OPINION | Indonesia–Vietnam maritime clash a sign of rising Indo-Pacific tensions

A ramming incident on April 27 involving a Vietnamese fisheries surveillance vessel and an Indonesian naval vessel near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands highlights the risks of escalation in competition over fisheries in the South China Sea. But it should also be understood in the context of broader strategic dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, where ASEAN unity is being tested and tolerance for "grey zone" maritime operations appears to be lessening.

FEATURE | Improving maritime security in the Asia–Pacific

Over recent years, the Asia–Pacific maritime security environment has become increasingly complex. Transnational serious and organised crime in the maritime domain (including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; piracy; and trafficking of weapons, drugs and people), terrorism and an increasingly assertive Chinese maritime strategy are generating further complexity.

OPINION | Coastguard academy would boost maritime security for Australia and the region

Over the last decade, maritime security concerns have featured prominently in ASEAN member states’ individual and collective agendas. Issues as diverse as China’s aggressive maritime strategy, piracy, terrorism, transnational organised crime, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Asia–Pacific are consistently challenging sovereignty, the rule of law and regional stability.

FEATURE | A step towards clearer waters? China, ASEAN and the South China Sea

The announcement earlier this month that ASEAN and China had agreed on a single draft code of conduct negotiating text over the South China Sea after years of talks has been hailed as a milestone. But while getting to that point is evidence of mutual goodwill, it reveals more about the region’s perennial dilemma – how to keep trying when the challenges to cooperation continue to mount.

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