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MaritimeSecurityandtheRoleofNaval DiplomacyintheSouthChinaSea

CarlyleA.Thayer

Paper to The Maritime Institute of Malaysia Conference on the South China Sea: Recent Developments and Implications for Peaceful Dispute Resolution Royal Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia December 12-13, 2011

MaritimeSecurityandthe RoleofNavalDiplomacyintheSouthChinaSea
CarlyleA.Thayer1

Introduction
Thispaperconsidersthreebroadissues:thestrategicoutlookforSoutheastAsia,currentnaval activities,andopportunitiesforfurthercooperationamongtheregionsnavies. Part1considerseightmajortrendsthatcurrentlyshapetheregionalsecurityenvironment:the global economic and financial crisis, Chinas military modernisation, United States re engagement, increased regional arms procurements, the heightened importance of the maritime domain, the increasing salience of transnational security issues, the persistence of everydaysecuritychallenges,andtheevolutionoftheregionalsecurityarchitecture. In part 2, current naval activities are discussed under five headings: Chinese naval activities; U.S. naval activities; regional naval activities; antipiracy operations; and confidence building measuresrelatedtotheSouthChinaSea. Inpart3paperlooksatthefutureprospectsforfurthernavalcooperationwithafocusonthe rolesoftheAssociationofSoutheastAsianNations(ASEAN)andtheASEANRegionalForum. The paper concludes with a proposal for a Code of Conduct for Southeast Asians Maritime Domain.

StrategicOutlookforSoutheastAsia
EightmajortrendsarecurrentlyshapingthesecurityenvironmentinSoutheastAsia.2Theseare discussedinturn. 1. Global financial and economic crisis. The global financial crisis is the single most important driver of interstate dynamics in AsiaPacific region. The global financial crisis has accelerated thepowershiftfromNorthAmericaandEuropetoEastAsia.Themostdramaticmanifestation of this power shift has been to reinforce Chinas rise as a major power in all dimensions of national power. China now has an enhanced global and regional leadership role through the GroupofTwentyandASEANPlusThree(APT). China has used its new position to press for strengthened supervisory and regulatory
1

EmeritusProfessor,TheUniversityofNewSouthWalesattheAustralianDefenceForceAcademy,Canberra.E mail:c.thayer@adfa.edu.au.
2

ThesearedrawnfromCarlyleA.Thayer,SoutheastAsia:PatternsofSecurityCooperation,ASPIStrategyReport (Canberra:AustralianStrategicPolicyInstitute,2010),712.

arrangementsoverinternationalfinancialinstitutionsandgreaterinfluencefornewlyemerging economiesintheWorldBankandtheInternationalMonetaryFund.Chinasleadershiponthese issues has found widespread support in the region. Chinas challenge to the regional order established under United States leadership after the Second World War will continue to generatetensionsthatwillbetransmittedtoSoutheastAsia.ThedynamicsofSinoAmerican relationswillhaveacontinuingmajorimpactonthesecurityenvironmentinSoutheastAsia. The global financial crisis has driven home to Southeast Asia its interdependence and vulnerabilitytoglobalforces.Italsotriggeredaregionalpowershiftthatcontributedtotherise ofIndonesiaand,toalesserextent,Vietnamasmajorregionalplayers.Bothcountriesemerged from the global financial crisis in a strengthened position due to their domestic recovery programsandmaintenanceofinternalstability.IndonesiaandVietnamcanbeexpectedtoplay anincreasinglyimportantroleinshapingSoutheastAsiassecurityenvironment. 2.Chinasmilitarymodernization.ThereisadirectlinkbetweenChinasphenomenaleconomic growth and rising defence budgets to support the modernisation and transformation of its military forces. This has both strategic and regional implications. Chinas Peoples Liberation ArmyNavy(PLAN)isdevelopingrolesandmissionsthatwillpermitittoprojectpowerbeyond its territorial sphere of interest into the Western Pacific and South China Sea. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that the strategic intent behind ChinasdevelopmentofnewcapabilitiesseemedtobeveryfocusedontheUnitedStatesNavy andourbasesthatareinthatpartoftheworld. Insum,Chinasmilitarymodernisationandtransformation,especiallynavalmodernisation,has created a security dilemma for regional states. Chinas efforts to safeguard its security by developing what it considers a reasonable force structure to deter the United States has createdinsecurityinseveralneighbouringstatesduetoChinaslackoftransparency. 3.UnitedStatessteppedupengagement.Therecanbenodoubtthattheglobalfinancialcrisis hasdentedtheauthorityoftheUnitedStatesandunderminedtheattractionofitsfreemarket capitalisteconomyasamodelofdevelopment.InFebruary2009,DennisBlair,thenDirectorof U.S. National Intelligence, observed in testimony to the Senate Select Committee on IntelligencethattheglobalfinancialcrisishasworsenedquestioningofUSstewardshipofthe global economy and international financial structure and damaged Americas reputation for worldleadership. In broad strategic terms the global financial crisis has forced a reduction of U.S. defence spendinginacquisitionaccounts,procurement,andresearchanddevelopmentthatarevitalif the United States is to maintain its commanding technological superiority. Despite the declaration by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that the defence budget for the Asia Pacific will not be affected, in the longterm the United States will have fewer resources to shape strategic developments in the AsiaPacific, including Southeast Asia. In the coming decades, the United States will rely even more heavily on its allies and strategic partners to cooperatetoensureregionalsecurity. The change in power relativities between China and the United States has prompted some strategic analysts to write about the possible erosion of US power and loss of US strategic

primacy. The United States has responded by beefing up its military muscle and renewing its political engagement with the region. Over the next several decades, the United States will retainitsroleastheworldsleadingcountryinallmeasuresofnationalpoweranditwillalso remaintheprimemaritimepowerintheAsiaPacificandSoutheastAsia. The global financial crisis occurred during a transition period in U.S. politics. The Obama Administration has brought renewed energy to US engagement with Southeast Asia. As U.S. SecretaryofStateHillaryClintonexclaimedinaJanuary2010speechtotheEastWestCenter, theUnitedStatesisbackinAsia.SecretaryClintonincludedIndonesiaonherfirsttriptothe AsiaPacific. She has attended consecutive ARF meetings since taking office and at her first meetinglaunchedtheLowerMekongInitiative.TheUnitedStateshasaccededtotheTreatyof Amity and Cooperation, appointed a resident ambassador to ASEAN and joined the East Asia Summit. The Obama Administration has also promoted free trade agreements with selected regional states, such as Vietnam, under the TransPacific Partnership program. More significantly,PresidentObamahasattendedallthreeASEANU.Sleadersmeetings. MorerecentlytheObamaAdministrationhassignaledastepupinitsengagementinSoutheast AsiaonceitdrawsdownitscommitmentstoIraqandAfghanistan.AsSecretaryofStateClinton hasnotedonseveraloccasionstheUnitedStateswillpivottotheAsiaPacificregion.Insum, steppedup US engagement will play a major role in influencing the security environment in SoutheastAsia. 4. Increased arms procurements. As noted above, Chinas defence modernisation and transformationhasgeneratedasecuritydilemmaforregionalstates.ASEANstateshavebeen circumspectinpublicstatementsbuttheirconcernscanbediscernedinthesignificantrisein defenceexpendituresandthekindsofweaponsystemsandplatformsthattheyhaveacquired. AccordingtotheStockholmInternationalPeaceResearchInstitute,[arms]deliveriestoSouth East Asia nearly doubled in 20052009 compared to 20002004. Deliveries to Malaysia increasedby722percentin20052009comparedto20002004,forSingaporeby146percent and for Indonesia by 84 percent.3 Southeast Asias arms procurements go beyond force modernisation and include the introduction of new capabilities that can be operated at extendedranges.Inotherwords,SoutheastAsiasarmsbuyingspree,althoughlargelyintended fordefensivepurposes,mayhaveadestabilisingimpactonregionalsecurity. 5.Heightenedimportanceofthemaritimedomain.Themaritimedomainwillcontinuetogrow inimportanceinthecomingdecadeasSoutheastAsiaandEastAsiacontinuetorecoverfrom theglobalfinancialcrisisandresumeeconomicgrowth.Thiswillunderscorethegeostrategic importanceoftheseadomainstretchingfromtheGulfofArabiaandtheIndianOceanthrough archipelagicSoutheastAsiaandtheSouthChinaSeatotheWesternPacificforcommerceand thetransportofenergyresources. Therearebothpositiveandnegativefeaturesofthistrend.Ontheonehand,allnationsinthe AsiaPacific will have a vital common interest in maintaining the security of trade routes on whichtheireconomicprosperityandnationalsecuritydepend.Thiswillbethecaseespecially
3

P.Holtometal.,Trendsinarmstransfers,2009,SIPRIFactSheet,March2010,4.

for the East Asian economies that depend on sea lanes of communication (SLOC) that pass throughSoutheastAsiafortradeandfortheimportofvitalenergyresources. The heightened importance of the maritime domain raises the possibility of increased multilateral cooperation to guarantee maritime security. On the other hand, vital SLOCs pass through the South China Sea, where China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei have conflicting sovereignty claims. It is noticeable that the current military modernisationandtransformationprogramscontainelementsofanavalarmsraceembedded incompetitiveratherthancooperativemaritimestrategies. 6. Increasing salience of transnational issues. All ASEAN states stress the salience of non traditionalsecurityissuesasamajorfactorshapingtheregionalsecurityenvironment.Because nontraditionalsecurityissuesaretransnationalinnatureandbeyondtheabilityofanystateto resolve, they are more amenable to multilateral cooperative security approaches. It is unsurprising, then, that Southeast Asian states have given priority to security cooperation to addressnontraditionalthreats. Itisdebatablewhethereachandeverynontraditionalissueshouldbesecuritisedandtreated as a threat to national security. Submissions to the ARFs Annual Security Outlook 2009, for example, identified twelve nontraditional security threats: terrorism, piracy, transnational crime, small arms and light weapons smuggling, money laundering, drug trafficking, people smuggling, illegal migration, illegal logging, illegal fishing, avian influenza and swine flu, and climatechange. Theextenttowhichthearmedforces,asdistinctfromlawenforcement,customs,immigration andpublichealthofficials,shouldbeinvolvedinaddressingnontraditionalissuesisamatterof debatewithinindividualcountries.Butitisclearfromevolvingtrendsthatarmedforceswillbe increasinglyinvolvedinaddressingthesesecuritychallenges,especiallyinrespondingtolarge scalenaturaldisasters,terrorism,andpiracyandarmedrobberyatsea. 7. Persistence of everyday domestic security challenges. At least seven of Southeast Asias eleven states are affected by domestic security challenges of varying orders of magnitude in whichviolencehasbeenusedtoadvancetheinterestsofaparticulargroupornonstateactor. Inrecentyears,Malaysia,Indonesia,LaosandVietnamhaveallexperiencedsporadicoutbreaks of sectarian or ethnic violence. At the other end of the scale, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippinescontinuetoexperiencepoliticalinstabilityandethnonationalistinsurgency,ethnic conflict, and communist insurgency and armed separatism, respectively. Cambodia and Thailand were embroiled in an unseemly lowlevel conflict over disputed land surrounding a templecomplexontheirborder. These everyday domestic security challenges will persist over the next decade. The ongoing conflictsinsouthernThailandandthesouthernPhilippines,andtheunstabledomesticpolitical situationinMyanmar,ifunaddressed,allhavethepotentialtospilloverandaffectthesecurity of neighbouring states. Human rights abuses and violations of religious freedom in states experiencingdomesticstriferaisethequestionofwhetherhumanitarianinterventionmightbe invokedifastatefailstomeetitsobligationtoprotectitscitizens. 8. Evolution of the Regions Security Architecture. From the very inception of the ARF, ASEAN

has insisted on being in the drivers seat. Seventeen years after its foundation, the ARF remains a security dialogue forum that primarily advances confidencebuilding measures (CBMs)onthebasisofconsensusandatapacecomfortabletoallitsmembers.Thishasledto theinitiationofadhocefforts,suchastheProliferationSecurityInitiative,tocounterpossible proliferationrelated trafficking, and the ShangriLa Dialogue to discuss specific security challenges. Southeast Asia lacks an overarching security body to effectively address the range of current andemergingsecuritychallenges.InordertomaintainitscentralityASEANhassetforitselfthe goal of creating an ASEAN Community by 2015 based on three pillars, one of which is the PoliticalSecurityCommunitypillar.In2010theASEANDefenceMinistersMeeting(ADMM)held thefirstmeetingwithitseightdialoguepartners.TheADMMPluswillmeetnextin2013and thenannuallythereafter.TherecentexpansionoftheEastAsiaSummittoincludetheRussian FederationandtheUnitedStatesmayemergetofillthisrole.Thisdevelopmentmayresultin tensions between ASEANs assertion of its centrality and the leadership role played by major powers.

CurrentNavalActivities
ChineseNavalActivities

In2007commercialsatelliteimageryconfirmedthatChinawasconstructingamajornavalbase near Sanya on Hainan Island. The piers and docks at Yulin Naval Base berthed several major surface combatants and a single nuclear submarine. Further construction was underway to accommodatelargersurfacecombatantsincludingassaultshipsandeventuallyaircraftcarriers. At the same time, China has extended an airfield on Woody Island in the Paracel islands, consolidated its facilities at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly archipelago, and maintains a continuingnavalpresenceatMischiefReefoffthewestcoastofthePhilippines. Insum,Chinaisdevelopinganenhancedcapabilitytoexerciseitssovereigntyclaimsoverthe SouthChinaSeaandprotectitsvitalSLOCsthroughtheMalaccaandSingaporeStraitsaswellas the capacity to surge expeditionary forces into the South China Sea from these bases with a considerablyshortenedlogisticstail.4Byextension,Chinawillalsohavethecapacitytointerdict thesameSLOCsonwhichJapan,TaiwanandSouthKoreaaredependent. Other construction indicates that the Yulin Naval Base will have strategic implications for the balance of power in the region. Portions of the base are being built underground to provide facilities that cannot be easily monitored. Satellite imagery has confirmed the presence of a Chinese Type 094 Jinclass submarine since late 2007. The Type094 submarine is a second generationnuclearvesselandrepresentsChinasmostlethalnavalstrikeweapon.Upuntilnow

On June 18, 2009, General Zhang Li, a member of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, recommendedthatChinasendlargersurfacecombatantstotheSouthChinaSeaandconstructanairandseaport onMischiefReefinordertocontroltheSpratlysandbypasstheMalaccaStraits;L.C.RussellHsiao,PLAGeneral AdvisesBuildingBasesintheSouthChinaSea,ChinaBrief[TheJamestownFoundation],9(13),June24,2009,12.

allnuclearsubmarineswereunderthecommandofChinasNorthernFleet;thismarksthefirst permanentdeploymenttoChinasSouthernFleet. An analysis of construction activities indicate Yulin Naval Base will be capable of housing nuclear submarines capable of launching intercontinental ballistic missiles. When these facilities are completed they will provide China with the potential capability to station a substantialproportionofitssubmarinebasednucleardeterrentcapabilitiesthere. Chinasmostmodernstrategicnuclearsubmarineisnotyetfullyoperationalbutwhenitisthe submarineisexpectedtocarrytwelveSeaLaunchedBallisticMissiles.Thisclassofsubmarine willbeevenmorepotentifChinasucceedsinequippingthemissileswithmultiplewarheads. Chinesenuclearsubswillbeabletopatrolandfirefromconcealedpositionsindeepwatersoff Hainan island if China can develop the necessary operational skills. According to the U.S. Defense Department five more Chinese ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN)5 are expectedtobecomeoperationalincomingyears.Itisthisgeostrategicaspectinparticularthat explainstheinterestbytheU.S.NavyinconductingmilitarysurveysinwatersoffHainan.6 ChinaU.S. Relations. Relations between China and the United States in the AsiaPacific have beenshapedbyChinasresponsestotheObamaAdministrationscontinuationofarmssalesto Taiwan, U.S. naval exercises in East Asia and U.S. military activities in Chinas Exclusive EconomicZone(EEZ),includingthewatersoffHainanIsland.InMarch2010,forexample,U.S. andSouthKoreaconductednavalexercisesfollowingthesinkingoftheRepublicofKoreaNavy frigateCheonan.Fourmonthslaterthousandsofmilitarypersonnel,hundredsofaircraft,F22 stealth fighterbombers, the USS George Washington and three US Navy destroyers participatedinmilitaryexerciseswithSouthKoreaintheSeaofJapan. InJanuary2010,inresponsetoU.S.armssalestoTaiwan,Chinasuspendedhighlevelmilitary tomilitary relations with the United States, including the bilateral Military Maritime ConsultativeAgreement,fortenmonths.Chinaalsoconductedfourhighprofilenavalexercises toshowcasethegrowingprowessofthePeoplesLiberationArmyNavy(PLAN). Chinese Naval Exercises. Between April and July 2010, the PLAN conducted three largescale maritimeexercisesandinNovemberthePLANheldafourth.Thefirstexercisewasheldinearly April. This exercise involved the longrange deployment of sixteen warships from the PLAN drawnfromtheNorthSea,EastSeaandSouthSeaFleets.Asthecombinedfleetsaileddown the China coast it conducted live firing and antisubmarine warfare exercises and defended itself against simulated attacks launched from the mainland. The PLAN warships sailed past Okinawa through the Bashi Channel, conducted live firing exercises north of the Philippines beforesteamingtowardtheMalaccaStraits.UpuntilthisexerciseChinasSouthSeaFleetwas theonlyfleettooperateintheSouthChinaSea. TheSouthSeaFleetiscurrentlybeingmodernisedwiththedeploymentforthefirsttimeofa JinclassnuclearsubmarineandamphibiouslandingcrafttoYulinNavalBaseonHainanisland.
5

SSBNisthedesignationusedbytheU.S.Navyforanuclearpoweredballisticnuclearmissilecarryingsubmarine. TheSSreferstoasubmersibleship,theBstandsforballisticmissile,andtheNdenotesnuclearpowered.
6

MarkValencia,TheImpeccableIncident:TruthandConsequences,ChinaSecurity,5(2),Spring2009,24.

Yulin already houses surface combatants and conventional submarines. China is expected to deploymorenuclearsubmarinestoYulin.Accordingtoonenavalanalyst:
This exercise showed that the PLAN was acquiring a much higher level of operational flexibility in the simultaneousdeploymentofunderwater,surfaceandairassets,aswellaspossessingtheconfidencetosail 7 overlongerdistancesthanbeforeinordertoshoreupChineseterritorialclaimsintheSouthChinaSea.

ThesecondexercisewasheldinearlyJulyinresponsetoacombinedUnitedStatesRepublicof Korea naval exercise in the Yellow Sea. This exercise involved ten ships including two Sovremennyclassdestroyers,twoKiloclasssubmarinesandType022Houbeiclassfastmissile attackcraftarmedwithYJ82longrangeantishipmissilesfromtheEastSeaFleets16thFast Attack Flotilla. The exercise involved wolf pack tactics in simulated attacks on enemy fleet formations, such as a carrier task group. PLAN warships also conducted antisubmarine exercises,whilelandbasedaircraftconductedsimulatedbombingraids. The third naval exercise, the largest of its kind, was conducted in late July and once again involvedacombinedfleetfromtheNorthSea,EastSeaandSouthSeaFleets.Atleastadozen warshipstookpartincludingallfourSovremennydestroyersfromtheEastSeaFleet,aswellas themostmodernshipsinthePLANorderofbattlesuchastheType051CLuzhou,Type052B LuyangI,Type052CLuyangII,Type054AJiangkaiII,andKiloclasssubmarines.JH7/7Afighter bombersprovidedaircover.ThisexercisewasnotablefortheChinesemediacoverageoflive missile firings and the presence of senior commanders from the Central Military Commission andthePLAChiefofStaff,GeneralChenBingde.8 OnNovember2,2010thePLAMarineCorpsheldthefourthmajorexercise,Jiaolong2010,in theSouthChinaSea.Thisexerciseinvolvedmorethan100ships,submarinesandaircraftand 1,800 marines. According to military analyst Li Jie, the exercises were conducted partly in responsetotheinterventionofunnamedcountriesinrecenttimessoitstimetoopposethose interventionswithpowerpolitics.9 Morerecently,onNovember23,2011,Chinaannouncedthatitwouldconductnavalexercises in the Western Pacific. Japanese defence sources reported that six ships an intelligence collector, three guided missile frigates and two supply ships passed through the waters betweenOkinawaandMiyakoislandson2223November.10

7 8

GaryLi,Deployments,DrillsandDiplomacy:ChnasThreeProngedNavalStrategy,draftSeptember2010.

PLA Navy Conducts liveammunition training in South China Sea, Xinhua, July 29, 2010 and China conducts navaldrillinSouthChinaSea,AgenceFrancePresse,July30,2010.InAugust2010,aChinesesubmersiblevessel plantedaChineseflagatbottomofSouthChinaSeatodemonstratesovereignty.
9

MichaelWines,ChinaStagesNavalExercises,TheNewYorkTimes,November3,2010.

10

Xinhua,ChinaannouncesnavaldrillsamidSouthChinaSeatensions,TheEconomicTimes,November23,2011; Cameron Stewart, China raises tension with Pacific war games, The Australian, November 25, 2011; and Wu Zhong,ChinasnavydeliversThanksgivingspoiler,AsiaTiesOnline,November29,2011.

ThesefivePLANexerciseswereviewedasademonstrationbyChinathatitwasnowcapableof deploying beyond the first island chain to the second.11 The implications are clear: China is developing the capacity to sustain larger naval deployments in the Spratly archipelago and furthersouthforlongerperiods. ChineseNavalDiplomacy.12InOctober2003,ChinaaccededtotheASEANTreatyofAmityand Cooperation. China and ASEAN issued a joint declaration establishing a strategic partnership. ThejointdeclarationwasthefirstformalagreementofthistypebetweenChinaandaregional organization, as well as a first for ASEAN itself. The joint declaration was wideranging and includedaprovisionfortheinitiationofanewsecuritydialogueaswellasgeneralcooperation inpoliticalmatters.13 In July 2004, at Chinas suggestion, ASEAN and China raised their relationship to one of enhancedstrategicrelations.ThistooktheformofafiveyearPlanofAction(20052010)that setoutthefollowingobjectives:
Promotemutualconfidenceandtrustindefenseandmilitaryfieldswithaviewtomaintainingpeaceand stabilityintheregion; Conductdialogues,consultationsandseminarsonsecurityanddefenseissues; Strengthencooperationonmilitarypersonneltraining; Consider observing each others military exercises and explore the possibility of conducting bilateral or multilateraljointmilitaryexercises;and Exploreandenhancecooperationinthefieldofpeacekeeping.
14

Between February 1999 and December 2000, China negotiated longterm cooperative frameworkarrangementswithalltenASEANmembers.SevenofChinasagreementsincludeda clauseonsecuritycooperation(Thailand,Malaysia,Vietnam,Brunei,Singapore,thePhilippines, andLaos).Between20012009,ChinaandnineASEANstatesconducted21navalgoodwill(Laos islandlocked).ChinesewarshipsvisitedVietnam(onthreeoccasions),SingaporeandThailand (twice each) and Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. In turn, China

11

The first island chain refers to the line of islands that runs northsouth from the Kuriles, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands,Taiwan,thePhilippines,andIndonesia.ThesecondislandchainextendsfurthereastofChinascoastand includesalinerunningnorthsouthfromtheKurilesthroughJapan,theBonins,theMarianas,theCarolines,and Indonesia. The first second island chain embraces an area 1,800 nautical miles from Chinas coast and includes mostoftheEastChinaSeaandEastAsianSLOCs.
12

ThissectionisbasedonCarlyleA.Thayer,ChinaandSoutheastAsia:AShiftingZoneofInteraction,inJames Clad,SeanM.McDonaldandBruceVaughn,eds.,TheBorderlandsofSoutheastAsia:Geopolitics,Terrorism,and Globalization. Center for Strategic Research, Institute of National Strategic Studies. Washington, D.C.: National DefenseUniversityPress,2011.235261.
13

JointDeclarationoftheHeadsofState/GovernmentoftheAssociationofSoutheastAsianNationsandthe PeoplesRepublicofChinaonStrategicPartnershipforPeaceandProsperity,October8,2003, http://www.aseansec.org/15265.htm.


14

PlanofActiontoImplementtheJointDeclarationofASEANChinaStrategicPartnershipforPeaceand Prosperity,October8,2003,http://www.aseansec.org/16805.htm.

10

hosted port visits from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand (twice each), and Indonesia, the PhilippinesandVietnam. Asearlyas2002,ChinainvitedthePhilippinestoparticipateinanavalexercise.Thissuggestion wasreiteratedinMay2005atthefirstChinaPhilippinesdefenseandsecuritydialogue.China proposedthatthePhilippinesconductjointmaritimesecurityexerciseswiththePLANfocusing onsearchandrescue.AsofMay2010Manilahasnottakenuptheoffer. InJune2005,ChinaproposedextendingPLANportvisitstoincludebilateralexercises.Thailand respondedbysuggestingitwouldprefertoparticipateinamultilateralexercisethatincluded other ASEAN states. Nevertheless, in December that year the Royal Thai Navy conducted its first combined exercise with the PLAN involving search and rescue and escort. In late 2006, China approached individual ASEAN states with a suggestion first made to Thailand for combinedmultilateralnavalexercise.InApril2007,defensecirclesreportedthatthisproposal wasunderactiveconsideration. InApril2006,ChinaandVietnamcommencedbiannualjointnavalpatrolsintheGulfofTonkin. ThiswasafirstfortheChinesenavy.ByJune2010,atotalofelevenjointnavalpatrolshadbeen conducted in the Gulf of Tonkin.15 After a gap of seventeen years, PLAN vessels resumed goodwillportvisitstoVietnaminNovember2008,December2009andOctober2010.Vietnam madeitsfirstportcalltoChinainJune2009anditssecondinJune2011.16 ChinaandtheSouthChinaSea.Duringthefirsthalfof2011,Chinabegantoaggressivelyassert its jurisdiction over the South China Sea. According to the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs,ChinaincreaseditspresenceandactivitiesintheSpratlyIslandsinthefourthquarterof 2010.17ThisincreasedpresenceledtosixincursionsintowatersclaimedbythePhilippinesin thefirstfivemonthsof2011.18Inoneincursion,onFebruary25,aChinesePLANfrigatefired warning shots in the direction of Filipino fishing boats. On March 2, Chinese civilian vessels threatenedtoramaFilipinooilexplorationboatforcingittoceasecommercialoperationsand fleethearea.WithrespecttoVietnam,Chinesestateownedvesselstwicecutthecablesofoil exploration boats conducing seismic surveys in Vietnams EEZ. These incidents occurred on May26andJune9. Inlightofthesetwoincidents,andimmediatelyfollowingChinasannouncementthatitwould be conducting routine naval exercises in the Western Pacific,19 Vietnam responded by
15

Margie Mason, Vietnam and China hold joint naval patrol amid spat, Associated Press, June 21, 2011 and AgenceFrancePresse,China,VietnamholdjointseapatrolsneardisputedSpratlys,June23,2011.
16

VietnamesenavalshipsonfriendlyvisittoChina,QuanDoiNhanDanOnline,June22,2011;China,Vietnam engageinJointnavalpatrols,PeoplesDailyOnline,June22,2011andVietnamesenavalshipswrapupvisitto China,QuanDoiNhanDanOnline,June27,2011.


17 18

MaxDeLeonandEstrellaTorres,BusinessstepsintoendSpratlysrow,ABSCBNNews,June3,2011.

JerryE.EsplanadaandTaraQuismundo,AbidebyUNpact,Chinatold,PhilippineDailyInquirer,June3,2011. ThePhilippineshasnotofficiallyreleaseditslist.Governmentofficialsinitiallyreferredtosixorsevenincidentsand currentlytheyclaimnineincidents.


19

BenBlanchardandMichaelMartina,ChinasaystoholdroutinenavydrillsinwesternPacific,Reuters,June9, 2011.

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conducting live firing exercises on June 13 in the waters near Hon Ong Island located approximatelyfortykilometresoffQuangNamprovinceincentralVietnam. InOctober2011VietnamspartySecretaryGeneralNguyenPhuTrongmadeanofficialvisitto China to meet with General Secretary Hu Jintao to discuss the South China Sea issue among otherbilateralissues.AttheendofTrongsvisitthetwoleadersissuedaJointStatementthat includedsteppedupdefencecooperation.Thestatementread:
Fourthly, to promote indepth cooperation between the two armies, increase contact between highranking armyleadersofthetwocountries;continuetoorganisegoodstrategicdialoguesatdeputyministeriallevel; accelerate the establishment of a direct telephone line between the two defence ministries; increase cooperationinpersonneltrainingandexchangesbetweenjuniorofficers;conducttrialjointpatrolsalongthe land border at a convenient time; continue to hold joint naval patrols in the Gulf of Tonkin; increase 20 cooperationinsuchfieldsasmutualvisitsbythetwocountriesnavalships.

Hu and Trong also witnessed the signing of the Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the SettlementofSeaIssuesBetweenVietnamandChina.TheAgreementcommittedbothparties toseekmutuallyacceptablefundamentalandlastingsolutionstosearelateddisputes.Inthe interim, the two sides shall actively discuss provisional and temporary measures without affectingeachsidespositionsandpolicies,includingtheactiveconsiderationanddiscussionon cooperationformutualdevelopment[hoptaccungphattrien].Specifically,thetwoparties wouldspeedupnegotiationstodemarcatethewatersformingthemouthoftheGulfofTonkin and actively discuss cooperation for mutual development in these waters (emphasis added). The Agreement also specified if the disputes involve other countries, the consultations shall includeallotherpartiesconcerned.
U.S.NavalActivities

The United States responded to Chinas naval buildup and development of antiaccess/area denialcapabilitiesbystrengtheningitspostureonGuam,steppingupweaponsandequipment sales to the Philippines, basing Combat Littoral Ships in Singapore,21 and negotiating new arrangements with Australia giving the U.S. greater access to defence facilities near Darwin,. Currently, Obama Administration officials are outlining a new U.S. strategy to pivot military forcesfromIraqandAfghanistantoEastAsiaincomingyears.ThenewDefenseSecretary,Leon Panetta, has indicated that the AsiaPacific will be largely quarantined from defence budget cuts. InresponsetoChinasdevelopmentofalargesubmarineforce,theUShasdeployedthirtyone ofitsfiftythreefastattacksubmarinestothePacificandsteppedupitsantisubmarinewarfare program. Eighteen oftheU.S. subsare homeported in Pearl Harbor;theothersarebased in Guam.22TheUnitedStateshasalsodeployedthreeOhioclassnuclearsubmarinestotheAsia Pacific Indian Ocean region. Each has been modified to carry 154 conventional Tomahawk cruisemissiles.InlateJuneearlyJuly2010,inacalculateddemonstrationofnavalpower,the
20 21 22

TuyenbochunghainuocVietNamvaTrungQuoc,VietnamNewsAgency,October15,2011,point4(iv). CraigWhitlock,NavysnextstopinAsiawillsetChinaonedge,CheckpointWashington,November18,2011 OyaolNgirainki,GuamGetsNewSubBuildings,NavyTimes,July21,2010.

12

USSFlorida,USSMichigan,andUSSOhiosubmarines,simultaneouslyappearedinDiegoGarcia (IndianOcean),Busan(SouthKorea)andSubicBay(thePhilippines),respectively.23TheUnited StateshasstationedthefifthgenerationRaptoraircraftinHawaii.Finally,theUnitedStatesis developinganairseabattleconcepttocounterChinasdevelopmentofareadenial/antiaccess capabilities.TheairseabattleconceptisbeingdrawnuptoenabletheUnitedStatestoprevail inconflictswhereareadenial/antiaccesscapabilitiesarewelldeveloped. United StatesChina Relations. In June 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates aroused Chineseirewithhisremarkstothe9thShangriLaDialogueinSingapore.Afterannouncinghis acceptanceofaninvitationtoattendtheinauguralmeetingoftheADMMPlusinHanoi,24Gates then called for open, transparent, and equal access to the global common, including the maritime commons, for security, for trade and commerce, and free passage. He then pointedlydirectedhisremarkstotheSouthChinaSea:
Inthisrespect,theSouthChinaSeaisanareaofgrowingconcern.Thisseaisnotonlyvitaltothosedirectly borderingit,buttoallnationswitheconomicandsecurityinterestsinAsia.Ourpolicyisclear:itisessential thatstability,freedomofnavigation,andfreeandunhinderedeconomicdevelopmentbemaintained.Wedo nottakesidesonanycompetingsovereigntyclaims,butwedoopposetheuseofforceandactionsthathinder freedomofnavigation.WeobjecttoanyefforttointimidateUScorporationsorthoseofanynationengaged in legitimate economic activity. All parties must work together to resolve differences through peaceful, multilateraleffortsconsistentwithcustomaryinternationallaw.The2002DeclarationofConduct[sic]wasan 25 importantstepinthisdirectionandwehopethatconcreteimplementationofthisagreementwillcontinue.

Secretary Gates and Chinas Defence Minister Liang Guanglie held a bilateral meeting on the eve of the inaugural ADMM Plus meeting in Hanoi on October 11th. Minister Liang invited Secretary Gates to visit Beijing early in 2011 thus ending the freeze on highlevel defence contacts imposed in January 2010 in reaction to the sale of U.S. arms to Taiwan. Chinas position was signaled earlier when, on September 30, 2010, Major General Qian Lihua told visiting U.S. Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense Michael Schiffer that regular dialogue and exchangesonmilitarysafetyatseaandotherissueswouldberesumed.26 China and the US the held talks on maritime security in Hawaii from October 1415. These discussionswereaimedatimprovingsecurityonthehighseaswhennavalforcesoperatedin close proximity to each other.27 The results of this discussion were reported to the bilateral Defense Consultative Talks held from December 910 in Washington. This resumption of
23

U.S.PostsPicturesofNuclearSubinShowofForce,TheChosunIlbo,July8,2010andMarkThompson,U.S. MissilesDeployedNearChinaSendaMessage,TimeMagazine,July8,2010.
24 25

ApparentlytheUnitedStateswasthefirstofeightinviteddialoguepartnerstoaccept.

Dr. Robert M. Gates. Secretary of Defence, United States, Strengthening Security Partnerships in the Asia th Pacific, presentation to the First Plenary Session, The 9 IISS Asian Security Summit, The ShangriLa Dialogue, Singapore,June5,2010.IISSisanacronymforInternationalInstituteofStrategicStudies.
26 27

AudreyMcAvoy,US,ChinaholdmaritimesecuritytalksinHawaii,TheJakartaPost,October16,2010.

AudreyMcAvoy,US,ChinaholdmaritimesecuritytalksinHawaii,TheJakartaPost,October16,2010.China was represented by Rear Admiral Liao Shining and the U.S. was represented by Major General Randolph Alles, USMC.

13

bilateralmilitaryrelationsparalleledanupswinginpoliticalrelationswhenPresident,HuJintao, wouldvisittheUnitedStatesintheearly2011. The upswing in U.S.China relations was reflected at the 2011 Shangrila Dialogue. Secretary Gates did not specifically mention the South China Sea. However, he stated the wellknown positionthattheU.S.hadanationalinterestinfreedomofnavigation.Healsostressedthe importanceofcustomaryinternationallawasaguidefortheappropriateuseofthemaritime domain, and rights of access to it.28 Chinas Defence Minister put on record his countrys commitmenttomaintainingpeaceandstabilityinSouthChinaSea.Henotedthat,atpresent, thegeneralsituationintheSouthChinaSearemainsstable.29 InSeptember2011,theObamaAdministrationannouncedarmssalestoTaiwantotaling$5.85 billion. This decision was a carefully calibrated one. The U.S. chose to provide funding to upgradeTaiwansF16fighterjetsbutnotprovidemoremodernaircraft.Unliketheprevious year,thesearmssalesdidnotprecipitateasuspensioninmilitaryrelations.OnDecember7,the U.S. and China held defence talks in Beijing at deputy minister level. Chinas representative, General Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of Staff, declared that the talks demonstrated both countries are being sincere about maintaining military exchanges. Hopefully both sides will make the best of this opportunity to expand common ground, keep risks under control and avoidmisjudgment.30 United States Naval Diplomacy. The United States conducts two major theatre engagement programs in Southeast Asia: Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and MultinationalPlanningAssistanceTeam(MPAT). The CARAT program involves U.S.led annual bilateral training exercises conducted serially in Southeast Asia. CARAT was inaugurated in 1994. Seven ASEAN members participate: Brunei, Cambodia,Indonesia,Malaysia,thePhilippines,SingaporeandThailand.ThepurposeofCARAT is to strengthen relationships and enhance the operational readiness of the participating forces. For example, the USIndonesian leg of CARAT involves, inter alia, symposiums on aviationoperations;legal,lawenforcementandsurfaceoperations;andafloatexercises. In 2000, as a result of instability in East Timor and influenced by conflict in the Balkans, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) initiated discussions with selected states in the AsiaPacific to establishMPATtocreatethecapacitytodeployquicklyamultinationalforceheadquartersto support the delivery of Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) in times of emergencies. MPAT successfully developed a set of standard operating procedures that have been accepted by its thirty participants, including international and nongovernment organisations.PACOMregularlyconductsmultinationalcommandpostexercises.Thevalueof theMPATprogramwasdemonstratedinDecember2004,whenanearthquakeoffthecoastof
28

RobertM.Gates,EmergingSecurityChallengesintheAsiaPacific,The10 IISSAsianSecuritySummitthe ShangriLaDialogue,June4,2011.


29

th

LiangGuanglie,ChinasInternationalSecurityCooperation,The10 IISSAsianSecuritySummittheShangriLa Dialogue,June5,2011.


30

th

AgenceFrancePresse,U.S.,ChinaHoldMilitaryTalks,December7,2011.

14

Sumatra triggered a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The United States, India, Japan and Australia quickly assumed the lead role in relief efforts along with other contributing countries. TheUnitedStatesalsohadconductedtwonavalactivitieswithVietnam,thefirstin2010and thesecondthefollowingyear.BothwereconductedintheportofDaNang.Thesecondnaval exchange activity included a community relations project (medical and dental services), and training in search and rescue, damage control, and dive and salvage.31 No formal naval exercises(i.e.combattraining)wereconducted.
RegionalNavalActivities

Chinas rapid military modernization, coupled with its assertive behaviour in the South China Sea, led several Southeast Asian states to undertake force modernization programs of their own aimed at developing antiaccess/areadenial capabilities directed against China. This sectionwillreviewdevelopmentsinthePhilippines,Vietnamandelsewhereintheregion. ThePhilippines.In1995thePhilippinespassedintolawTheArmedForcesModernizationAct withtheaimofmodernizingtheAFPinfifteenyearswithatotalfundofPesos331billion.The PhilippinesCongressfailedtofollowthroughandtheAFPwasstarvedoffunds. In 2011, in response to Chinese assertiveness in its EEZ and Kalayaan Island Group, the Philippinesdrewupanewdefencestrategyfocusedonbothinternalsecurityoperationsand external territorial defence. The Aquino Administration allocated P11 billion to support force modernisationoftheArmedForcesofthePhilippines(AFP).OfthisfigureP8billionwillcome from the proceeds of the Malampaya Natural Gas and Power Project and the remaining P3 billion will come from the AFPs current modernisation funds.32 Starting in 2012, the government will implement a fiveyear modernization program totalling P40 billion (or P8 billionannually). InMarch2011,AFPChiefofStaffGeneralEduardoObanannouncedplanstoupgradeRancudo Air Field on PagAsa island.33 Two months later a Philippine navy study recommended the acquisition of submarines as a deterrent against future potential conflicts.34 In September 2011, immediately after President Benigno Aquinos state visit to Beijing, he announced that 4.95billionpesos(US$118million)wouldbeallocatedtotopupthedefencebudget.35These fundswereearmarkedforthepurchaseanavalpatrolvessel,sixhelicoptersandothermilitary

31

U.S.ConsulateGeneralinHoChiMinhCity,PublicAffairsSection,PressAdvisory,July1,2011andAgenceFrance Presse,USNavysaysnoS.ChinalinktoVietnamvisit,June24,2011.
32 33 34

AlexisRomero,SubmarineforNavy?NoybaresAFPshoplist,ThePhilippineStar,August24,2011. JaimeLaude,AFPtomaintainpresenceinSpratlys,ThePhilippineStar,March29,2011.

KatherineEvangelista,Philippineseyesubmarinestoboostnavy,PhilippineDailyInquirer,May17,2001.The prospectofthePhilippinesacquiringsubmarinesisveryunlikely.
35

AgenceFrancePresse,PhilippinesUpsSpendingToGuardSouthChinaSea,September7,2011.

15

equipmentinordertosecuretheMalampayaprojectlocatedindisputedwatersoffthecoast ofPalawan. The Philippines has taken delivery of a former U.S. Coast Guard Weather Endurance Cutter (rechristened Gregario del Pilar) and will assign it to operate from Palawan in Western CommandwiththemissionofprotectingthePhilippinesEEZ.Theshipwillbefittedwithmore modernradarsystemsandconsiderationisbeinggiventoequipitwithantishipmissiles.The Philippines also expects to take delivery of three new Taiwanmanufactured MultiPurpose AttackCraftandprocuretwoadditionalU.S.CoastGuardCutters.36 In September 2011, during President Aquinos visit to Tokyo, he and Prime Minister Noda agreedtostrengthenmaritimesecuritytiesbyholdingfrequenthighleveldefencediscussions andbysteppingupcooperationbetweentheirCoastGuardsanddefencerelatedauthorities. Prime Minister Noda agreed to increase the involvement of Japans Coast Guard in training theirFilipinocounterparts.37 At present Philippines officials have floated a wish list of new equipment including: coastal radar, longrange patrol aircraft, strategic sea lift vessels, offshore patrol boats, naval helicopters, air defence radar, six jet trainers, surface attack aircraft, antiship missiles, and a submarine.38 Following a visit by South Koreas President Lee Myungbak to Manila in November 2011, President Aquino announced that the Philippines would purchase military equipmentformSeoul.TheDepartmentofNationalDefensewasreportedtobedrawingupa listincludingaircraft,helicopters,boatsandothermilitaryequipment. Vietnam. In contrast to the Philippines, Vietnam has embarked on a more robust program of modernizing its armed forces. In 2009, Vietnam announced it would procure six conventional dieselpoweredKiloclasssubmarinesfromRussia.ThisyearittookdeliveryoffourSu30MK2 multirolejetfighters,twoGephardclassguidedmissilefrigates,itssecondBastionlandbased antishipballisticmissilesystem,andtwoSvetlyakclassmissilePatrolBoats.39Vietnamofficially launcheditsfirstindigenouslybuiltgunshipthisyear.40InOctober,duringPresidentTruongTan Sangs visit to New Delhi, he requested Indian assistance in four areas: submarine training, conversion training for pilots to fly Sukhoi30s, transfer of medium sized patrol boats, and modernisaton of port facilities at Nha Trang.41 The local media reported that India was
36

Reuters,Philippinessayswillspend$255minonmilitaryhelicopters,boats,April13,2011andAgenceFrance Presse,PhilippineshopesseadisputewithChinashouldease,September3,2011.
37

Yore Koh, Tokyo and Manila Strengthen Defense Ties with an Eye Toward China, The Wall Street Journal, September28,2011.
38 39

AlexisRomero,SubmarineforNavy?NoybaresAFPshoplist,ThePhilippineStar,August24,2011.

RussiaexportsaircrafttoVietnam,TheVoiceofRussia,June22,2011;BBC,HaiquanVietNamnhantauchien Nga, August 24, 2011; Russia delivers second coastal missile system to Vietnam, InterfaxAVN military news agency,October11,2011;andBBC,NgagiaotiephaitautuantrachoVN,October25,2011.
40 41

BBC,VietNamtudongtauchien,October3,2011. SandeepDikshit,VietnamspleaputSouthBlockinapredicament,TheHindu,November9,2011.

16

preparedtosellVietnamitsBrahMossupersoniccruisemissile.42Thatsamemonth,whileona touroftheNetherlands,PrimeMinisterNguyenTanDungexpressedinterestinpurchasingfour Sigmaclasscorvettes.43VietnamwilltakedeliveryofsixconventionalKiloclasssubmarinesin 2014andcurrentlyhasonordersixteenmoreSu30MK2jetfighters.44 In October 2011, the Defence Ministers of Japan and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understandingontheenhancementofdefencecooperation.TheMOUincludesprovisionsfor regulardefencetalksatdeputyministerlevel,mutualministerialvisits,andexchangesbetween theJapanSelfDefenseForceandtheVietnamPeoplesArmy.AccordingtoJapaneseofficials, the two ministers discussed maritime incidents involving Chinas obstruction of maritime activities.TheMOUwasdesignedinparttokeepincheckChinasgrowingassertivenessinhe SouthChinaSeaandEastChinaSea.45 InNovember2011,Vietnamannounceda$3.3billiondefencebudgetfor2012,areportedrise of 35% over 2010.46 According to IHS Janes Vietnams annual naval procurement budget has increased by 150% since 2008 to US $276 million in 2011. The budget is projected to rise to $400millionby2015.47 Regional. According to one noted regional security analyst, naval acquisitions in Asia have become especially disturbing, with undeniable signs of actionreaction dynamics, and NortheastAsiainparticulariswitnessinganemergingnavalarmsrace.48InSoutheastAsiathe conventional submarine has been the new hallmark of naval acquisitions. Defence analysts estimatethat86submarineswillbeaddedtothefleetsintheAsiaPacificby2020ofwhich30 willbeChinese.49ThisprospecthasledAustralia,Malaysia,thePhilippines,Singaporeandthe United States to step up investment in their antisubmarine warfare capabilities. Security analysts warn that the proliferation of submarine fleets may be destabilizing in times of tensionsandcrisesduetothecomplexitiesofcommandandcontrol. VietnamspurchaseofKiloclasssubmarinesispartofaregionaltrendinnavalmodernisation. Chinahasthelargestsubmarinefleet(morethansixty)andmostextensiveplanstoexpandits
42

India to sell BrahMos missile to Vietnam, The Asian Age, September 20, 2011 and Robert Johnson, India is PreparingToSellBahMosSupersonicCruiseMissilestoVietnam,BusinessInsider,September20,2011.
43 44 45 46 47

BBC,VNdamphanmua4tauchiencuaHaLan,October18,2011. RussiatosupplyVietnamsixsubmarinesin2014,ThanhNienNews,July3,2011. Kyodo,Japan,Vietamsignmemoondefensecooperationenhancement,Mainichi,October25,2011. TreforMoss,ChineseAftershock,TheDiplomat,November26,2011.

AgenceFrancePresse,ChinatensionsstokeVietnamnavalambitions,TheEconomicTimes,November14, 2011.
48

Desmond Ball, Asias Naval Arms Race, Paper presented to the 25 AsiaPacific Roundtable, ISIS Malaysia, KualaLumpur,May29June1,2011.
49

th

IHSJanesquotedbySabinePirone,ChinasPacificPushSpursU.S.SpendingonAntiSubWarfare,Business Week,November25,2011.

17

numbers including the Type 095 nuclear attack submarine (SSN) and Type 094 (JINclass) nuclearpoweredballisticmissilesubmarine(SSBN).Chinaisexpectedtobasebothattackand ballisticmissilesubmarinesatYulinNavalBaseonHainanIsland. Indonesia, the first country in Southeast Asia to acquire submarines, is now considering replacing them with newer South Korean models. Indonesia reportedly will boost defence spendingby35%in2012.50 SingaporehasupgradeditssubmarinefleettoincludetwoArcherclasssubmarines.Thefirstof which,theRSSArcher,wascommissionedinDecember2011.51Singaporereportedlyisalsoin themarketforfourorfiveP3COrionmaritimepatrolaircraft.52 Malaysia has acquired two Scorpeneclass submarines. Both the Singaporean and Malaysian submarinesareequippedwithAirIndependentPropulsionsystems. Thailandiscurrentlyconsideringacquiringitsownconventionalsubmarines. Australias 2009 Defence White Paper set out plans to construct twelve new conventional submarines. Recently, it was reported that visiting U.S. Navy officials have repeatedly raised theissueofthelackofavailabilityofAustraliastroubledCollinsclasssubmarines,aswellasthe lackofprogressonAustraliasplannednewclassofsubmarines.Thispressurehasprompted theGillardGovernmenttoplacethematterbeforeCabinet.53 Regional force modernization has and will continue to result in the introduction of increased numbersofwarshipsequippedwithnewtechnologiesandweaponssystems.Arecentreview of regional force modernization over the last decade highlights the introduction of new capabilities such as standoff precisionstrike, longrange airborne and undersea attack, stealth, mobility and expeditionary warfare and, above all, new capacities when it comes to greatlyimprovedcommand,controlcommunications,computing,intelligence,surveillanceand reconnaissance (C4ISR) networks.54 This review concludes that new types of armaments promisetosignificantlyupgradeandmodernizethemannerofwarfightingintheregion[and] fundamentallychangetheconceptandconductofwarfare.55 Finally, new developments in military technology will see the introduction of more sophisticated aerial and undersea drones and unmanned systems for intelligence gathering, reconnaissance,surveillanceandstrike.MarkValenciahasdrawnparticularattentiontoLarge
50 51 52 53 54

StepVaessen,Indonesiatoincreasemilitaryspending,AlJazeera.net,November7,2011. JermynChow,RSSArchersubmarinenowoperational,TheStraitsTimes,December3,2011. CraigHoyle,SingaporeinterestedinexUSNavyP3s,FlightGlobal,December15,2011. JohnKerin,GillardbowstoUSonsubmarines,TheAustralianFinancialReview,November24,2011.

RichardA.Bitzinger,ANewArmsRace?ExplainingRecentSoutheastAsianMilitaryAcquisitions,Contemporary SoutheastAsia,31(1),April2010,6364.
55

RichardA.Bitzinger,ANewArmsRace?ExplainingRecentSoutheastAsianMilitaryAcquisitions,Contemporary SoutheastAsia,31(1),April2010,64.

18

Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicles, Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance Systems and Modular Floating Bases that can be deployed in the EEZs of target states. According to Valencia:
Thesituationispresentlybeyondinternationalcontrol.Thuscontinuedintrusiveprobesarelikelytogenerate frustration and resentment that may translate into the forcible halting of such intrusions when and if detected.Thescaleandscopeofmaritimeandairborneintelligencecollectionactivitiesarelikelytocontinue toexpandrapidlyinmanycountries,involvinglevelsandsortsofactivitiesquiteunprecedentedinpeacetime. They will not only become more intensive; they will generally be more intrusive. Indeed stepped up drone missions may even be considered a prelude to impending warfare. They will generate tensions and more frequent crises; they will produce defensive reactions and escalatory dynamics; and they will lead to less 56 stabilityinthemostaffectedregions,especiallyinAsia.

AccordingtoViceAdmiralScottSwift,CommanderU.S.SeventhFleet,hisprimeconcernisnot theoutbreakofamajorconflictbutanytacticaltriggerwithstrategicimplicationsIdohave concerns about a specific brushup that could result in a tactical miscalculation.57 In sum, regional sea lanes are set to become more crowded, contested and vulnerable to armed strife.58
AntiPiracyOperations

Therearenoobservablethreatsbystateactorstothesafetyofthelargenumberofcommercial vesselsthatplySoutheastAsianwaters.Themainthreattothesafetyofnavigationcomesfrom piracy.59Malaysia,SingaporeandIndonesia,thelittoralstatesalongthemaritimepassageway throughtheStraitsofMalaccaandSingapore,haveconductedcoordinatedantipiracypatrols since July 2005. In September 2005, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore joined once again to launch coordinated air patrols over the Malacca Strait, known as Eyes in the Sky.60 An agreement on standard operating procedures and a cooperative air surveillance and intelligenceexchangegroupwasagreedin2006.Twoyearslater,Thailandjoinedthescheme. In2004,JapansuccessfullyinitiatedtheRegionalCooperationAgreementonCombatingPiracy
56

Mark J. Valencia, The South China Sea, Military Activities and the Law of the Sea, Paper presented to the International Conference on Major Law and Policy Issues in the South China Sea: European and American Perspectives, cosponsored by the Institute of European and American Studies and the Center for AsiaPacific Studies,AcademiaSinica,Taipei,Taiwan,October78,2011andMarkValencia,TheImpeccableIncident:Truth andConsequences,ChinaSecurity,5(2),Spring2009,26.
57

Quoted by Stephen Coates, US Pacific commander warns of tactical errors, The China Post, November 10, 2011.AdmiralSmithalsonotedthatheexpecteddiplomacytoprevailintheeventofabrushupandcompromise toprevail.
58

Rory Medcalf and Raoul Heinrichs, Crisis and Confidence: Major Powers and Maritime Security in IndoPacific Asia (Sydney: Lowy Institute for International Policy, June 2011), 3 and Sam Bateman, Solving the Wicked ProblemsofMaritimeSecurity:AreRegionalForumsuptotheTask?,ContemporarySoutheastAsia,33(1),2011, 1517.
59

SamBateman,JoshuaHoandJaneChan,GoodOrderatSeainSoutheastAsia,RSISPolicyPaper(Singapore:S. RajaratnamSchoolofInternationalStudies,NanyangTechnologicalUniversity,April2009),1720.
60

JoshuaH.Ho,TheSecurityofSeaLanesinSoutheastAsia,AsianSurvey,46(4),July/August2006,571572.

19

and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). ReCAAP was the first governmentto government agreement to enhance maritime security in regional waters. All the ASEAN maritime states became charter members as well as Japan, China, South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The major functional component of ReCAAP is the Information SharingCentrebasedinSingaporethatservesasaclearinghouseforinformationexchangeand operationalcooperationinrespondingtoincidentsofpiracyandarmedrobberyatsea. Asaresultoftheseeffortspiracyattacksfellfromapeakof75in2000to38in2004,10in2005 andahandfulthereafter.OfparticularconcernistheriseofpiracyintheSouthChinaSea.The InternationalMaritimeBureaureported13casesofpiracyin2009,30in2010and41byJuly 2011.61 A different set of figures gathered by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) revealsthatincidentsofpiracyandarmedrobberyincreasedfrom406in2009to489in2010. Therewere214incidentinthefirstquarterof2011alone.TheIMOsfiguresalsohighlighted the increase in piracy in the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the threat of piracy in Southeast AsiaappearscontainedandiswellbelowthelevelsofpiracyoffthecoastofSomalia.62
ConfidenceBuildingMeasuresintheSouthChinaSea

FollowingtheMischiefReefaffairin1995,ASEANsoughttonegotiateaCodeofConduct(COC) for the South China Sea with China. China resisted ASEAN diplomatic pressure to agree to a formallegallybindingagreement.TheresultwastheDeclarationonConductofPartiesinthe SouthChinaSea(DOC)inNovember2002.TheDOClistedfivecooperativeactivitieswhichmay becharacterizedasthefirstconfidencebuildingmeasures(CBMs)fortheSouthChinaSea.
Pendingthepeacefulsettlementofterritorialandjurisdictionaldisputes,thePartiesconcernedundertaketo intensifyeffortstoseekways,inthespiritofcooperationandunderstanding,tobuildtrustandconfidence betweenandamongthem,including: a.holdingdialoguesandexchangeofviewsasappropriatebetweentheirdefenseandmilitaryofficials; b.ensuringjustandhumanetreatmentofallpersonswhoareeitherindangerorindistress; c.notifying,onavoluntarybasis,otherPartiesconcernedofanyimpendingjoint/combinedmilitary exercise;and d.exchanging,onavoluntarybasis,relevantinformation. 6.Pendingacomprehensiveanddurablesettlementofthedisputes,thePartiesconcernedmayexploreor undertakecooperativeactivities.Thesemayincludethefollowing: a.marineenvironmentalprotection; b.marinescientificresearch; c.safetyofnavigationandcommunicationatsea; d.searchandrescueoperation;and e.combatingtransnationalcrime,includingbutnotlimitedtotraffickinginillicitdrugs,piracyandarmed robberyatsea,andillegaltrafficinarms.

TwoyearsandahalfyearsafternegotiatingtheDOC,theASEANChinaSeniorOfficialsMeeting decidedtoestablishtheASEANChinatheJointWorkingGroup(JWC)toImplementtheDOC.
61 62

BrittanyDamoraandEvanJendrick,BraceforasurgeinSoutheastAsianpiracy,TheJapanTimes,July6,2001.

Mary George, Can a Limited Purpose Maritime and Air Defence Identification Zone be Established over the rd SouthChinaSea?,Paperpresentedto3 InternationalWorkshopontheSouthChinaSea,cosponsoredbythe VietnamLawyersAssociationandDiplomaticAcademyofVietnam,Hanoi,November35,2011,36.

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TheJointWorkingGrouphelditsfirstmeetinginManilafromAugust45,2005.TheTermsof Reference for the Joint Working Group specified that the JWG was to meet twice a year to formulaterecommendationsinfourareas: GuidelinesandtheactionplanfortheimplementationoftheDOC SpecificcooperativeactivitiesintheSouthChinaSea A register of experts and eminent persons who may provide technical inputs, non bindingandprofessionalviewsorpolicyrecommendationstotheASEANChinaJWG Theconveningofworkshops,astheneedarises63

ASEAN tabled draft guidelines for discussion. It immediately became apparent that point two was a major sticking point. Point two stated, ASEAN will continue its current practice of consulting among themselves before meeting with China. China objected and insisted that outstandingdisputesshouldberesolvedbyconsultationsamongrelevantpartiesandnotwith ASEAN.TheJointWorkingGroupdidnotmakeanyprogressforthenextsixyears. Between2005and2011,withthepossibleexceptionoftheJointMarineSeismicUndertaking undertakenbythenationaloilcompaniesofChina,thePhilippinesandVietnam(200508),no cooperative activities in the South China Sea were undertaken under the DOC. In July 2011 ASEAN Senior Officials quietly dropped the offending clause clearing the way for the foreign ministers representing China and the ten ASEAN states to finally reached agreement on The GuidelinesfortheImplementationoftheDOConJuly20,2011. These guidelines consist of eight brief points preceded by a threeparagraph preamble. The preamble identifies the DOC as a milestone document signed between the ASEAN Member States and China, implying this is not an agreement between ASEAN as a group and China. Second,thepreamblestatesthattheeffectiveimplementationoftheDOCwillcontributeto the deepening of the ASEANChina Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. This is an inducementforChinatotakeconcreteaction.Finally,thepreamblenotesthatGuidelinesare toguidetheimplementationofpossiblejointcooperativeactivities,measuresandprojectsas provided for in the DOC. This formulation clearly indicates that the Guidelines are tentative andnotbinding. Table1providesacomparisonoftheoriginaldraftDOCGuidelineswiththetextthatwasfinally adopted.Theonlydifferenceisthealterationofwordinginpointtwoandtheadditionofpoint eightregardingreportingprogressonimplementation.

63

Terms of Reference of the ASEANChina Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the Declaration on ConductofPartiesintheSouthChinaSea,availableat:http://www.asean.org/16886htm.AccessedMay20,2011.

21

Table1 ComparisonoftheFinalDOCGuidelineswithTextofOriginalDraft Point


1

FinalWording(2011)

OriginalDraft(2005)

The implementation of the DOC should be TheimplementationoftheDOCshouldbe carriedoutinastepbystepapproachinline carried out in a stepbystep approach in withtheprovisionsoftheDOC. linewiththeprovisionsoftheDOC. The Parties to the DOC will continue to ASEANwillcontinueitscurrentpracticeof promote dialogue and consultations in consulting among themselves before accordancewiththespiritoftheDOC. meetingwithChina. The implementation of activities or projects TheimplementationoftheDOCshouldbe as provided for in the DOC should be clearly based on activities or projects clearly identified. indentified. The participation in the activities or projects The participation in the activities or shouldbecarriedoutonavoluntarybasis. projects should be carried out on a voluntarybasis. Initial activities to be undertaken under the Initial activities to be undertaken under ambit of the DOC should be confidence the ambit of the DOC should be buildingmeasures. confidencebuildingmeasures. The decision to implement concrete measures or activities of the DOC should be based on consensus among parties concerned, and lead to the eventual realizationofaCodeofConduct. Intheimplementationoftheagreedprojects under the DOC, the services of the Experts and Eminent Persons, if deemed necessary, will be sought to provide specific inputs on theprojectsconcerned. The decision to implement concrete measures or activities of the DOC should be based on consensus among parties concerned and lead to the eventual realizationofaCOC. In the implementation of the agreed projectsundertheDOC,theserviceofthe experts and eminent persons if deemed necessarywillbetoprovidespecificinputs ontheprojectconcerned.

Progressoftheimplementationoftheagreed Notinoriginaldraftguidelines activitiesandprojectsundertheDOCshallbe reported annually to the ASEANChina MinisterialMeeting(PMC)

Other regional CBMs involve bilateral agreements between Vietnam and its neighbours Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysiato conduct coordinated patrols along their maritime borderstoprotectfishermenfrompiracyandarmedrobbery.Inaddition,hotlineshavebeen setupbetweennavalcommandstodealwithincidentsinvolvingthearrestoffishermencaught poaching.VietnamandIndonesiaarecurrentlydiscussingIndonesianparticipation.

22

OpportunitiesforCooperationAmongtheRegionsNavies
Since 2002, when ASEAN issued its first declaration of concern on the South China Sea, confidencebuildingmeasureshavebeenconspicuousbytheirabsence.Therehasbeenmuch discussion of CBMs but little practical implementation in the South China Sea. However heightened interest by regional states in maritime security in general, and interest in implementingtheDOCandpossiblyamorebindingCOCinparticular,haveputCBMsbackon centrestage.CurrentlythereareavarietyofgroupsworkingundertheauspicesofASEANand theASEANRegionalForumchargedwithmaritimesecurityandSouthChinaSeaissues. ASEAN.InMay2006,ASEANDefenceMinistersmetforthefirsttimeandbegantheprocessof institutionalizing defence cooperation on a regional basis. The ASEAN Defence Ministers are membersoftheASEANPoliticalSecurityCouncilestablishedunderASEANsCharter. ASEAN established the ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) in 2010 under the terms of the ASEAN Political Security Community (APCS) Blueprint.64 The second meeting of the AMF was held in ThailandinAugust2011andproposedexpandingitsmembershiptoincludedialoguepartners in a separate meeting. The AMF is focused on a comprehensive approach to maritime issues andhassofarnotdealtwithSouthChinaSeaissuesindetail.65 TheADMM broughtunderitsumbrellaseparate meetingsoftheASEANservicechiefs(army, navy and air and military intelligence) that had been meeting informally outside the official ASEAN framework. At the 4th ADMM in May 2010, it was agreed that ASEAN navies would cooperatetopatroltheirmaritimeboundaries.Theprospectsofpracticalcooperationamong ASEANnaviesdonotappeargood.AtthemostrecentASEANNavyChiefsMeeting(ANCM5)in Vietnamin2011therewasdisagreementoveranumberofissuesincludingtheformalnameof themeeting,howoftenitshouldmeet,conductingjointpatrols,andaproposalforanASEAN communicationsprotocolwhennavyshipspassedeachotheratsea.66 InNovember2011,ASEANSeniorOfficialsbegandiscussionsonwhatactivitiesandprojectsto include in a code of conduct. Once agreement is reached, the draft COC will be presented to Chinatodeterminewhat,when,whereandhowtheprojectwouldbecarriedout,according toanIndonesianofficial.67 ThetermsofreferencefortheADMMPlusExpertWorkingGrouponMaritimeSecuritywere only approved in October 2011. This group will report its deliberations to the ADMM Plus Senior Officials Meeting. But the second meeting of the ADMM Plus will not take place until 2013.
64 65 66

HanoiPlanofActiontoImplementtheASEANRegionalForumVisionStatement,May20,2010,Point3. ChairsStatementofthe19 ASEANSummit,Bali,17November2011,Points1417(MaritimeCooperation).


th

Forgeneralreportssee:JoycePangco,VietnamasksAseannaviestouniteamidChinaforays,ManilaStandard Today, November 24, 2011 and Viet Nam News Service, ASEAN navy chiefs advance cooperation, Maritime Security.Asia,July28,2011.
67

Antara,ASEANreadytodiscusscontinuationofdocwithChina,November14,2011.

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TheASEANChinaJointWorkingGrouptoImplementtheDOCisabouttocommenceitsworkin January2012.68 ASEANRegionalForum.TheARFInterSessionalMeetingonMaritimeSecuritysWorkPlanon MaritimeSecuritywasapprovedatthe44thASEANMinisterialMeetinginJuly2011.69Itfocuses on information sharing, capacity building, and training rather than practical activities such as SouthChinaSeaCBMs. BywayofconclusionthispaperarguesthatthedoggedfocusbyASEANonCBMsintheSouth ChinaSeaparticularlyCBMsbetweenASEANmemberstatesandChinatoaddressterritorial disputes in the South China Sea is misplaced because it divides ASEAN states into two categories, claimants and nonclaimants. This approach allows China to play on differences amongASEANmembersanddragoutdiscussionsonaCOC.Inaddition,thereareterritorialand maritimeboundarydisputesamongASEANmembers:VietnamandthePhilippines,Cambodia Thailand(GulfofThailand),andIndonesiaanditsneighbours. ASEAN should get its own house in order first if it wants to promote regional autonomy and ASEANscentralityintheregionssecurityarchitecture. The main priority for ASEAN should be to adopt a Code of Conduct for Southeast Asians Maritime Domain in order to reinforce ASEANs unity and cohesion as it strives to transform itselfintoASEANCommunityby2015.The2011EastAsiaSummitdiscussedmaritimesecurity issues raising the possibility that major powers would assert a leadership role should ASEAN falter. Regional maritime disputes involve both claims to sovereignty over islands and features and sovereign rights over resources in the sea and continental shelf. The purpose of a Southeast Asia regional code of conduct is to provide a framework for state behaviour pending the settlement of disputes over sovereignty and sovereign rights. An agreement to a code of conductshouldbewithoutprejudicetoclaimstosovereigntyandsovereignrights. Whoshouldbeincludedinaregionalcodeofconduct?Whatareashoulditcover? The regional code of conduct should include all ten ASEAN members of the Association and coverSoutheastAsiasmaritimedomainnotjusttheSouthChinaSeainamanneranalogous totheZoneofPeaceFreedomandNeutrality(1971),TreatyofAmityandCooperation(1976) andSoutheastAsiaNuclearWeaponsFreeZoneTreaty(1995). ThesecurityofthemaritimedomaininSoutheastAsiaisindivisibleforallmembers,whether coastal,littoralorlandlockedstates.

68

AntonioSiegfridO.Alegado,ASEAN,ChinatosetgroundrulesonseaissuesinJanuary,BusinessWorld, November29,2011.
69

ASEANRegionalForum,DraftOutlineofaWorkPlanonMaritimeSecurity:ATemplateforDiscussion,2 ARF ISMonMaritimeSecurity,Auckland,March2931,2010;CoChairsSummaryoftheThirdARFInterSessional th th MeetingonMaritimeSecurity,Tokyo,Japan,1415February2011;and44 AM/PMC/18 ARF,Indonesia2011, th ChairsStatement,18 ASEANRegionalForum,23July2011,Bali,Indonesia,Point41.

nd

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CoverageoftheentireSoutheastAsianmaritimedomainwouldmakeallofASEANsmembers stakeholdersinthecodeofconduct,includingCambodiaandMyanmar.70Thiswouldovercome the present division of ASEAN states into the four claimant states and the six nonclaimant stateswithrespecttojusttheSouthChinaSea. Allsignatoriestothecodeofconductshouldrenouncethethreatofanduseofforceto: settletheirdisputesoversovereigntyandsovereignrights, disruptgoodorderatseaincludingsafetyofnavigationandoverflight.

All ASEAN states should bring their maritime claims into line with international law, with particular attention to eliminating excessive baselines and clearly distinguishing islands from rocks. The expertise of an independent panel of technical and legal experts could be called assistindeterminingbaselinesandtheclassificationofislandsandrocks. Allsignatoriesshouldcommitthemselvestoaresolutionofmaritimedisputeswithinamutually agreedtimeframethroughnegotiationsorothermutuallyagreedmethods.If,attheexpiration of the agreed time frame, no resolution of maritime disputes is reached, the states involved should agree to a settlement based on arbitration by an appropriate international court or tribunal (International Tribunal on Law of the Sea or International Court of Justice) or other agreedprocedure. All parties to the Southeast Asia Maritime Code of Conduct should commit themselves to demilitarising the features (islands and rocks) that they physically occupy, including the prohibition of deploying specified types of weapon systems such as land based antiship missiles. For purposes of security, including protection against piracy and armed criminals, police or coastguardpersonnelmaybestationedonoccupiedfeatures. A maritime code of conduct should also contain provisions for all parties to cooperate in: marine scientific research, marine pollution, fisheries management, search and rescue, anti piracyandotheragreedareas. Aregionalcodeofconductshouldsetupabodytooverseeitsimplementationandtohandle complaintsanddisputesthatmayarise.SuchabodyshouldbeincludedintheASEANPolitical SecurityCommunityCouncil. Once ASEAN states have agreed to a Code of Conduct on Southeast Asias Maritime Domain they should call on their dialogue partners (and other stakeholders) to agree to abide by its provisions.

70

CambodiaandMyanmarweretheonlytwomembersofASEANtoremainsilentwhenmaritimesecurity/South ChinaSeaissueswereraisedattheNovember2011EastAsiaSummitleadersretreat.