October 24, 2010 |
Islam has been an American obsession for at least a decade. The 9/11 attacks and the intractable violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan ? however much we have been the cause of it ? have left us bewildered and terrified by this seemingly austere and martial faith. Islam was spread quickly by the sword from Arabia westward across North Africa, the history books tell us, and is supposedly prone to the extremities of thought to which deserts give rise. But there is a whole other side to Islamic history that has been obscured, even as it illuminates a key strategic geography of the 21st century.
October 13, 2010 |
China moved Tuesday to ease its conflict with Southeast Asian neighbors over its territorial claims, releasing Vietnamese fishermen jailed for working in disputed waters and softening its language at a meeting of defense ministers. The moves suggested that Beijing is rethinking its aggressive assertion of claims to disputed waters and islands, which has heightened tensions with its neighbors. At a meeting in Hanoi with defense ministers of the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, Chinese officials avoided their previous declarations that the South China Sea is a "core interest.
September 25, 2010 |
President Obama and leaders from Southeast Asia on Friday called for peaceful resolution of disputes between China and its maritime neighbors, a sign that the United States intends to continue its security role in the region. Obama and the 10-member Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations issued a joint statement affirming the importance of maritime security and law, as well as the "peaceful settlement of disputes. " On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session, the president met earlier with leaders of some southeast Asian nations who had pushed for a statement opposing the "use or threat of force" by any country trying to enforce claims in the South China Sea. Nevertheless, the softened statement was clearly directed at China, which has been involved in disputes with smaller neighbors over its claims to sections of the South China Sea that are valued for oil, gas and fishing.
August 20, 2010 |
In August 1995 and March 1996, China fired missiles across the Taiwan Strait, closing it to international commerce. On both occasions, President Clinton sent aircraft carriers to deter Chinese escalation, the first time directly through the Taiwan Strait. China condemned this "violation" of its sovereignty (just as it now objects to planned U.S.-South Korea naval exercises in the Yellow Sea) and threatened "a sea of fire" for the next battle group entering the strait. The ships stayed out, China stopped firing missiles, and the crisis dissipated.
July 28, 2010 |
China views the military exercises in the Sea of Japan as a threat to its territorial integrity. Beijing's indignation appears calibrated to push back at U.S. dominance in the region. As far as Beijing is concerned, the U.S.-South Korean joint air and sea military exercises that took place this week in the Sea of Japan were a direct threat to China's territorial integrity. For days now, China's state-controlled media have been beating the drums of war with editorials, each more confrontational than the last.
June 5, 2010 |
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates defended U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, saying Saturday that the weapons transfers are meant to enhance stability in Asia by countering mainland China's military buildup. Gates said in a speech at an annual security conference in Singapore that the arms sales are part of a longstanding U.S. practice. The aid is opposed by Beijing, which this week withheld an invitation sought by Gates for a visit to mainland China while he is traveling in the region.
March 11, 2009 |
China blamed the United States on Tuesday for a naval confrontation in the South China Sea over the weekend, contending that an American surveillance vessel was illegally conducting activities in China's special economic zone. The U.S. Defense Department had complained that five Chinese ships surrounded and harassed the Impeccable, a submarine-surveillance ship, in international waters on Sunday.
November 28, 2004
"Naming the Waters" [Letters, Nov. 7] was outrageous. Should the Gulf of Mexico be changed to the Gulf of America? How about the South China Sea, East China Sea, the Gulf of Guinea? Did anyone seek the consent of the countries that border those bodies of water? In fact, let's just rename the Indian Ocean. Andrew Pedersen Tujunga The Travel section welcomes letters. Letters may be edited. Send them to Travel, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; fax (213)
November 2, 2002 |
Hoping to avoid armed conflict in the South China Sea, officials of Southeast Asian countries have agreed with China on a pact that paves the way for a binding "code of conduct" for state behavior in contested areas. The initial nonbinding agreement was reached by working groups of the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations on Friday evening before the organization's annual summit Monday and Tuesday, Cambodia's Foreign Ministry said.
April 13, 2001 |
For most Americans, freedom for the crew of a U.S. spy plane marooned in China marked the end of a long, tense diplomatic standoff between Beijing and Washington. For most Chinese, the work is just beginning. That's how the Chinese government Thursday cast the outcome of the 11-day dispute that strained already brittle ties between the world's sole superpower and its foremost rising power.