDT

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Southeast Asian nations Thursday to reconsider deals with Chinese companies blacklisted by Washington for building island outposts he says Beijing is using to “bully" rival claimants in the disputed South China Sea. Pompeo spoke with...