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With focus on North Korea, China continues South China Sea buildup – think tank

While attention in Asia has been distracted by the North Korean nuclear crisis in the past year, China has continued to install high-frequency radar and other facilities that can be used for military purposes on its man-made islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank said on Thursday......»»

Category: newsSource: interaksyon interaksyonDec 15th, 2017

SUPER 8: Digregorio continues to believe in Blackwater

MACAU --- Late last season in the PBA, Blackwater was seen as a team on the rise. Blackwater was knocking on the door of the semifinals, as the then no. 8-seed Elite pushed no. 1 Meralco to the brink in the quarterfinals. The future looked bright for Blackwater. This current season, the Elite, with a top-5 All-Filipino player in JP Erram, missed the Philippine Cup playoffss due to bad quotient. Still respectable. But things fell apart in the Commissioner's Cup as a plethora of things, including a coaching change, doomed Blackwater. The Elite finished the tournament with a woeful 1-10 mark. They won their only game thanks to a last-second dunk by import Henry Walker. After that terrible stint, the Elite are busy preparing for the Governors' Cup, part of that buildup is the Summer Super 8 tournament here. In two games, Blackwater split its games with teams from South Korea and China. The Elite have the chance to advance against a team from Japan Thursday. The team is confident. "I'm confident. As long as the rims are 10 feet high and the ball still bounces, we're confident," guard Mike Digregorio said. "We have all the confidence in the world to win," he added. The rebuild has been a long process for Blackwater. But the team has more than enough talent to make it work. Digregorio has nothing but overwhelming belief on his team and previous close calls suggest that the Elite are on the verge of a breakthrough. The process just needs a little more push. "Every day is a work in progress. We had a coaching change and the Commissioner' Cup wasn't the conference that we wanted but I believe in this team, I really do," Digregorio said. "Last Governors' Cup we were knocking on the semis, last Philippine Cup we played really well. We're building towards coach Bong's system and adjusting to him. Every day is a learning process but we're getting better and we're working towards success," he added. There's success to be found in Macau and the Elite are one win away from advancing to the next round. They plan on doing so, obviously. "We plan on winning. We didn't come here to not advance. We're gonna come and win. We're building towards the Governors' Cup so I think we have the team to make noise in the Governors' Cup and also advance [here]," Digregorio added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 19th, 2018

President Trump heads to Manila for Asian Summit

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump will focus on three major issues, North Korea, the South China Sea and terrorism at the upcoming ASEAN (Association of Southea.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2017

North Korea puts reunion of war separated families in doubt

A TV screen shows a blurred photo of North Korean restaurant workers in China, during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Kore, Friday, July 20, 2018. North Korea said that.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated News17 hr. 55 min. ago

PFF President Nonong Araneta reveals exciting times ahead for Philippine football

Mariano “Nonong” Araneta is pumped up for Philippine football, and it's easy to see why. The Philippine Football Federation president has divulged exciting details of the federation's plans to develop the national training center in the San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite. Plus the Azkals are also getting ready for a busy few months ahead. Araneta is keen on ramping up the federation's partnership with the Manila Jockey Club in SLLP, where the FIFA Artificial Turf Pitch is situated. Already a training ground for youth national teams and club sides, Araneta says that lighting towers will soon be installed that will permit nighttime play. “We are just waiting for AFC because the lights will be bidded out,” Explains Araneta. “Hopefully they will be installed by the end of the year.” The lights will feature an intensity of 900 lux, more than the accepted 800 lux minimum for televised matches. The lights will complement the hundreds of new seats that have already been put in place around the pitch. But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the PFF has planned for Carmona. “We have spoken to Manila Jockey Club about transferring our headquarters there,” says Araneta. “We are ready to start the bidding and construction.” The PFF is planning to purchase a 3000 sqm parcel of land within the San Lazaro Leisure Park and build a complex with dormitories, classrooms for coaching and referee courses, and a gym. “The funds are ready, initially we will be getting US$1.5 Million from FIFA,” says Araneta, who says the federation will be selling their current building in Pasig to help fund the move. But Araneta says that another option is available, to buy a different 2000 sqm plot of land beside the artificial pitch that is separate from the 3000 sqm parcel. There a grandstand could be constructed, transforming the pitch into a stadium. The headquarters could then be situated under the seating while the other site houses the dorms, classrooms, and gym. More fields are also in the pipeline in the training center. Araneta says that two artificial turf mini-pitches measuring 40 by 20 meters will be made right beside the main pitch. These will also be lighted and can accommodate recreational play and festival competitions. Incredibly, there will be yet another pitch in the training center, a natural grass regulation field within the Manila Jockey Club's racetrack. “That is for our national teams so that if they are set to play on grass, they can train there,” explains Araneta. The middle of the racetrack already has a grass area where football is played. Manila Jockey Club and PFF have yet to decide if the new grass pitch will be a brand new one or if the current surface will be improved. “We want our activities to be there,” declares Araneta. “We have already had coaching seminars there. Schools can also use our facilities. The pitch is there to be used not to be seen,” he adds with a chuckle. Araneta is a former national team player himself and is also optimistic about the near future with the Azkals. The squad is facing two big tournaments in the coming months: the AFF Suzuki Cup in November and December and their maiden appearance in the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019. Araneta says the Azkals will travel to Bahrain during the September FIFA window to play a Bahraini club side, likely on Sept 7, before tangling with the Bahrain national team on September 11. There will also be a FIFA window in October, and Araneta says the Filipinos can enjoy at least one friendly at home. Araneta hopes that Rizal Memorial will still be available before it gets spruced up in preparation for the country's hosting of the 2019 SEA Games. “Our fans will get to watch our new team,” said the president with evident pride. Crunch time begins in November, with the Azkals in a five-team round-robin group with a new home-and-away format. The Philippines will host Singapore in Bacolod's Panaad Stadium on November 13 before playing either Brunei or Timor Leste away four days later. The two ASEAN minnows will square off in a two-legged qualifying series in September to to determine who makes the group stage. On November 21 the Azkals entertain Thailand in Panaad in what promises to be a mouthwatering contest, before closing their group stage against Indonesia, probably in Jakarta, on November 25. The semis will run from December 1 to 6, with the two-legged finals being held on the 11th and 15th. After a quick Christmas break the team jets off to the Middle East on December 26, where final preparations for the Asian Cup will commence in earnest. There are plans to play in Qatar against either a club team or their national side, and then perhaps a game in Kuwait before the team goes to the United Arab Emirates. The group schedule is as follows: January 7 against Korea Republic in Dubai, January 11 versus China in Abu Dhabi, then January 16 against Kyrgyzstan in Dubai. The top two will advance to the knockout round, but the Philippines can also sneak through as one of the better third-placers. But the senior national team isn't the only competition Pinoy football fans can focus on this year. The boys U15 national team were in action while the U16 girls play in an AFC competition. The U19 men also played in the AFF U19 Championship, where they beat Singapore 2-1. The senior ladies team also notched a win against the Lion City in their AFF tournament. Araneta says the very successful PFF Women's League from last year will be run again, and that the PFF also plans a youth league. Both will be partly funded by FIFA. Of course the Philippines Football League will continue, with a League and Cup phase. The realization of these plans will be one of the achievements of Araneta's presidency. Another will be his membership in the 33-person FIFA Council, which acts as a board of directors of the organization. Araneta was recently in Russia to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup along with other council members. Araneta is one of six Asians in the FIFA Council, alongside members from China, Malaysia, Korea Republic, Bahrain, and Bangladesh. He is the first Filipino to serve in this level of leadership in FIFA. The Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo native freely explains the benefit the country can enjoy from this connection. According to Araneta “we have firsthand information on funding, and the Philippines is part of the body that will decide on what's best for football.” He says that in the next cycle of FIFA funding he might be able to acquire an additional US$ 2 million for the development of the training center. The PFF President also enjoys the inside track when it comes to acquiring development funds from the Asian Football Confederation, since he also serves as the Chairman of the AFC Finance Committee. “All budgets pass through us. We know the funding, the revenues. We know when to ask for projects. Like the lights in Carmona, that was approved by the AFC development committee,” continues Araneta. But being part of the FIFA Council is not all glitz and glamor, confesses Araneta. He mentioned a recent Council meeting in Bogota, Colombia, that necessitated an arduous 33-hour trip through Europe for a stay that lasted just two days. Sometimes deliberations in FIFA meetings can stretch for as long as six hours. Immediately after the Bogota confab he jetted off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for another meeting. “It's no joke,” says Araneta, who is 64 years old. But the former striker and defender has no complaints and reveals his motivation to keep on going at the job. “I went to the Youth Football League. I visited the Allianz National Youth Futsal Invitational. You see the kids playing there, you see kids play everywhere. The enthusiasm of the players is what keeps me going.” - RELEASE.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Cayetano, Pompeo discuss South China Sea in Washington

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here on Thursday to discuss regional issues such as the South China Sea, counterterrorism and North Korea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

Japan, China, South Korea planning next summit

TOKYO - Japan, China and South Korea have begun arranging a trilateral summit meeting aimed to be held within this year, it has been learned. China, the next host country, suggested the meeting, and the Japanese government is expected to accept the suggestion. The summit, if realized, would be the first time the meeting was held twice in a year, following the one held in May in Tokyo. The Japanese government aims to forge solidarity with China and South Korea through the meeting in order to proceed with the denuclearization of North Korea. With the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election scheduled in September, a trilateral meeting is likely to be arranged sometime bet...Keep on reading: Japan, China, South Korea planning next summit.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

Pompeo talks North Korea, South China Sea with China’s Xi

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conveyed US resolve for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the State Department said, as well as concerns about Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Pompeo talks North Korea, South China Sea with China’s Xi Secretary of State Mike Pompeo conveyed… link: Pompeo talks North Korea, South China Sea with China’s Xi.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 15th, 2018

Team manager Dan Palami hopes new coach re-energizes Azkals

With new head coach Terry Butcher set to join the Azkals as they begin preparations for the upcoming 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, there are already expectations from the Philippine National Men’s Football Team moving forward. And from team manager Dan Palami’s side, he expects the former England skipper to re-energize the Pinoy squad as they get ready for what’s set to be a crucial pair of tournaments in the coming months. “I expect him to bring new energy, his leadership when he was a player and as a coach in his clubs will be infectious and will give the players the high that’s needed, rejuvenate them and get them to prove themselves in the competitions that are about to come.” Palami told ABS-CBN Sports. (READ ALSO: Azkals captain Phil Younghusband excited to learn from new coach) The arrival of Butcher signals the end of the Thomas Dooley era for the Azkals.  Dooley, who handled the Philippine National Team from 2014 to 2018, steered the Azkals to their biggest win yet, one over Tajikistan to secure their spot in the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in Philippine football history, in his final match with the team.  And while there was nothing but gratitude for what Dooley did with the team during his four year stint, Palami explains that changes needed to be made, even coming off the heels of the team's biggest victory in history.  "Believe you me, when everything seems to be looking up, then you have to prepare for that, because you usually see a lot of downs, but the good thing is, we’re up and down, up and down, but the general trend is going up." "We wanna make sure that that continues and even bring it up some more, and that’s why sometimes we have to make changes, it’s a catalyst that will make us perform better, I hope, because historically, that’s how it’s been. Everytime we make changes, people criticize it, people get anxious, but at the end of the day, we have shown that our perfomance has gotten better." Palami added.  Later this year, the Azkals will be participating in the Suzuki Cup, and it could be a shot at redemption after having crashed out of the semifinals in the tournament’s previous staging back in 2016. Barely two months after the Suzuki Cup, the Azkals embark on their most important journey yet, as they kick off their AFC Asian Cup campaign, the highest level they’ve ever been on. Being grouped with South Korea, China, and Kyrgyzstan in Group C, it’s definitely an uphill battle for the Azkals, given that the country is on the lower tier of the pool in terms of rankings. Palami says that defying the odds is nothing new to Butcher, who back in 2009 to 2013, took a relegated Inverness club back to the Scottish Premier League. “Let’s face it, the Philippines is not the most palatable country to coach, but I think with Coach Terry, he has been in similarly-situated conditions, although in club levels. When he was in Inverness, he achieved a great deal with such a small club with such a small budget.” “It’s kind of inspiring, it parallels the journey of the Azkals, na parang maybe he could do the same, and he’s shown that kind of spirit throughout these years, since that time. I’m looking forward to him sharing that experience and bringing that experience dito sa atin.” Palami added. With a new coach, a new coaching staff, and new beginnings, this could be the start of something grand for the Azkals. For Palami and the rest of the squad, it’s nothing but excitement for the coming months. “I think everybody’s excited. We look forward to the tandem of Terry and [Senior Football Adviser] Scott [Cooper] doing a lot for Philippine football and the Azkals.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Top North Korean official heads to US for pre-summit talks

BEIJING --- A top North Korean official headed to New York on Wednesday for talks aimed at salvaging a summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump on the future of Kim's nuclear program, in the North's highest-level mission to the United States in 18 years. Associated Press reporters saw Kim Yong Chol at Beijing's airport just after noon. South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited diplomatic sources as saying that Kim was on an Air China flight to New York that departed later Wednesday afternoon. Yonhap said Kim, who had arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, was traveling with five other North Korean officials. Kim, one of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's most trusted aides,...Keep on reading: Top North Korean official heads to US for pre-summit talks.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

U.S. warships sail near South China Sea islands claimed by Beijing

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, two U.S. officials told Reuters, in a move that drew condemnation from Beijing as President Donald Trump seeks its continued cooperation on North Korea. The operation was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing’s efforts […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMay 28th, 2018

US warships sail near disputed South China Sea islands islands

WASHINGTON — Two US Navy warships sailed near South China Sea islands claimed by China on Sunday, two US officials told Reuters, in a move likely to anger Beijing as President Donald Trump seeks its continued cooperation on North Korea. Source link link: US warships sail near disputed South China Sea islands islands.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMay 27th, 2018

Gov t starts repairs on Manila-controlled reefs in Spratlys

The Philippines has started beefing up its military facilities on islands and shoals it claims in the hotly contested South China Sea, a US-based think tank reported Friday, as rival claimant China continues to increase its power projection capabilities in the strategic waterway......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 26th, 2018

N. Korea s Kim meets China s president ahead of Trump summit

(Minoru Iwasaki/Kyodo News via AP). A North Korea's Air Koryo plane lands in an airport in Dalian, China, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Japanese and South Korean media are speculating that a high-rank.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

China s foreign minister in North Korea on rare visit

SEOUL, South Korea – Beijing hopes that talks between the United States and North Korea will be "smooth and achieve substantial progress", China's foreign minister said Wednesday, May 2, during a rare visit to Pyongyang as the Asian superpower tries to mend ties with its nuclear-armed neighbor . The two-day visit by ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2018

China welcomes North Korea s decision to halt nuclear, missile tests

BEIJING, China – China Saturday, April 21 said it welcomed North Korea's decision to halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches , with Pyongyang's chief ally saying the move would help promote denuclearization in the flashpoint region. "China believes the decision to stop nuclear tests and focus on developing the economy and improving people's living standards will help ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

North Korean foreign minister meets counterpart in Beijing

BEIJING: North Korea’s foreign minister held talks with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing on Tuesday, a week after Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise trip to China before planned summits with the US and South Korean presidents. The latest visit, disclosed by China’s foreign ministry, is part of a flurry of diplomacy that [...] The post North Korean foreign minister meets counterpart in Beijing appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2018

North and South Agree agree to hold summit on April 27

SEOUL, South Korea – The two Koreas on Thursday, March 29 set a date for a rare inter-Korean summit, following a high-level meeting that was held days after the nuclear-armed North's leader Kim Jong Un made his international debut with a surprise trip to China.  "According to the will of both leaders, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

Two Koreas to hold high-level talks ahead of summit

SEOUL, South Korea – A top South Korean official set off Thursday, March 29 for a high-level meeting with the North's officials in the Demilitarized Zone to prepare for an inter-Korean summit, days after Kim Jong Un made his international debut with a surprise trip to China.  Kim is due to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

Kim, Xi portray strong ties after NKorea leader’s China trip

BEIJING --- With smiles and firm handshakes, North Korea and China used a surprise summit this week to show that despite recent tensions, Pyongyang still has a powerful backer and Beijing will not be sidelined in discussions about the fate of its unpredictable neighbor. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's secretive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing appear aimed at improving both countries' positions ahead of Kim's anticipated meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump in the coming weeks. A key objective for Beijing is to reassert its relevance to the talks, from which it has been excluded. China has appeared increasingly shut out...Keep on reading: Kim, Xi portray strong ties after NKorea leader’s China trip.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 28th, 2018

North Korean leader s trip to China confirmed

BEIJING — South Korea and Chinese media have confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited China......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 28th, 2018