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Weekly News 20/02 - 26/02

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-(AP 21/2) Philippines: framework of SCS pact possible soon: ASEAN and China could at least complete a framework for COC as early as June. –(PhiliStar 21/2) ASEAN ministers call for continuous South China Sea dialogue

-(AsiaTimes 21/2) China on edge as US carrier strike group exercises in SCS: While the Pentagon insists its warship maneuvers – the first under President Donald Trump – are routine, Beijing has denounced them as a threat.

-(Reuters 21/2) China finishing SCS buildings that could house missiles - U.S. officials: It is not like the Chinese to build anything in the SCS just to build it, and these structures resemble others that house SAM batteries, so the logical conclusion is that's what they are for.

-(The Guardian 21/2) Australia should not join US in SCS operations, says retired defence chief: Angus Houston warns blockade of China’s artificial islands would invite a ‘sharp response’ from Beijing.

-(QZ 20/02) China wants foreign submarines to stop traveling below the surface in the vast waters it claims: Beijing is drafting a revision to the nation’s maritime “traffic safety” law…Any foreign submarine would be required to stay surfaced and display its national flag

-(Inquirer 20/02) Asean determined to have South China Sea code – DFA: the member states as well as China have been hoping to come up with a framework on the COC by this year.

-(NBCnews 20/02) China’s Global Times: Hawkish by Decree or Reflecting Readers?

-(Nationalinterest 20/02) The Smart Way for America to Push Back Against China in the South China Sea: Unilateralism can only do so much. Washington should take the lead and engage East Asia

-(ABS-CBN 19/02) ASEAN starts high-level South China Sea talks: Southeast Asian diplomats began Sunday top-level discussions on a code of conduct framework.

-(Straitstimes 20/02) How China, US engage key to stability: Singapore’s Defence Minister urges Washington, Beijing to make clear their objectives in Asia-Pacific

-(Indiatimes 20/02) As US-China ties run into trouble, India eyes bigger ASEAN role to build alliances, hedging and projecting itself as a "leading power" in the region.

-(SCMP 19/02) Beijing expected to test Trump’s threshold for provocation in South China Sea; -(Ibtimes 20/02) Will China Go To War With US?

-(Reuters 18/02) U.S. carrier group patrols in tense South China Sea: "We are looking forward to demonstrating those capabilities while building upon existing strong relationships with our allies, partners and friends in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said Rear Admiral James Kilby

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