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Philippines files protest vs China over Ayungin Shoal water cannon incident

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said that the CCG "recklessly harassed, blocked, executed dangerous maneuvers" as they tried to "illegally impede or obstruct a routine resupply" of Filipino troops at the outpost......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 10th, 2023

Manila says Chinese vessels ‘intentionally’ hit Philippine boats

Manila said Monday that Chinese vessels "intentionally hit" Philippine boats at the weekend, escalating a diplomatic row over two collisions in the South China Sea. The countries have traded blame over Sunday's incidents near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, with both sides filing diplomatic protests and releasing videos to support their accusations. The two collisions happened during a Philippine resupply mission to troops stationed on a navy vessel that was grounded on the shoal in 1999 to assert Manila's territorial claims. Philippine officials accused a Chinese coastguard ship and a "militia" vessel of "dangerous maneuvering" that resulted in collisions with a Philippine resupply boat and a Philippine Coast Guard vessel. Philippine Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro took it one step further Monday, labelling the Chinese actions near Second Thomas Shoal deliberate. "Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit Unaiza May 2 and Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra," Teodoro said. "We are here to really decry in the strongest possible terms this egregious violation and illegal act within the (Philippines') 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and the obfuscation of the truth by China's distorting the story to fit its own ends." His comments came hours after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos met with security officials and ordered the coastguard to investigate the incident, which was "being taken seriously at the highest level of government", his communications team said. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning on Monday accused the Philippines of "continuing to spread false information and hype things up". Earlier Monday, the Philippine foreign ministry summoned China's ambassador to Manila and lodged a diplomatic protest over the incident. Spokeswoman Teresita Daza said the ambassador was unavailable and was represented by his deputy chief of mission. "Ayungin Shoal is part of our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and we have sovereign rights and jurisdiction over it," Daza said, using the Philippine name for the shoal. The Chinese foreign ministry and embassy in Manila also issued "stern representations to the Philippines" over its "infringements" at Ren'ai Reef, Mao said, using China's name for Second Thomas Shoal. China has said a "slight collision" happened after the Philippine resupply boat ignored "multiple warnings and deliberately passed through law enforcement in an unprofessional and dangerous manner". In the other incident, China accused the Philippine Coast Guard of reversing in a "premeditated manner" into a Chinese fishing vessel. No Filipino crew member was injured, but the supply boat was damaged and forced to turn back, Philippine officials said. A second supply boat reached the tiny garrison on the grounded BRP Sierra Madre and unloaded its cargo. Manila's longtime ally Washington has led a chorus of international criticism of China's alleged interference in the resupply mission. The US State Department on Sunday reiterated its mutual defence pact with the Philippines "extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft –- including those of its Coast Guard –- anywhere in the South China Sea". 'Arbitral ruling is binding' China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored a 2016 international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. Previously warm ties between Manila and Beijing have cooled since Marcos took power in June 2022, as he seeks stronger relations with the United States. The Marcos administration has publicly criticized Chinese actions in the South China Sea, publishing photos and videos to support its claims of Chinese harassment and the blocking of its vessels. Beijing has released its own images of the incidents. Despite the challenges, the Philippines would "continue to do what is necessary" to supply its troops on the BRP Sierra Madre with provisions, said Jonathan Malaya, assistant director general of the National Security Council. Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Tensions flared in August when China Coast Guard vessels used water cannon against a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal, preventing one of the boats from delivering its cargo. The post Manila says Chinese vessels ‘intentionally’ hit Philippine boats appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Gray zone heats up (1)

Security experts believe that what is playing out in the West Philippine Sea is the product of a well-laid-out program of China to challenge the United States’ Pacific presence under a gray zone scenario. Last 5 August, a China Coast Guard vessel blasted its water cannon at a Philippine resupply mission to the disputed Ayungin or Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippines sent a protest note but China merely reiterated its demand for the removal of the grounded warship BRP Sierra Madre which stands as a small marine base on the shoal. China knows the United States would not act immediately as it does not consider the water cannon incident or China’s gray zone tactics to be armed attacks against the Philippines. As a result, the incidents did not trigger the US defense commitment under the Mutual Defense Treaty. The gray zone tactics intensified after the expansion of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, with the US. Washington’s timid reaction to the incident could embolden China to conduct more assertive maritime action. On 6 February, the Chinese coast guard flashed a military-grade laser at a Philippine vessel, causing temporary blindness to its crew. Raymond Powell, a 35-year veteran of the US Air Force who retired in 2021, has proposed measures to counter Beijing’s “gray zone” tactics. Powell now runs Project Myoushu which is part of Stanford University’s Gordian Knot Center for National Security Innovation. “What makes the South China Sea a hotbed of gray zone activity is that most of what happens there happens outside the public eye,” Powell said. If China, for example, harasses a Filipino fisherman or points a laser at a Philippine Coast Guard ship, it can reason “That didn’t actually happen, you’re making that up; how do you know it was us?” Powell said the Philippines correctly countered such denials by releasing photos and videos of the incidents. He said China started to evolve its military strategy after the Scarborough Shoal incident in 2012, “where they essentially took the shoal from the Philippines and then started their island-building campaign, where we saw them turn reefs and rocks into islands and military bases and station Navy and Coast Guard militia ships at those places.” China began patrolling around those places in a way that expanded the assertion of their sovereignty. Now that China has these bases, Powell said the Asian giant can project power outward in a way that it is very much more about the water, and who has a presence there. It became a game of who has an actual military or paramilitary force that can push forward into the exclusive economic zones and take possession, either physically “by rafting a whole bunch of malicious ships together or just by patrolling.” Even patrolling is a gray zone activity since the presence of a China Coast Guard ship in Malaysia’s oil and gas activities is an assertion of jurisdiction. It is saying, “We have sovereign rights over your exclusive economic zone because it falls within our nine-dash line.” Its coast guard and the maritime militia have become China’s instruments of power projection. Its maritime militia’s activities are very much a gray zone because they’re very deniable. They can say, “Well, they’re fishing vessels.” But they don’t fish, Powell said. They exist to patrol or simply to lay claim by their sheer presence in an area. (To be continued) The post Gray zone heats up (1) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2023

Phl slams China’s ‘coercive, unlawful, unjustifiable’ acts in WPS

The Philippines on Monday maintained its territorial rights over the Ayungin Shoal, stressing that it would never leave the area amid the continued escalation of geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea. At a joint press conference, members of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea such as the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Security Council and the Philippine Coast Guard condemned China’s recent use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels that were en route to Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission for the BRP Sierra Madre, the decommissioned ship grounded on the shoal to serve as an outpost for Philippine troops stationed on the shoal. “The Philippines condemns in the strongest terms the latest incident of harassment perpetrated by China Coast Guard, People’s Liberation Army Navy and Chinese maritime militia vessels, on August 5, against Philippine vessels, on a routine resupply mission in waters surrounding Ayungin Shoal, in the West Philippine Sea,” the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said. “The Philippines demands that China immediately stop its coercive, unlawful and unjustifiable activities in our maritime zones,” it added. Ayungin Shoal is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines. NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya asserted the Philippine government would keep its position in Ayungin Shoal through the BRP Sierra Madre. “For the record, we will never abandon Ayungin Shoal. We are committed to Ayungin Shoal,” Malaya said when asked about the Philippines’ next actions following the incident. “They’re probably looking for weaknesses in the Philippine position or are trying to gauge our commitment to supply our troops in the shoal, and we are here precisely to reassure the Filipino people that as directed by our President, we are consistent with the President’s directive during the SONA that we will not lose an inch of our territory,” he added. The BRP Sierra Madre is a World War 2 landing ship tank that has been stationed at the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Asked how the government would maintain its presence in the Ayungin Shoal, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the government has heightened its assets in the area. “We have already increased the number of our assets in that area for the conduct of maritime patrols and of course, to do rotation and reprovision missions,” Aguilar said. “As to what we will do exactly, that we cannot tell you for security reasons,” he added. Diplomatic processes For its part, the DFA condemned China’s “aggressive” actions in Ayungin Shoal and called on China to stop its “illegal activities” in the country’s maritime zone. “The Department of Foreign Affairs is one with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard in their pursuit of our shared mandate to protect and uphold our legal maritime entitlements,” DFA spokesperson Tess Daza said. “The DFA is making full use of our diplomatic processes and is exercising all possible actions available to us, including the summoning of the Chinese ambassador over this incident,” she added. Daza noted that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian was summoned by the DFA on Monday morning to convey the Philippine government’s strong protest against on the water cannon operation of the CCG and Chinese maritime militia vessels against Philippine indigenous boats conducting regular rotation and resupply and humanitarian missions to Ayungin Shoal. The DFA personally handed over Huang the note verbale of the Philippines for the 5 August incident. As of 7 August, the agency said the country has filed a total of 445 diplomatic protests in the past three years. For this year alone, the country has filed a total of 35 diplomatic protests. The Philippine government, through Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime FlorCruz, also handed the country’s diplomatic protest in Beijing over the incident. The DFA firmly asked China to direct its vessels to “stop” their “illegal actions” against Philippine vessels and to “stop interfering” in legitimate Philippine government activities. It also urged China to comply with its obligations under international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, the 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration, and the 1972 International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and adhere to its commitments under the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. According to the DFA, the incident “undermines efforts to strengthen mutual trust and confidence” between Manila and Beijing. “We value our relations with China and we hope that they too value the relations with the Philippines, but clearly, this incident undermines efforts to strengthen mutual trust and confidence – a crucial element in friendly relations among states,” Daza said. “It does provide tension in our bilateral relations,” she added. The post Phl slams China’s ‘coercive, unlawful, unjustifiable’ acts in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Legarda condemns China’s ‘illegal’ water-cannon action in WPS

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda joined her Senate colleagues in condemning  the recent actions of China in the West Philippine Sea. "We condemn in the highest form China Coast Guard’s (CCG’s) recent blockage, dangerous maneuvers, and use of water cannons against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels escorting boats chartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on 5 August 2023. These actions are not only reckless, but they are also illegal and have endangered the lives of Filipinos," said the statement released by Legarda's office. China's actions violate "international conventions, endangering our crew at sea. We demand that the China Coast Guard respect our sovereign rights, refrain from hindering freedom of navigation, and hold those involved accountable. Safe access to Ayungin Shoal is crucial for supplying our military troops," it stressed. Legarda also said that China must follow international law, pointing out that "Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award. This is final and binding." "We commend the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for its prompt action by filing a diplomatic protest against China and summoning Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian over the incident. We also call on the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure the well-being of those involved," she said. The post Legarda condemns China’s ‘illegal’ water-cannon action in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

Phl will push cooperation with Chn but also uphold UNCLOS—PBBM

  JAKARTA, Indonesia – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. told Chinese Premier Li Qiang that the Philippines will "continue to push for cooperation with China and work toward more partnerships and collaboration" after bringing up "coercive activities" in the South China Sea. The two Asian leaders met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China Summit earlier this week, where Marcos Jr. underscored the need for an international law-based code of conduct in the South China Sea. During the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Marcos Jr. raised concerns about "hegemonic ambitions" in the South China Sea. He urged other Southeast Asian leaders to find "practical" ways to protect the bloc's interests in the strategic waterway. "The President said that the Philippines will continue to push for cooperation with China and work towards more partnerships and collaboration," the statement from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) read. "He earlier said that he is pleased with the latest developments in the negotiations for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and that the Philippines will assert its rights in accordance with international law," it added. During the 26th ASEAN-China Summit, Marcos said that the Philippines still believes that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the rule of law should be used to settle maritime conflicts. Before the ASEAN-China Summit, Marcos called out "misleading stories that frame the disputes in the SCS only through the lens of strategic competition between two powerful countries." Marcos last talked to a high-level Chinese official at the ASEAN Summit with China. This happened a few days after Beijing's new 10-dash line and a few weeks after the water cannon incident in the West Philippine Sea, which made things worse between the Philippines and China. In August, Marcos said that the Philippines sent a note verbale to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian after the latest incident in Ayungin Shoal, where the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) allegedly used water cannons and harmful actions against Philippine vessels. The CCG said it had taken "necessary controls" against Philippine boats that had "illegally" entered its waters. Several countries, led by the U.S., Australia, Japan, and Canada, came out in support of Manila and criticized China's actions. This is the latest in a series of events this year where Philippine ships have been harassed by Chinese ships. Li, on the other hand, said on Wednesday that Beijing's "good neighborly friendship" with ASEAN countries has grown. “We have been committed to mutual assistance and our good neighborly friendship has become stronger… We seek common ground while setting aside differences, properly handle disagreements through dialogues and consultations and consistently deepen practical cooperation in the traditional and non-traditional security views,” the Chinese official said at the ASEAN-China Summit The post Phl will push cooperation with Chn but also uphold UNCLOS—PBBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2023

AFP chief: Phl to maintain ‘maximum tolerance’ amid China aggression in WPS

The Philippines will continue exerting “maximum tolerance” should China again showcase aggression in the future rotation and resupply mission of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine Coast Guard to Ayungin Shoal, military chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday. In a phone interview, Brawner said the AFP and PCG will try to prevent a repeat of the water cannon incident last 5 August and will avoid China’s blocking attempts against the RoRe mission by the Philippine vessels en route to BRP Sierra Madre. “We will still practice maximum tolerance, we will try to avoid but we will go on with our mission. For example, we will have another resupply mission, and we will still continue to avoid them. We will not respond also with water cannoning,” the AFP chief stressed. Brawner noted that Philippine ships also have water cannon systems but they will be utilized according to their legal purpose. “Our vessels also have water cannons,  but we will not do that… We will not also do the same coercive and dangerous tactics as that of China,” he lamented. In an interview on Sunday, U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, said China’s “aggressive behavior” in the South China Sea to be “challenged and checked.” Thomas made this call after China’s coast guard used a water cannon against a Philippine vessel in the region. Asked what his reaction on Thomas’ suggestion, Brawner said: “Correct. We agree, but the question is, how will we do it? So what we are doing is that, we are leveraging our alliances and our partnerships with like-minded countries.” Brawner maintained the Philippines will continue to follow and adhere to the rules-based international order. “In other words, we will follow the international laws, hindi tayo makikipaggyera sa kanila (we will not enter a war with them),  instead we will practice maximum tolerance,” he said. Following China’s recent aggressions in the Ayungin Shoal, Brawner said the military has already strengthened its presence in the West Philippine Sea “because it is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.” “We have increased the frequency of maritime patrols and the number of platforms doing these,” he added. The post AFP chief: Phl to maintain ‘maximum tolerance’ amid China aggression in WPS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2023

AFP confirms 85% of monitored foreign vessels in WPS/SCS Chinese-owned

Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. confirmed that 85 percent of the more than 400 foreign vessels monitored sailing within the South China Sea are Chinese-owned ships. "Well, at any one time, in the entire South China Sea, there are more than 400 na mga foreign vessels, these include fishing vessels, research vessels, Coast Guard and the Navies of other countries," the AFP chief told reporters reporters in a chance interview shortly after the National Heroes Day event at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. During Brawner’s visit to the AFP’s Western Command headquarters in Palawan five days after the water cannon incident involving Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal last 5 August, WesCom chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos also confirmed that 85 percent of these monitored vessels in the West Philippine Sea are likely Chinese fishing ships. Carlos noted that about 191 of these vessels are in the vicinity of the Chinese-occupied Mischief Reef, which is about 134 nautical miles from Palawan and 602 nautical miles from China. The AFP earlier stressed that the Mischief Reef is a low-tide elevation, like Ayungin Shoal, that forms part of the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro earlier called on China not to pressure the Philippines within its own EEZ and stop building Chinese structures in the West Philippine Sea if they really want to resolve the increasing maritime tensions. "Nanawagan din tayo sa China na sana makipagtulungan din sila na tigilan yung tension, papaano naman ‘yun eh pinapatigil nila tayo eh wala naman tigil yung pananakop nila. Simple naman sakin 'yun, okay naman makipag usap eh basta tabla (We call on the China to cooperate with us to stop the tension. They want us to stop yet  they also keep on encroaching. For me it's simple, we talk with them but it has to fair),” Teodoro previously said. The post AFP confirms 85% of monitored foreign vessels in WPS/SCS Chinese-owned appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 28th, 2023

Lawmakers want bigger budget for PCG, defense sector

Senators urged the country’s economic team to allocate more funding to the defense sector and the Philippine Coast Guard amid the increasing aggression of China in parts of the West Philippine Sea. Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday backed the proposal to increase the intelligence fund of the Philippine Coast Guard to strengthen its operations in the WPS. Hontiveros lamented that the PCG is threatened by China almost daily.  But, despite facing “a clear and present danger” brought about by China’s increasing hostilities, the PCG is still operating with limited funding. “We have to hold more consultations with the Philippine Coast Guard to determine a respectable amount that could help them significantly deter China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea,” she said. Hontiveros said that the PCG has only been receiving "a measly" P10 million in intelligence funds annually since 2009, forcing it to rely solely on human intelligence to get up-to-date information when conducting maritime patrols. It is “unacceptable that PCG is receiving intelligence funds far less than those being received by civilian agencies with no direct relation to national security and protection of Philippine territory,” said Hontiveros. "I also must stress that the P10 million for intelligence funds is not only for the PCG's duties over the West Philippine Sea, but for the entire coastal areas and waters of the Philippines. Sa napakaraming banta na nararanasan ng Coast Guard, hindi ba dapat na mas malaki naman sa sampung milyon ang maibigay sa kanila?" she said. Earlier this month, the Senate collectively denounced China’s continued harassment activities against Filipino troops aboard Philippine vessels en route to the WPS, in particular, the recent water cannon incident involving Chinese Coast Guard and Philippine vessels carrying food and other supplies for soldiers stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. China’s repeated aggressions toward the Philippines within its exclusive economic zone prompted senators to urge the country’s economic managers to also consider increasing the budget of the defense sector. The issue was raised during the Committee on Finance briefing with the Development Budget Coordination Committee on the Proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program last week. Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he pitied the defense sector after the economic team presented their budget allocation per sector. Under the proposed 2024 national budget, Dela Rosa noted the 37.9 percent allocation for social services, 29.6 percent for economic services, 12.1 percent for debt burden and 15.5 percent for general public services. The defense sector had the lowest funding allocation at only 4.9 percent, he said. “Awang-awa na tayo sa ating mga puwersa doon. Forgive me, my heart goes to the MUP (military and uniformed personnel) because I’ve been there, done that and saw my people dying before my eyes during encounters with the enemy. Kaya kung itong pambabastos ng China na simpleng tubig lang wala tayong panglaban, kawawa naman talaga iyong ating Coast Guard, kawawa iyong ating Navy,” Dela Rosa lamented. The post Lawmakers want bigger budget for PCG, defense sector appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

Phl sovereign actions not subject to any country’s approval — DFA

The routine activities of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal are part of the Philippines’ rights as a sovereign nation, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday. According to DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza, the rotation and resupply missions carried out by the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone are not up for approval by any other countries. “The rotation and resupply missions to the BRP Sierra Madre are legitimate and routine activities in our EEZ,” Daza told Daily Tribune. “The Philippines’ exercise of its sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction within our maritime zones is not subject to any other country’s approval. This is the norm,” she added. She issued the statement a day after Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said that the root cause of the recent incident between the ships of the Chinese Coast Guard and the Philippine Coast Guard was the Philippines’ attempt to bring construction materials to the grounded warship in Ayungin Shoal. “What I want to emphasize is there has never been a problem with the delivery of humanitarian supplies because there is a special arrangement for such,” Xilian said. “The problem arose when the Philippines transported large-scale building materials,” he added. China claims the vast South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea. The 5 August incident in the Ayungin Shoal, where China used a water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels while en route for a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre, sparked a word war between the foreign affairs ministries of both the Philippines and China. Many countries across the globe also condemned China’s aggressive actions toward Philippine ships. For her part, Daza did not confirm nor deny whether the Philippines attempted to bring construction materials to the already dilapidated BRP Sierra Madre. On Tuesday, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said that the latest resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre was successful. The post Phl sovereign actions not subject to any country’s approval — DFA appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2023

ASEAN, China resume South China Sea Code of Conduct talks

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China on Tuesday resumed negotiations for a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea amid growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific Region. Manila is the country host for the resumption of the 40th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea on 22-24 August. The ongoing negotiation is the third round of the COC talks among members of the ASEAN and China. The first two were held in Jakarta, in March, and in Vietnam in May. Four of the ten members of the ASEAN are primary claimants of the South China Sea such as Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. According to Ma. Teresita Daza, spokesperson of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippines joined the negotiations to prevent future incidents similar to the recent altercation between the Philippines and China in the Ayungin Shoal. “We are negotiating a Code of Conduct precisely because we would like to prevent incidents such as the last one at the Ayungin Shoal from happening,” Daza told reporters in a WhatsApp message. “We hope that all participants would come to the negotiating table in good faith and help create a conducive environment for talks,” she added. The DFA official is referring to the 5 August incident in the Ayungin Shoal, where China used a water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels en route on a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. The event sparked a word war between the Philippines and China. Daza said the Philippines “remains committed to the early conclusion of an effective and substantive COC.” The People’s Republic of China is claiming the vast South China Sea, an important shipping passage for global trade and investments worth $5.3 trillion annually. The post ASEAN, China resume South China Sea Code of Conduct talks appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2023

WPS task force: Resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre successful

The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said the routine follow-on Rotation and Resupply or RoRe mission for the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin shoal was successfully conducted on Tuesday following the recent water cannon incident that heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing. “With the combined efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard, this latest RoRe mission was able to deliver fresh provisions to our military personnel stationed on board BRP Sierra Madre... notwithstanding attempts by China Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels to block, harass and interfere with the supply mission," it said in a statement. The Philippine supply ships Unaizah May 1 and Unaizah May 2 were escorted by PCG vessels BRP Cabra (MRRV-4409) and BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407) during the mission. The National Security Council on Tuesday said the routine mission to the Philippine outposts within the various features in the WPS will also continue “on a regular basis.” These missions are part of the Philippine government’s legitimate exercise of its administrative functions over the WPS, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS, the 2016 Arbitral Award, and domestic laws, it added. NTF WPS Chairperson and National Security adviser Secretary Eduardo Año commended the “unfailing valor, determination and professionalism exhibited by the men and women of our armed forces and coast guard.” “The Filipino people owe them a debt of gratitude for their commitment to place their lives on the line daily to defend our sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction throughout the expanse of the WPS,” Año said. The post WPS task force: Resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre successful appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2023

Latest resupply mission reaches Ayungin Shoal

The Philippines said a resupply mission had reached a remote outpost in the disputed South China Sea Tuesday, despite attempts by Chinese vessels to "block" the boats carrying provisions for Filipino marines. Two Philippine Coast Guard boats escorted two supply vessels to Second Thomas Shoal [Ayungin Shoal] in the Spratly Islands, where a handful of troops are stationed on a crumbling navy ship. They arrived just over two weeks after China Coast Guard ships blocked and fired water cannon at a resupply mission to the tiny garrison that prevented one of the boats from delivering its cargo. "The routine follow-on Rotation and Resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre was successfully conducted today," the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said in a statement. The task force accused China Coast Guard and "Chinese Maritime Militia" vessels of attempting to "block, harass, and interfere" with the mission. "Routine missions to Philippine outposts on various features in the West Philippine Sea will continue on a regular basis," it insisted. The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Philippines has outposts on nine reefs and islands in the Spratlys, including Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippine Navy deliberately grounded the World War II-era BRP Sierra Madre atop the shoal in 1999 to check China's advance in the waters. The troops stationed on the rusty ship depend on regular deliveries for their survival. Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. The water cannoning on 5 August fanned tensions between the countries, which have a long history of maritime disputes in the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire waterway, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored an international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. It deploys hundreds of vessels to patrol the South China Sea and swarm reefs. Its coast guard and navy ships routinely block or shadow Philippine boats in the contested waters, Manila has said. Beijing has defended its actions in the 5 August incident as "professional", and accused Manila of "illegal delivery of construction materials" to the grounded ship. The Philippines has insisted that Second Thomas Shoal is within its exclusive economic zone, and therefore its efforts to resupply troops and repair the BRP Sierra Madre are legitimate. The post Latest resupply mission reaches Ayungin Shoal appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2023

JV backs Kalayaan reso on Chinese envoy

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday expressed his support for a resolution approved by the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan declaring Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian persona non grata. In a Viber message, Ejercito, a staunch critic of China’s encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, justified the resolution declaring the Chinese envoy to the Philippines persona non grata. “The Chinese Ambassador representing the Chinese government has been caught lying several times,” he told DAILY TRIBUNE. Last week, the municipality of Kalayaan — the lone municipality in the West Philippine Sea — declared Huang a persona non grata. In its Resolution 125-0125, SB of Kalayaan, Palawan, declared Huang a persona non grata after the latter defended the harassment of the China Coast Guard against Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea last 5 August. For his part, Ejercito said the Philippine government should no longer consider China as an “ally,” stressing its repeated illegal actions in the West Philippine Sea. “China should not be regarded as an ally anymore but instead as an adversary,” he said. “Note verbales coming from the Philippine government seem to be falling on deaf ears,” he added. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, as of 7 August, the country had filed a total of 445 diplomatic protests in the past three years. This year alone, the country has filed a total of 35 diplomatic protests, including the 5 August incident where China used a water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels while en route for a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.   ‘Go slow’ Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday reminded local government units to be cautious in declaring foreign ambassadors in the country persona non grata. “We should go slow in declaring foreign ambassadors as personas non grata,” Pimentel told Daily Tribune. “Avoid this as much as possible,” he added. According to the Minority leader, an ambassador of a foreign country to the Philippines is the representative of that country to our country. He noted that grievances against any foreign diplomats in the country must be coursed through the Department of Foreign Affairs to be addressed “professionally.” “All grievances related to ambassadors and foreign relations must be coursed through our Department of Foreign Affairs so these grievances can be professionally handled,” he said. The vast South China Sea, which is claimed by the People’s Republic of China, covers the West Philippine Sea, which is also claimed by the Philippines. On 12 July 2016, the Philippines won its arbitral case against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration — a landmark decision that the People’s Republic of China continues to reject.   The post JV backs Kalayaan reso on Chinese envoy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 21st, 2023

Phl ‘unaware’ of US, Japan, Australia joint navy drills

The Philippines is “unaware” of the plan of the United States, Japan and Australia to conduct joint navy exercises in the South China Sea, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday. In a radio interview, Brawner said the AFP is still verifying with their Japanese counterparts the report released by the Kyodo News over the weekend regarding the planned navy drills of the three countries. Brawner denied that the Philippines had declined participating in the joint military activity. “Actually ‘yung nabasa po natin dun sa Kyodo News ay bini-verify pa rin natin sa ating counterpart sa Japan, sa US, sa Australia. Kung meron man po silang mga activities na ganun ay hindi po tayo informed, hindi po totoo 'yun na nag-decline tayo (Actually, we are still verifying with our counterpart in Japan, US and Australia if they have activities like what we read in Kyodo News.. If they already have such activities, we were not informed, and it’s not true that we declined),” Brawner said. “Actually, maybe what they mean is that we did not join or commit a ship; however, we have an ongoing exercise. In fact today, our exercise is ongoing in Palawan with the Australian armed forces,” he added. The joint navy exercises reportedly aim to underscore the commitment of the three countries to the rule of law in the region, following the water cannon incident last 5 August where the China Coast Guard drove away Philippine vessels and troops conducting a resupply mission for personnel stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal. According to the report, the US plans to deploy its aircraft carrier, the USS America, while the Japan Self-Defense Force would send one of its helicopter carriers, JS Izumo, one of its largest warships, during drills. The Royal Australian Navy, for its part, has committed to send its helicopter carrier HMAS Canberra. The report said the Philippines "canceled" its participation in the joint drill since the three other nations' aircraft “are too large to land on the decks of Philippine warships." The US, Japan and Australia were among the countries that recognized the 2016 arbitration ruling on a 2013 case filed by the Philippines over the parts of the SCS. The post Phl ‘unaware’ of US, Japan, Australia joint navy drills appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2023

AFP to push another rotation, resupply mission for BRP Sierra Madre

The Armed Forces of the Philippines announced it will conduct another rotation and resupply (RoRe) mission to personnel stationed in the BRP Sierra Madre (LST-57) located in the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the RoRe mission is part of the country’s strategic efforts to maintain a presence over its exclusive economic zone. “Despite the incident on August 5, where Philippine supply vessels were blocked, subjected to dangerous maneuvers and water cannon, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is duty-bound to ensure the well-being of its personnel on the BRP Sierra Madre,” Aguilar told reporters on Saturday. The government earlier condemned the aggressive action of the Chinese Coast Guard, including dangerous maneuvers and firing water cannon against the Philippine vessels last 5 August in Ayungin Shoal. Aguilar defended the AFP’s resupply mission saying the Philippines is only exercising its sovereign rights and jurisdiction under the rules-based International order. “Ayungin Shoal holds a strategic importance for the Philippines and is a fishing ground for our fishermen. Beyond its practical purpose, the RORE mission to the shoal is a clear demonstration of our resolve to stand up against threats and coercion and our commitment to upholding the Rule of Law,” he said. “This exercise of our sovereign rights and jurisdiction is a testament to our firm belief in the rules-based international order that underpins regional peace and stability,” Aguilar further stressed. The Philippines will continue to pursue its humanitarian undertaking and defend its rights to its own maritime zones, he said. “We also affirm our support for the peaceful settlement of disputes. We, therefore, call on all relevant parties to abide by their obligations under international law and respect the Philippines' sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction over its maritime zones,” Aguilar said. The Department of Foreign Affairs said that this year alone, the Philippines have already filed 34 diplomatic protests against China due to their aggressive actions. The post AFP to push another rotation, resupply mission for BRP Sierra Madre appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2023

Kalayaan declares Chinese envoy persona non grata

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The municipal council of Kalayaan unanimously approved Wednesday a measure declaring Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian persona non grata, signifying their strong opposition to his presence in their area at any time. Councilor Maurice Philip Alexis Albayda’s resolution will be forwarded to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Senate, and the Chinese Embassy in Manila to convey the sentiments of the island town. Albayda said this will serve to inform high government officials of their feelings and to make Xilian aware of their strong concerns regarding his country’s oppressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, where their hometown Kalayaan is located. The resolution was prompted by the 5 August incident during which China Coast Guard ships attempted to ram and used a water cannon on two supply boats being escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard. Albayda said the aggressive behavior by China not only put the lives of the supply boats’ crew and passengers at risk but also of the crew aboard the escorting PCG’s BRP Cabra who included three Kalayaan residents. “Did you know that we had fellow Kalayaan residents on board the BRP Cabra? Yes, they were there,” he said. “Without a doubt, the actions of our neighboring country are truly infuriating.” The Kalayaan residents were en route to Lawak Island at the time to build a shelter for coastal enforcers, he said. “I want to propose that we declare Ambassador Huang Xilian persona non grata in the town of Kalayaan, the only town in the West Philippine Sea,” Albayda said in his privilege speech shortly before the resolution was passed. Albayda also said he was calling on the DFA to downgrade the Philippines’ diplomatic relationship with China given what it is doing in ignoring the safety of the people in the WPS. Kalayaan Vice Mayor Beltzasar Alindogan supported Albayda’s move declaring Xilian persona non grata. “I’ve personally experienced China’s harassment, like being driven away, but the situation with the two supply boats was much more intense,” Alindogan said, emphasizing that Kalayaan should also communicate to China their strong disapproval of its actions. He said he has volunteered to join the reservists and encouraged the military to conduct training on Pag-asa Island, to allow residents to display their patriotism. Former Kalayaan Mayor Joel Bito-onon, who is now a municipal councilor, also voted to approve the declaration against Xilian, but cautioned that it might jeopardize diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines given what happened in the past when two government officials were denied entry to Hong Kong. “Since way back, I’ve thought that due to China’s deceptive behavior, very deceitful. They say one thing, do another. I’ve seen countless instances on YouTube of them overturning ships, like what they did to Vietnam. I’ve wondered when that will happen in the Philippines. And now, this incident with our supply boats, it’s the worst that I have seen so far,” Bito-onon said. “But I’m thinking, maybe we should add a bit more wisdom, because you might end up like me, being told not to go to any city in China,” he added. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero on Wednesday said he will propose the allocation of at least P100 million in the 2024 national budget to fund the construction of permanent structures at the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea “to strengthen the country’s presence in the contested maritime territory.” “I will propose the allocation of a minimum of P100 million to fund the construction of a pier and lodging structures for our soldiers assigned in the area, and for our fishermen who might seek temporary refuge in times of bad weather,” Escudero told the Senate reporters. The senator said the structures could serve as permanent lodging for military personnel stationed at the old BRP Sierra Madre, a warship intentionally grounded in the shoal in 1999 as a Philippine military outpost. It can also serve as temporary shelter for foreign fishermen “who will be caught in bad weather” in the waters. Lade JEAn Kabagani @tribunephl_Lade The post Kalayaan declares Chinese envoy persona non grata appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 16th, 2023

U.S. must step up too

American analysts have been exploring the possible ways the West Philippine Sea conflict will play out primarily with the       so-called “gray zone” maneuvers by China in the disputed waters in which non-military activities are employed for coercion. The United States Institute of Peace, or USIP, a federal body tasked with promoting conflict resolution and prevention worldwide, is reviewing ways that Washington can play a role in de-escalating the tension in the region. The review was sparked by an act of aggression last week when a Chinese Coast Guard vessel deployed a water cannon to redirect an unarmed Philippine Navy supply boat. China blamed the incident on the Philippine government’s continued defiance of an earlier understanding to ban the delivery of construction materials to the beached BRP Sierra Madre navy vessel at Ayungin Shoal. Tensions have been on the rise since last year on China’s perception that Manila was moving closer to Washington, prompting a more aggressive assertion of its claim over most of the West Philippine Sea. “Given that Washington and Manila have a mutual defense treaty, there is credible concern that an incident like this could trigger a wider US-China conflict,” according to the USIP. Under a new Philippine administration, the formerly conciliatory approach the country had taken in its dispute with China has shifted. Instead, Brian Harding, USIP senior expert for Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has highlighted China’s efforts to swarm and intimidate fishing and coast guard vessels to take the bold move of deepening defense ties with the United States, bringing China-Philippines ties to a new low. Ayungin Shoal, the USIP expert said, has long been a likely candidate for the first showdown between the Philippines and China since Beijing took control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012. Former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also identified the shoal, in a speech the other day, as one of five possible flashpoints that may lead to a deeper maritime conflict. In 1999, the Philippines intentionally beached a World War II naval vessel on a submerged reef, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, and has since maintained a small contingent of Marines on board in extremely austere conditions. As a practical matter, in recent years China has turned a blind eye to the Philippines replenishing supplies for the Marines but has blocked the delivery of materials that could be used to repair the ship. USIP’s Andrew Scobell, a China expert, said the recent aggressive actions of a large China Coast Guard vessel on a tiny Filipino Navy supply boat was merely the latest episode in a decades-long campaign of intimidation and coercion by Beijing. Based on its insisted-on nine-dash line boundaries, Beijing claims the right to restrict access to ships from other countries to the South China Sea. “Many of (China’s) white-hulled ships are far larger, much better equipped, and more intimidating than the gray hull naval vessels possessed by most Southeast Asian states,” USIP said. China has persisted in its well-orchestrated campaign of low-intensity conflict, what is widely called “gray zone” actions, to forcefully advance its claims and aggressively push back against rivals. Carla Freeman, a senior USIP expert on China, said that beyond the effort to persuade and deter China, the US should engage in diplomacy to encourage allies and partners in the region to make clear to Beijing their own concerns about the risks to peace posed by confrontation. Regional allies have already issued statements criticizing China’s behavior, with Tokyo using unusually strong language to condemn China’s conduct, the USIP said. Like the Philippines’ position, the USIP said that Washington’s efforts in support of a binding code of conduct, or CoC, would be key to preventing conflict. The USIP, nonetheless, sees as a major obstacle toward progress in the United States itself since it is limited in its diplomatic capabilities after it failed to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Taking the high road in the simmering conflict, thus, would need both the US and China to review their positions of leadership to keep the stability in the region. The post U.S. must step up too appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 16th, 2023

Teddy Boy Locsin appointed special envoy to China, will retain UK post

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Teodoro "Teddy Boy" Locsin Jr. as the President's Special Envoy to the People's Republic of China for Special Concerns, Presidential Communications Office announced on Wednesday. "Mr. Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. was appointed as the Special Envoy of the President to the People's Republic of China for Special Concerns," the Presidential Communications Office said on a Facebook post. Locsin's designation came amid increasing tensions in the West Philippine Sea, following an incident where the Chinese Coast Guard employed a water cannon against Filipino vessels at Ayungin Shoal. In a Viber message to Palace reporters, Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said that Locsin is "on a concurrent position" as the Philippines’ ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Chief Executive appointed Locsin as the UK ambassador with concurrent jurisdiction over Ireland, Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Jersey, and Bailiwick of Guernsey last 30 August 2022. Locsin was the Foreign Affairs secretary during the time of former president Rodrigo Duterte. The post Teddy Boy Locsin appointed special envoy to China, will retain UK post appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2023

Beijing ‘repeatedly’ reached out to Manila on Ayungin Shoal issue — Chinese envoy

Beijing reached out to Manila to resolve the issue of Ayungi Shoal, which is currently hosting Filipino military personnel through the grounded BRP Sierra Madre, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines Zhou Zhiyong said Monday. According to Zhou, the Chinese side “repeatedly” reached out to its counterparts on the Philippine side to resolve the matter in a “peaceful” manner. “China has repeatedly expressed its willingness to resolve differences with the Philippines through bilateral dialogues,” he said in a media briefing in Quezon City. He noted that at the end of 2021, several rounds of discussion between the Philippines and China were held to manage the “disputes” over Ayungin Shoal, which they call Ren’ai Reef. "Such discussions have led to consensus on resupply missions to the Ren'ai Reef," he said, adding that the agreement had successfully guaranteed stability and tranquility in the area for the entire previous year. “Unfortunately, beginning early this year, the Philippine Government refused to acknowledge and implement the existing consensus and started to take a series of unilateral actions,” he said. “Despite this, the Chinese side suggested earlier this year that the two sides shall discuss measures to strengthen the management of the situation of Ren’ai Reef as early as possible to ensure peace and tranquility in the relevant waters,” he added. He continued: “We also provided the Philippine side with a draft proposal. We are still waiting for the formal response from the Philippine side.” Zhou also maintained that the Philippine government had repeatedly “promised” to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal. “On May 9th 1999, the Philippine Navy tank-landing ship LT-57 intruded into Ren’ai Reef and illegally ‘grounded’, citing the excuse of dilapidation and being stranded or distressed,” he said. “The Chinese side lodged solemn representations immediately, requesting the Philippine side to tow the vessel away. The Philippine side also made an explicit commitment to do so,” he added. “The representations were put on record and the details were well documented. Regarding this, the Philippine media made extensive coverage then.” Last week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denied that the Philippine government made such a promise to China. “I’m not aware of any such arrangement or agreement that the Philippines will remove from its own territory its ship, in this case, the BRP Sierra Madre from the Ayungin Shoal,” Marcos said in a video message. He also asserted that he is rescinding any commitment should there be an agreement between the two countries to remove the vessel. "And let me go further, if there does exist such an agreement, I rescind that agreement now,” Marcos said. ‘Construction materials’ Zhou also defended the Chinese Coast Guard’s actions during its confrontation with vessels of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard near Ayungin Shoal last 5 August. He stressed that despite the Philippine government’s failure to honor its alleged commitment, the Chinese side has “always exerted the utmost restraint with a view to maintaining relations with the Philippines and safeguarding regional peace and stability.” “Furthermore, out of humanitarian consideration, the Chinese side has made temporary and special arrangements for the Philippine resupply missions to bring to the ‘grounded’ military vessel food and other daily necessities,” he said. “In those 24 years, the Philippine side has not encountered problems with such humanitarian resupply,” he added. He pointed out that the Philippine move to transport construction materials to the grounded BRP Sierra Madre was the cause of the 5 August incident. “Under such circumstances, the Chinese side was made to react with the necessary actions. China Coast Guard took warning law-enforcement measures and stopped the vessel carrying construction materials,” he said. “I believe you have also noticed that the other Philippine resupply vessel entered the lagoon of Ren’ai Reef and performed its humanitarian resupply mission. This showed the restraint and humanitarian spirit of the Chinese side,” he added. The Philippine government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, condemned China’s actions, which included the use of water cannon and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine vessels. The agency reiterated that the routine resupply mission of the Philippine Navy was a legitimate and regular activity of the Philippine government. Likewise, the Philippine government said China’s actions were in violation of the relevant provisions of the 1982 UNCLOS, the Award on the 2016 South China Sea Arbitration, the 1972 COLREGS and the 2002 ASEAN-China DOC. The post Beijing ‘repeatedly’ reached out to Manila on Ayungin Shoal issue — Chinese envoy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

China hallucinating — University professors

China has “many collective hallucinations.” This was the assessment made by three political analysts and university professors at the weekly News Forum in Quezon City, Saturday. University of Santo Tomas Political Science Department professor Dr. Froilan Calilung said the problem with China is it has “many collective hallucinations.” Calilung seconded the views shared by the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, Director Jay Batongbacal, who said China’s latest move is an attempt to manipulate the Philippines through strategies that would be advantageous to Beijing. The two university professors believed that Beijing is attempting to make other “dangerous maneuvers” to test the current administration. "Every time there is a new administration, China is instigating a potential crisis. It is testing what kind of leader we have and what kind of people are surrounding him,” Batongbacal said. On Wednesday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said he is repealing any commitment, should there be an existing agreement between the Philippines and China, on the supposed removal of the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal. Political analyst and De La Salle University professor Renato de Castro on the other hand lauded President Marcos for standing firm that the BRP Sierra Madre would not be removed from Ayungin Shoal. “It boils down to the national determination. And I think the President has already implicated we will not abandon the BRP Sierra Madre. That’s the most important thing, the political decision to ensure that we maintain our presence over Ayungin Shoal,” De Castro said. He added that the 5 August incident where the Chinese Coast Guard blocked and used water cannon against the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal, is "part of (China’s) tactic” to pressure the Philippines and create a “crisis situation to put the other side on the defensive.” “The Chinese do not do it on a basis of good faith. They always deal with crises from the position of that faith. The crisis is not meant to resolve. The crisis is meant to put the other side on the defensive, to put pressure on you,” De Castro explained. China’s claim that the Philippines has made a promise to remove the grounded BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal is a “lie and gaslighting,” according to Batongbacal. "We don't believe that. We've been hearing that for a long time, but we haven't been able to find anyone with authority who might have said that," Batongbacal said. “Definitely, it’s a lie, it’s gaslighting na tinatawag. Mapapansin niyo, madalas nangyayari iyan. Pinapaduda ka sa sarili mong posisyon by saying things," he added. Larger vessels for resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal For their part, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they are ready and willing, should the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) request for more vessels that will escort boats for resupply missions to BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal, following China’s water cannon blasting incident last week. “If the Armed Forces of the Philippines would request the Philippine Coast Guard to provide escort, we will deploy vessels that will support the supply mission," PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said. Tarriela said PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu “is willing to deploy additional vessels to support the resupply mission and if it needs be to deploy a 97-meter vessel that would also be an option.” The PCG is also willing to deploy the offshore patrol vessel, “which is bigger than the 44-meter that we deployed before,” he added. The post China hallucinating — University professors appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2023