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After years of dispute over gas fields in the East China Sea, Japan and China are signing a joint energy development agreement that includes the potentially gas-rich chunxiao/Shirakaba field. The two countries agree to jointly explore four areas, halt development in the disputed waters, and cooperate in joint investigations and investments. While the agreement is hailed as an important step towards maritime cooperation on energy resources – a strategic priority for both countries – China will soon begin unilaterally developing the Tianwaitian/Kashi field in 2009, triggering Protests from Japan. A year later, Japan threatens to bring China before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea if China starts producing from the Chunxiao/Shirakaba field. Despite the milestone agreement, little has been done since then to increase joint resource development. Any final agreement on maritime borders should be based on international law, the agreement says – and be acceptable to both sides. ==External links==President Barack Obama delivers a historic speech to the Australian Parliament and announces that the United States will focus its strategic attention on the Asia-Pacific region, particularly the southern part of the region. The Obama administration announces new deployments of troops and equipment to Australia and Singapore, promising that cutting defense spending would not come at the expense of commitments to the region. Negotiations continue on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement that is seen as an important step toward greater U.S. economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. It should be noted that China is excluded from the talks. Diplomats signed the six-point agreement on Tuesday while Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong held conciliatory talks with Hu Jintao, head and chairman of the Communist Party of China.

The first independently designed and built oil drilling rig in China in the South China Sea was Ocean Oil 981 (海洋石油981). The largest shareholders are J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (19%), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (14%), T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and its affiliates (6%) and BlackRock, Inc. (5%). [67] It was commissioned on May 9, 2012 in the South China Sea, 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Hong Kong, at a depth of 1,500 m and employs 160 people. [68] On May 2, 2014, the platform was moved near the Paracel Islands,[69] a decision vietnam claimed violated their territorial claims. [70] Chinese officials said it was legal and that the area was in the waters around the Paracel Islands, which China occupies and controls militarily. [71] In response to a flood of skirmishes with Chinese ships, the Philippine government began designating the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea in all official communications and signed an executive order in October 2012 affirming its „inherent power and right to designate its marine areas.“ ==References=====External links===Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also beginning to refer to the South China Sea as the West Philippine Sea, and at a joint press conference with her Philippine counterpart in November 2011, reaffirmed the „power“ of the alliance between the two countries, particularly „at a time when the Philippines is facing challenges to its territorial integrity“ in the ocean region. China and the United States sign the Maritime Military Consultative Agreement [PDF], the first bilateral military agreement between the two countries to serve as a confidence-building measure after a period of freeze on relations following the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

From the mid to late 1990s, the Clinton administration worked on a security engagement with Beijing as the Chinese People`s Liberation Army (PLAN) Navy began to evolve from a primarily coastal defense force to operating a blue water fleet outside Of China`s territorial waters. The agreement aims to promote defence dialogue between naval forces in order to avoid misunderstandings. However, its effectiveness was called into question in April 2001 when a Chinese F-8 interceptor and a U.S. Navy surveillance plane collided over the South China Sea, killing a Chinese pilot. Despite today`s agreement, no decision has been made on land claims. China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan all claim territory in the South China Sea, Reuters reports. .


2011 Agreement South China Sea

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