Night Watch

Japan-China-Vietnam: A Japanese Cabinet official on 8 May said that the government is deeply worried by China's behavior toward Vietnam in the South China Sea confrontation. He said that Beijing should rein in its provocative actions.

China-Philippines: Update. China demanded the Philippines release the fishing boat and crew it detained on Tuesday off Palawan Island. The spokesman for the Chinese embassy, Zhang Hua, said China asked the Philippines for a rational explanation and for the immediate release of the Chinese boat and crew.

"This provocative action is premeditated in an attempt to create tensions, and severely violates China's sovereignty and maritime rights. The Chinese side strongly urges the Philippine side to release the boat and its crew immediately, and guarantee the crew's safety and their property. The Chinese side warns the Philippine side not to take provocative actions, so as to avoid further damage to bilateral relations. The Chinese side will keep following closely the development of this provocative act."

Philippine statement. The Philippines announced that the crew would be tried for poaching endangered species.

Speaking to reporters, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma yesterday said police are justified in arresting the Chinese, who had violated laws on the protection of wildlife.

"It was in accordance with their duty to enforce environment protection and wildlife conservation laws while upholding Philippine sovereign rights over our exclusive economic zone," he said. Authorities in Palawan will deal with the case, Coloma said.

China-Vietnam: Update. On 8 May, the deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs and the CEO of China Oilfield Services Limited held a joint press briefing on the Chinese drilling operations in the waters south of Zhongjian (Triton Island) in the Xisha (Paracel) Islands.

The officials said since 2 May Vietnam has strongly interfered with normal drilling activities performed by China Oilfield Services Limited in the waters of China's Xisha Islands, and the Chinese side is very surprised and shocked.

Night Watch

NightWatch is an internationally acclaimed nightly newsletter that tracks and assesses threats to US national security. It has an edgy, executive style unlike any other summary of its kind.

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