News Roundup: Alliances, Espionage and Fishing Boats

Vietnam accuses a Chinese vessel of firing on a Vietnamese fishing boat in the disputed waters of the Paracel Islands. China denied inflicting damage but said its response was “appropriate.”

Amid this environment of simmering territorial tensions, Japan is officially offering to make common cause with ASEAN as a vice-ministerial level conference in Japan takes off. The call for “closer security ties” is vague for a reason- aside from the ASEAN nations’ basic reluctance to form true alliance partnerships, China remains a key economic actor in Southeast Asia despite geopolitical tensions.

On the anniversary of the sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan, President Park calls on North Korea to change or perish, North Korea threatens to strike the US with long range missiles it doesn’t have, and may also have launched cyber attacks on South Korean banks and broadcast networks.

A Chinese engineer is jailed in the US for illegally taking hundreds of classified files with technical data on US drone systems out of the country, apparently in an effort to attract a Chinese employer. Given the vast scale of Chinese military-industrial espionage in the United States, catching this amateur is a rather pathetic victory.

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