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Philippines says China rammed, water cannoned resupply vessels

(1st UPDATE) The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea condemns the 'unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers' against the Philippine rotation and resupply mission.....»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerDec 10th, 2023

Sovereign interest

The Philippines is earning plaudits for the Marcos administration’s tough balancing act of asserting its territorial claim on the West Philippine Sea while preventing the tense situation with China from escalating. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has made it his policy to improve relations with the United States that were strained under the last administration, while continuing to engage with China but recognizing the need to respect each country’s position. Sydney-based think tank Lowy Institute cited recent moves by the country that showed it will not back down from China’s assertiveness, but neither will it take actions to provoke its anger. “While Beijing attempts to tighten its grip on the region with a new ten-dash line, a multi-billion dollar military modernization drive is underway in the Philippines,” a Lowy report said. It said many analysts believe that Manila’s pronouncements about confrontation are “gestures” rather than real attempts to challenge China. An open conflict would have tremendous geopolitical and economic costs for the Philippines. “Beijing remains Manila’s top trade partner and import supplier,” Lowy said. It cited instances in which the Philippines stepped back from adding fuel to the fire. “The Philippines’ decision to skip last month’s joint military exercise with the United States, Australia and Japan in the South China Sea is seen as a way of avoiding conflict with China,” it noted. It said that Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro had refused to cooperate with Taiwan on security issues, which has been viewed as the country’s continued adherence to the One-China policy. “Despite his harsh remarks on Beijing, some Chinese international relations experts are optimistic about the appointment of Teodoro Locsin as Manila’s Special Envoy to China as he has not only favored cooperation with Beijing but has been critical of the West,” it added. Lowy said Locsin’s appointment is read as Manila’s attempt to stabilize ties with Beijing, adding that “others are disappointed with the choice.” This recognition from independent observers indicates the Marcos administration is skillfully threading a thin line to show it is insisting on its sovereign stake while pushing back against Beijing. Manila’s resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre landing craft, for instance, which is considered the eye of the storm in the current friction, has been a pure play by Philippine forces. Manila’s supply and coast guard ships are constantly in a game of tag with huge Chinese Coast Guard vessels which try to frustrate the provision of supplies to the platoon of Marines guarding the outpost. Last month, China’s coast guard water-cannoned a Navy supply boat. Beijing’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified this as “safeguarding our sovereignty in accordance with law” and criticized Manila for “ignoring China’s goodwill and sincerity.” China then demanded the Philippines remove the beached Sierra Madre. Lowy reported that “Manila has further aggravated Beijing by describing the danger of conflict in the Taiwan Strait as a ‘major security concern,’ in its newly published National Security Policy.” It quoted various state mouthpieces in China as having criticized former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s condemnation of the ten-dash line and his claim that Manila “wouldn’t resist a fight” for its maritime rights. China has always referred to the Duterte period as when an ideal engagement had existed with the Philippines. Duterte initially exerted efforts to win the trust of the Chinese but had always indicated to President Xi Jinping that he would have to raise at some point the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that favored the Philippines. China continues to follow its playbook that the Philippines is being manipulated by the US to take bold actions in the West Philippine Sea conflict. Beijing glosses over the fact that when the late President Noynoy Aquino bungled the handling of the 2012 faceoff with China, it was the US that abandoned the Philippines as it did nothing to stop the reclamation of features in the disputed area. Similarly, China has advocated dialogue but, thus far, nothing has come of it, even after the Philippines  gave way to its wishes over the past six and more years. The post Sovereign interest appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2023

Filipino fisherman chased by China coast guard in disputed waters

Filipino fisherman Arnel Satam guns the motor of his tiny wooden boat as he makes a dash for the shallow waters of Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea, with Chinese coast guard speedboats in hot pursuit. In a high-seas chase lasting several minutes, Satam tries in vain to outrun the faster boats in the hope of slipping inside the ring of reefs controlled by China, where fish are more abundant. Friday's pursuit was witnessed by AFP journalists on board the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship BRP Datu Bankaw, which was delivering food, water and fuel to Filipino fishermen plying the contested waters, sometimes for weeks on end. The fishermen complained that China's actions at Scarborough Shoal were robbing them of a key source of income and a place to shelter safely during a storm. "I want to fish in there," a defiant Satam, 54, told journalists as he stood barefoot on his light blue outrigger bearing a Superman "S" emblem. "I do this thing often. They already chased me earlier today," he said, adding the Chinese speedboats had bumped his vessel. "I just laughed at them." Scarborough Shoal is 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the Philippines' main island of Luzon and nearly 900 kilometres from the nearest major Chinese land mass of Hainan. Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which China helped negotiate, countries have jurisdiction over the natural resources within about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) of their shore. China, which claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, snatched control of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012. Since then, it has deployed coast guard and other vessels to block or restrict access to the fishing ground that has been tapped by generations of Filipinos. Philippine officials also accused the Chinese coast guard of laying a 300-metre (-yard) long floating barrier across the entrance to the shoal shortly before the BRP Datu Bankaw arrived. The temporary barrier "prevents Filipino Fishing Boats from entering the shoal and depriving them of their fishing and livelihood activities," the Philippine coast guard and fisheries bureau said in a joint statement condemning its installation. Resupply missions It took 18 hours for the BRP Datu Bankaw to make the more than 300 kilometre journey to Scarborough Shoal from a port in Manila Bay. More than 50 wooden outrigger fishing vessels, which Filipinos call "mother boats", were operating in the deep waters outside the shoal when the Philippine ship dropped anchor last Wednesday. Some of the fishing crews had been there for two weeks already using nets, lines and spears to catch tuna, grouper and red snapper. To enable them to stay at sea for longer and catch more fish, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources carries out regular resupply missions. Four Chinese coast guard boats patrolled the waters, keeping the BRP Datu Bankaw and Filipino fishermen away from the shoal. The voice of a Chinese coast guard radio operator crackled over the airwaves 15 times, ordering the BRP Datu Bankaw to "immediately" leave "Chinese territory". The instruction was repeated in English on a scrolling digital message board on one of the Chinese coast guard vessels. Unfazed by the warnings, the 12 crew members of the BRP Datu Bankaw distributed 60 tonnes of fuel in blue plastic jerry cans to the fishing boats, as well as food packs for those running low on provisions. The supplies were free for the fishermen, but some showed their gratitude by giving the BRP Datu Bankaw crew tubs of freshly caught fish. 'This is ours'  "We are very grateful for this assistance," said Johnny Arpon, 53, whose 10-metre boat "Janica" arrived at the shoal in time to stock up on extra diesel. Some of the Filipino fishermen crowding around the BRP Bankaw in small outriggers to receive provisions climbed aboard to eat snacks and drink fresh water. They told journalists they had been chased and water cannoned by Chinese vessels in the past and even had their anchors cut. "They should give it back to us because this is ours," said Nonoy de los Reyes, 40, referring to Scarborough Shoal. "They should leave this place." After decades of overfishing by countries surrounding the waters, the men have to spend longer at sea to catch enough fish to cover their costs and, hopefully, make a small profit. China's blocking of the shoal had made the situation even tougher and the fishermen said they hated them for it. "We barely have any catch so we'll probably need to stay two more weeks," said Alex del Campo, 41, who had already spent more than a week at sea. A day earlier, del Campo and two other fishermen had made a daring bid to enter the shoal in their small boats, but were chased away by Chinese coast guard personnel in rigid-hulled inflatable vessels. "We are defenceless because they are armed and there was just one fisherman in each of our three boats," del Campo said. "If they ram and sink our boats who will save us?" The post Filipino fisherman chased by China coast guard in disputed waters appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 24th, 2023

AFP: BRP Sierra Madre to be repaired

The government plans to refurbish and repair the BRP Sierra Madre to become more habitable to the Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Monday. “We have all the right to repair it,” Brawner said in a radio interview. Brawner explained that the commissioned ship has to stay in the shoal and can’t be replaced to secure the country's defense posture over the waters. “Actually po pag ginawa natin 'yun, it will not prevent the other claimants from doing the same. So pwedeng magsadsad rin ng barko yung Tsina dun" (Actually, if we replace that, it will not prevent the other claimants from doing the same, because China may also run aground ships in there), he said. “Hindi na po natin papalitan 'yung barko. Ang pwede lang nating gawin is to maintain 'yung structure nya" (We won't replace the ship. What we can do is to maintain its structure), he added. Brawner said the AFP will resume its rotation and resupply operations in the coming days. The Philippine Navy, he added, will implement maximum tolerance should China's Coast Guard direct water cannons at Philippine vessels again. “Tayo, sumusunod tayo sa rules of engagement and international laws at nakalagay dun na hindi po tayo pwedeng lumaban, so even if wina-water cannon na tayo, meron rin naman po tayong water cannons pero hindi natin gagamitin sa ganong paraan. We only use our water cannons to save lives, kung may sunog ‘yung isang barko, 'yun po ‘yung pangpatay natin ng sunog,” (We follow the rules of engagement and international laws that say we cannot initiate fighting, so even if we are being water-cannoned, we can't use our own water cannons in the same way. We only use our water cannons to save lives -- if there is fire in a ship),  the AFP chief said. “Iiwas po tayo, iiwas, iiwas na lang... para hindi tayo magkabangaan” (We will avoid any confrontation), he added. The post AFP: BRP Sierra Madre to be repaired appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2023

Phl summons China ambassador over water cannoning of boats

Manila summoned Beijing's envoy on Monday after the China Coast Guard blocked and water cannoned Philippine vessels in the disputed South China Sea, President Ferdinand Marcos said. The incident happened Saturday as the Philippine Coast Guard escorted charter boats carrying food, water, fuel and other supplies to Filipino military personnel stationed at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored a 2016 international court ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. The Philippine military and coast guard have accused the China Coast Guard of breaking international law by blocking and firing water cannon at the resupply mission, preventing one of the charter boats from reaching the shoal. Another charter boat successfully unloaded its cargo. "Our Secretary of Foreign Affairs summoned Ambassador Huang (Xilian) today and gave him a note verbale including pictures, video about what happened, and we are awaiting their reply," Marcos told reporters. "The position of China, of course, is they say 'this is ours so we are defending it', and we, for our part, are saying 'no, we own it so we are defending it'. So that becomes a grey area that we are discussing." China maintained over the weekend that it had taken "necessary controls" against Philippine boats that "illegally" entered its waters. The US State Department on Sunday condemned the Chinese actions, saying they directly threatened regional peace and stability. Britain, Australia, Canada and the European Union also criticized Beijing's conduct. Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. China's coast guard and navy vessels routinely block or shadow Philippine ships patrolling the contested waters, Manila says. The Philippines has issued more than 400 diplomatic protests to Beijing since 2020 over its "illegal activities" in the South China Sea, the foreign ministry said. China appeared to be "trying to gauge our commitment to supply our troops" at the shoal, National Security Council spokesman Jonathan Malaya told reporters on Monday. "For the record, we will never abandon Ayungin Shoal," Malaya added, using the Philippine name for Second Thomas Shoal, located in the Spratly Islands. 'David and Goliath' Malaya said Saturday's "David and Goliath" incident showed the Chinese had established what appeared to be a "blockade" of the shoal. "There were only two (Philippine) coast guard vessels and two Philippine supply boats against six large Chinese coast guard vessels and two Chinese militia vessels, and more People's Liberation Army naval vessels at near proximity to the area," he said. Malaya said he believed it was the largest Chinese presence at the shoal "in recent memory". At one point, a China Coast Guard vessel came "within 20 yards (18 meters)" of a Philippine coast guard boat, which he said could have resulted in a collision. The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea, which includes representatives of various government agencies, condemned the Chinese actions "in the strongest terms". "As a low tide elevation, Ayungin shoal can neither be the subject of a sovereignty claim nor is it capable of appropriation under international law," the task force said in a statement. Second Thomas Shoal was part of the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, and the resupply and upkeep of the BRP Sierra Madre were "legitimate Philippine government activities", it added. The Philippine military deliberately grounded the Sierra Madre on Second Thomas Shoal in the late 1990s, and keeps up a tiny garrison there to maintain a presence in the hotly contested waters. In a statement on Monday, the Chinese coast guard urged Manila to "tow away" the ship and "restore the reef to its original state". Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime disputes over the South China Sea, but former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte was seen as cozying up to China in the hope of attracting investment. Since succeeding him, however, Marcos has insisted he will not let China trample on his country's maritime rights, seeking to strengthen defense ties with former colonial ruler and longtime ally the United States. The post Phl summons China ambassador over water cannoning of boats appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

U.S. threatens MDT use

The Philippines and the United States condemned the China Coast Guard or CCG on Sunday for firing water cannons and interfering with the legal operations of Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Armed Forces spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar confirmed that at least one chartered supply boat being escorted by the Philippine Coast Guard was “blocked and water-cannoned” by a CCG vessel on Saturday, 5 August. The Philippine vessels were en route to Ayungin or Second Thomas Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission when they were attacked by the CCG, Aguilar said in a statement to journalists. Aguilar characterized the attack as a “wanton disregard of the safety of the people on board and in violation of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS, and the 2016 Arbitral Award.” “The Ayungin Shoal is a low tide elevation that is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, pursuant to the 1982 UNCLOS and as affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the Department of Foreign Affairs stressed in a statement. The US State Department immediately issued a warning that China’s provocative actions in the WPS, which overlaps with the South China Sea, or SCS, could make it invoke its Mutual Defense Treaty, or MDT, with the Philippines. Signed in 1951, the MDT states that if either country is attacked by an external party, the other country will come to its defense. The United States also called on China to abide by the 2016 arbitral ruling that found China’s claims in the South China Sea to be illegal. “Such actions by the PRC are inconsistent with international law and are the latest in repeated threats to the status quo in the South China Sea, directly threatening regional peace and stability,” a US State Department statement said. “By impeding necessary provisions from reaching the Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC has also undertaken unwarranted interference in lawful Philippine maritime operations,” the US pointed out.   Heightened tension The incident further heightened tension between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, notwithstanding the visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Beijing in January. Filipino lawmakers immediately condemned China’s actions (See related story). In a separate statement, the PCG reported that the use of water cannons by the CCG forced the Philippine vessels to change course, preventing them from reaching Ayungin Shoal. In recent months, the CCG has been increasingly aggressive in its patrols of the area, leading to a number of incidents between the two countries. The 2016 arbitral ruling recognized the WPS as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone while invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim of ownership of nearly the whole of the South China Sea. China has rejected the arbitral ruling. “The United States calls upon the PRC to abide by the arbitral ruling as well as to respect the freedom of navigation, a right to which all states are entitled,” the US State Department said. It added that an armed attack on Philippine vessels, aircraft, and armed forces, including those of its coast guard in the WPS, “would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty.” In February, the CCG vessels pointed a military-grade laser light at the BRP Malapascua, which caused temporary blindness in some of its Filipino crew. In separate statements, Japan, Australia, Canada and the European Union called on China to stop its harassment of Philippine vessels. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko decried the incident. “Totally unacceptable, any harassment and actions which infringe on lawful activities of the sea and endanger the navigational safety,” Koshikawa said in a tweet. “Australia is concerned by the latest actions directed against the Philippines, which are dangerous and destabilizing,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu said in another tweet. Yu also called on China to “respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for peace and stability in the South China Sea, which is a vital international waterway.” The Canadian Embassy in the Philippines echoed the same sentiments and said the country “unreservedly condemns the dangerous and provocative actions taken by the Chinese Coast Guard against Philippine vessels.” Likewise, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron expressed concern about the incident. “Very concerned about dangerous action in South China Sea. The EU stands with the Philippines in upholding the rules-based international order,” Veron said. The post U.S. threatens MDT use appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

AFP releases statement on Phl supply boat water cannoned by CCG

Here's the statement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines regarding the issue. AFP Statement on Chartered Supply Boat Blocked and Water Cannoned by CCG The Armed Forces of the Philippines strongly condemns and expresses grave concern over the China Coast Guard’s (CCG’s) excessive and unlawful actions against Philippine vessels near Ayungin Shoal. One of our chartered supply boats was blocked and water cannoned by a CCG vessel yesterday, August 5, while en route to Ayungin Shoal for a routine troop rotation and resupply mission, in wanton disregard of the safety of the people on board and in violation of international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award. Because of the CCG’s dangerous maneuvers, the second supply boat was not able to unload the supplies and could not complete the RORE mission. We call on the China Coast Guard to act with prudence and be responsible in their actions to prevent miscalculations and accidents that will endanger people's lives. The post AFP releases statement on Phl supply boat water cannoned by CCG appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

Phl accuses China Coast Guard of firing water cannon at its boats

The Philippines condemned the China Coast Guard Sunday for allegedly firing water cannon at its vessels in the disputed South China Sea, describing the actions as "illegal" and "dangerous". The latest incident happened Saturday as the Philippine Coast Guard escorted boats carrying food, water, fuel and other supplies for Filipino military personnel stationed at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. In a statement, the US State Department condemned the Chinese actions, saying they were carried out by the coast guard and "maritime militia", and that they directly threatened regional peace and stability. Beijing claims almost all of the sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored a 2016 international court ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. China's coast guard and navy vessels routinely block or shadow Philippine ships patrolling the contested waters, Manila says. Saturday's incident was the first time since November 2021 that the Chinese coast guard had used water cannon against a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal. "The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) strongly condemns the China Coast Guard's (CCG) dangerous maneuvres and illegal use of water cannons against the PCG vessels," the Philippine Coast Guard said in a statement. "Such actions by the CCG not only disregarded the safety of the PCG crew and the supply boats but also violated international law." The Armed Forces of the Philippines said China's coast guard had "blocked and water cannoned" one of its chartered resupply vessels. Due to the "excessive and offensive" actions, a second chartered vessel was unable to unload its cargo for the routine troop rotation and resupply operation, military spokesman Colonel Medel Aguilar said in a statement. "We call on the China Coast Guard and the Central Military Commission to act with prudence and be responsible in their actions to prevent miscalculations and accidents that will endanger peoples' lives," Aguilar said. The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Latest maritime incident Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime disputes over the South China Sea, but former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte was reluctant to criticise his more powerful neighbour as he sought closer ties with Beijing in the hope of attracting investment. Since taking power in June 2022, however, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos has insisted he will not let China trample on his country's rights in the sea, and has gravitated towards the United States as he seeks to strengthen defence ties. Tensions between Manila and Beijing flared earlier this year after a Chinese coast guard vessel allegedly used a military-grade laser against a Philippine coast guard boat near Second Thomas Shoal. Beijing accused the Philippine boat of intruding into China's sovereign waters without permission. After China occupied Mischief Reef in the mid-1990s, the Philippines ran a derelict navy vessel aground on the nearby shoal to assert Manila's territorial claims in the waters. Members of the Philippine marines are based there. In another incident in April a Chinese coast guard ship cut off the Philippine patrol vessel Malapascua as it carried journalists near Second Thomas Shoal. An AFP team was on another coast guard vessel and witnessed the near-collision. In that incident, the Malapascua's commanding officer Rodel Hernandez said the Chinese ship came within 45 metres of his boat and only his quick actions avoided the steel-hulled vessels crashing into each other. The post Phl accuses China Coast Guard of firing water cannon at its boats appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2023

TURNING POINT: Putting an End to Repetitive Protest

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 12 December) – Once again, the Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China over its aggressions on the West Philippine Sea over the weekend, said a spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday. A Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) vessel water-cannoned a Philippine resupply boat to stop from […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsDec 15th, 2023

West Philippine Sea: More PH boats harassed by Chinese vessels

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) ship was damaged after a Chinese ship fired its water cannons at the vessel and two other resupply boats on Sunday, December 10, at the West Philippine Sea. One of the resupply boats also suffered “serious engine damage” after the Chinese ship rammed it during their resupply.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 11th, 2023

Peaceful resolution through UNCLOS, not water cannons, says EU envoy

The China Coast Guard (CCG) rammed and fired water cannons at Philippine vessels during a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, damaging parts of the boats and putting the lives of crew members at risk, the Philippine Coast Guard said. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 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

Intentional, premeditated

In a prior editorial, this paper raised the possibility that the Chinese vessels hitting a Philippine Coast Guard ship and a resupply boat it was escorting to Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea might have been intentional. While we let readers read between the lines, factual narrations of the event tended to show how improbable it would have been for two separate collision incidents, involving several Chinese and Philippine vessels, to happen by accident in the wide expanse of ocean. The two collisions happened miles away from each other amid fair weather conditions with the sun shining brightly, thus neither poor visibility nor questionable seamanship could have been a factor in the incidents. As in most cases, the simplest explanations often prove to be the correct or accurate ones. In these incidents, the latest in China’s aggressive maneuvers in the WPS, the actions taken by the Chinese coast guard and militia vessels smacked of premeditation. On Monday, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro confirmed in a press briefing that the Chinese vessels “intentionally” hit the Philippine boats trying to resupply troops stationed on the intentionally grounded navy vessel, the BRP Sierra Madre. “While conducting legitimate rotation and resupply operations within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit the Unaiza May 2 and Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Cabra,” Teodoro said. It was a conclusion that would not have required the title Defense Secretary to make. Video footage and photos of the first incident showed a China Coast Guard ship chasing the very small resupply boat. As if the David-versus-Goliath affair were not enough, a second CCG vessel then cut off the boat. All the pieces of evidence considered, the word “collision” does not apply to the actions China took because this would presuppose the possibility of their being mere accidents. The operative word should be “bumped” or, if the incident resulted in grave damage to the Philippine vessels, “rammed.” The stern of the smaller resupply vessel and the bow of the Chinese coast guard ship were seen briefly touching in the video released by the Philippine military. According to a statement from the National Security Council, the supply boat sustained damage. It added that a second resupply boat was able to complete its mission to the BRP Sierra Madre. With the United States and Canada condemning China over the incident, the collision may not be the last or it may just be a portent of more serious “interactions” to come between China and the Philippines as both assert their respective sovereign claims in the WPS. If only to ensure peace in the Indo-Pacific region, countries that have pledged to conduct freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea should start doing so. The burden of checking Beijing’s expansionist designs in the region should be shared not only by other claimant nations, but by governments that benefit from the trillions of dollars in trade that pass annually through the South China Sea. We cannot expect the Philippines’ summoning of the Chinese ambassador over the incidents to amount to anything, except to register the country’s strong and continuing opposition to Beijing’s aggressive acts in the WPS. China can never claim Ayungin to be part of its sovereign waters because it lies 1,000 kilometers from its nearest major landmass, Hainan Island, while the shoal is only 200 kilometers from the western Philippine island of Palawan. This proximity of Ayungin Shoal to Palawan, along with other proof presented by the Philippines to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, was primarily considered by the court in ruling in favor of the Philippines in 2016. China had refused to recognize the arbitral ruling precisely because it did not go its way. In fact, the court declared as baseless China’s nine-dash line claim to nearly the entire South China Sea. CCG’s ramming of Philippine vessels is a calculated act of provocation. It is a message to the Philippines and the rest of the world that China is willing to use force to achieve its goals. Beijing’s actions are a threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea and the Asia-Pacific region. Nations must not allow China to succeed in its bullying tactics. The international community must take a stand and not allow China to undermine the rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific. The aggression being shown by Chinese maritime assets is a threat to the world, and must be stopped. The post Intentional, premeditated appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Attack on Phl would elicit U.S. response — State Dep’t

The United States warned on Monday that any armed attack on Philippine armed forces and Philippine Coast Guard civilian vessels could trigger its 72-year-old Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. “The United States reaffirms that Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft — including those of its Coast Guard — anywhere in the South China Sea,” the US Department of State said in a statement. The statement came a day after a China Coast Guard ship collided with a Philippine resupply vessel that was conducting a routine resupply mission at Ayungin Shoal. During the same resupply mission, a Chinese maritime militia vessel also bumped the BRP Cabra, one of the PCG ships that were escorting the boat contracted by the AFP. Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. said the collisions, which President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered investigated by the PCG, were “intentional.” For its part, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said further study is needed to invoke the MDT due to the incident. “The matter of filing another case is something that is still being studied by the government. But, of course, all incidents like these will actually bolster the case that it is not the Philippines that is the aggressor but the other party, which is China,” DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza said. “It’s a provocation on the side of China but at this point, whether it will constitute an armed attack that would allow the invoking of the MDT is something that needs to be studied,” she added. The Philippines and the US agreed under the MDT, signed in 1951, that an armed attack on either of the parties would be considered an attack on the other, necessitating common or joint actions.   Ambassador summoned The Philippines on Monday summoned China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, to explain the “blocking maneuvers” conducted by its vessels. China has insisted on its territorial rights over the Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, which is in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Swarms of CCG ships and Chinese maritime militia vessels had been monitored in the WPS, which Philippine officials said was a blatant disrespect of the 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea. In July 2016, the Philippines won the arbitral case it lodged against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The US said it stands with the Philippines in the face of China’s “dangerous and unlawful actions obstructing” a 22 October resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. “By conducting dangerous maneuvers that caused collisions with Philippine resupply and Coast Guard ships, the PRC Coast Guard and maritime militia violated international law by intentionally interfering with the Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation,” the US State Department said. “The PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) conduct jeopardized the Filipino crew members’ safety and impeded critically needed supplies from reaching service members stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre. Obstructing supply lines to this longstanding outpost and interfering with lawful Philippine maritime operations undermines regional stability,” it added. Citing the 2016 arbitral ruling on the South China Sea, the US noted that China’s territorial claims to Ayungin Shoal, a low-tide elevation outside the territorial sea of another high tide feature, were unfounded.   Unsafe moves “The unsafe maneuvers on 22 October and the PRC water cannoning of a Philippine vessel on 5 August are the latest examples of provocative PRC measures in the South China Sea to enforce its expansive and unlawful maritime claims, reflecting disregard for other states lawfully operating in the region,” the State Department stressed. Aside from the US, Japan, France, Canada, Australia and Germany also condemned China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea. In a separate statement, Canada condemned what it described as “unlawful and dangerous conduct” of the People’s Republic of China in the WPS, which “provoked two collisions with Philippine vessels engaged in routine operations inside the Philippine exclusive economic zone, in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal.” “The PRC’s actions are unjustified. China has no lawful claim to the West Philippine Sea. Its actions are incompatible with the obligations of a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the Canadian Embassy in Manila said. “Continuing acts of intimidation and coercion undermine safety, stability, and security across the region, and increase the risk of miscalculation,” it added.   France, Japan, Germany, too France expressed its “deep concern” over the dangerous maneuvers of the CCG against Philippine vessels “engaged in the Philippine exclusive economic zone.” “France calls for respect of the freedom of navigation guaranteed by international law and recalls its attachment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the decision rendered by the Arbitral Court on 12 July 2016,” the Embassy of France to the Philippines said. Japan, likewise, stressed that it was “seriously concerned” and “alarmed” about the collision of Chinese vessels with Philippine vessels. “Seriously concerned about and alarmed by the collision between Chinese and Philippines vessels,” Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said in a tweet. Koshikawa said Japan “strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion.” “Germany is very concerned about recent confrontations in the SCS involving Chinese coast guard ships and maritime militia vessels in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines,” German Ambassador to the Philippines Andreas Pfaffernoschke said in a separate tweet. The post Attack on Phl would elicit U.S. response — State Dep’t appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

Philippines, China trade blame over collisions in disputed sea

Beijing and Manila traded blame on Sunday for two collisions between Chinese vessels and Philippine boats on a resupply mission to Filipino troops on a remote outpost in the disputed South China Sea. The incidents happened near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, a hotly contested region where Beijing deploys ships to assert its claims over almost the entire sea. A Philippine government task force said the "dangerous blocking manoeuvers of China Coast Guard vessel 5203 caused it to collide with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-contracted indigenous resupply boat" about 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Second Thomas Shoal. China said the "slight collision" happened after the resupply boat ignored "multiple warnings and deliberately passed through law enforcement in an unprofessional and dangerous manner", state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing the foreign ministry. In another incident, a Philippine coastguard vessel escorting the routine resupply mission was "bumped" by what the Philippine task force described as a "Chinese Maritime Militia vessel". China, however, accused the Philippine boat of "deliberately" stirring up trouble by reversing in a "premeditated manner" into a Chinese fishing vessel. Video released by the Philippine military showed the bow of the Chinese coastguard ship and the stern of the resupply vessel briefly touching. The Philippine vessel continues on its course. It is not clear if there was any damage. A second resupply boat was able to reach the grounded BRP Sierra Madre and "successfully resupply our troops and personnel stationed there", the statement said. "The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea condemns in the strongest degree the latest dangerous, irresponsible, and illegal actions of the CCG and the Chinese Maritime Militia done this morning," the task force said in a statement. It said the "provocative, irresponsible, and illegal action" of the Chinese coastguard boat had endangered the safety of the crew on the supply boat. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored an international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometres from China's nearest major landmass, Hainan island. China said "responsibility lies entirely with the Philippines" for Sunday's incidents. As China moves ever more confidently to assert its claims to sovereignty over the waters, officials and experts have warned of the potential for collisions. "This is exactly the kind of event that can happen given their dangerous manoeuvring," said Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines' Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea. Batongbacal said the Chinese coastguard had deliberately hit the Philippine resupply vessel to see how Manila would respond and test the resolve of the Philippines' longtime ally Washington. "You don't accidentally hit another vessel out in the open ocean," Batongbacal told AFP. - US condemns 'latest disruption' - The Philippine Navy deliberately grounded the World War II-era BRP Sierra Madre on Second Thomas Shoal in 1999 to check China's advance in the waters. The troops stationed on the crumbling ship depend on regular supply deliveries for their survival. The Philippines has outposts on nine reefs and islands in the Spratlys, including Second Thomas Shoal. US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said the United States condemned China's "latest disruption of a legal Philippine resupply mission" that put "the lives of Filipino service members at risk". 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 cannons against a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal, preventing one of the boats from delivering its cargo. A Chinese ship in April narrowly missed colliding with a much smaller Philippine Coast Guard vessel in the same area. (Cecil Morella with Sebastien Ricci in Beijing) burs-amj/lb © Agence France-Presse The post Philippines, China trade blame over collisions in disputed sea appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

AFP: China’s ‘irresponsible actions’ in WPS leading to ‘global isolation’

China is leading itself to “global isolation” as it continues “irresponsible actions in the West Philippine Sea, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said Saturday. Aguilar said China’s claims over the disputed waters have already been declared invalid as he cited the ruling of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on 12 July 2016. “There is an arbitral award that says that their claim over it is not valid, including the activities that they are doing there,” he added, stressing that China has no claims over the territorial waters based on the rulings of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “Several countries have already expressed openly their support for our position and not a single country is brave enough to say that they are right,” Aguilar emphasized. “So I think this should be an enlightenment on their part, a kind of information that they should know because their actions are actually leading to their own global isolation,” he added. Chinese Coast Guard spokesperson Gan Yu bluntly accused the Philippines of “trespassing” in its claimed territorial waters near Ren'ai Reef” when the Philippines conducted its “legitimate” rotation and resupply mission to the troops in BRP Sierra Madre, the Philippine Navy’s commissioned ship grounded in the Ayungin Shoal. Gan said the CCG “strictly warned the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law, tracked and monitored the vessels all the way, and effectively regulated them.” Aguilar, in response, said China's sovereignty over the Ayungin Shoal. “That’s very far from Nansha, so how can they exercise sovereignty in a low-tide elevation that is not even subject to appropriation or possession?,” he said. The CCG and Chinese Maritime Militia’s blockade, dangerous maneuvers, and water cannoning of Philippine vessels are just a few of Beijing’s “irresponsible actions” in WPS. China has also been observed turning off the Automatic Identification System. “These are violations that are actually dangerous because if you turn off the AIS, an accident could happen – probably a collision because, especially during dark periods when you cannot see what’s in front of you if you are navigating. So, these are dangerous actions that will lead to accidents,” Agular said. The post AFP: China’s ‘irresponsible actions’ in WPS leading to ‘global isolation’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 7th, 2023

U.S. asserts safe WPS passage for all

It has nothing to do with that particular country, or so they claimed rather cautiously and diplomatically. Navies of the Philippines and the United States opened their bilateral naval exercises yesterday, along with six other countries, at Naval Station Jose Andrada on Roxas Boulevard, Manila. The drills involve at-shore events at the Philippine Navy’s headquarters before going out to sea for exercises intended to improve the allied naval forces’ interoperability. Dubbed Exercise Sama-Sama, or Together, the exercise, according to Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci, has nothing to do with a particular country that has figured in increasing tensions in the West Philippine Sea. But Adaci was obviously referring to China whose coast guard had used water cannons on Philippine Coast Guard-led resupply missions to Filipino troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal in the WPS. Adaci opened the exercise with US Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Karl Thomas. “The exercise is designed to be conducted here in Manila and the southern Luzon area,” Adaci said. Thomas, for his part, stressed the need to recognize the rules-based international order.   Strong word “I think it is important that all nations have a right to sail and operate in the West Philippine Sea — free from worrying about being attacked,” Thomas said. “And attack is probably a strong word.” “I would say, free from being coerced, free from being intimidated. You know we want the commons to be common and open and free. And so long as our nations operate in accordance with the rule of law, in accordance with the rules and regulations, with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said. Like Adaci, Thomas did not mention China, but it is common knowledge that the United States military has been conducting “freedom of navigation” patrols to keep the South China Sea open to international commerce. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last week ordered the PCG to cut the 300-meter floating barrier installed by Chinese militia vessels at Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal.   PN assets in action A 2016 arbitral ruling deemed China’s territorial claim on nearly the entire South China Sea, including areas that overlap the WPS, invalid. The ruling stemmed from a 2013 case filed by the Philippines against China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, or PCA, after Beijing seized control of Scarborough Shoal in 2012. As the PCA junked China’s nine-dash line South China Sea claim, it affirmed the Philippines’ entitlement to its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. Around 700 sailors and marines from different PN units are participating in the exercise, which will see in action, among other assets, the BRP Antonio Luna, and an AW109 naval helicopter. For the second straight year, the exercise will include the navies of Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia. They will be participating mainly in humanitarian assistance and disaster response drills.   Observers Meanwhile, the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Indonesian Navy are also joining as observers the naval exercise that dates back to 1994 when it was known as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training. In 2017, its name was changed to Exercise Sama-Sama. Subsequently, the exercise was conducted annually across various regions: In 2017 at Naval Forces Central; in 2018 at Naval Forces Northern Luzon; in 2019 at Naval Forces West; and in 2021 at the Northern Luzon Command. Last year, it was held alongside Exercise Lumbas — the bilateral navy-to-navy exercise between the Philippines and Australia — with the limited participation of France, Japan and the United Kingdom. According to the PN, the primary objective of the exercise is to enhance the capabilities of both nations in responding to regional crises. Additionally, it aims to strengthen its capacities to address non-traditional challenges, including territorial defense, natural and man-made disasters, counterterrorism, maritime security and transnational crimes. The post U.S. asserts safe WPS passage for all appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2023

Philippine Coast Guard says ‘successfully removes’ barrier at disputed reef

The Philippine Coast Guard said Monday it had removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed to stop Filipinos accessing the traditional fishing ground. The statement was issued hours after Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano vowed to take "all appropriate actions" for the removal of barriers installed by the Chinese coast guard at Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. A 300-meter (328-yard) long floating barrier was found across the entrance of the shoal last week during a routine government resupply mission to Filipino fishermen plying the waters near the Chinese-controlled reef. It was not clear from the Philippine statement if the entire barrier had been removed from the water. A video released by the Philippine Coast Guard showed a man wearing a mask, snorkel and fins using a knife to sever a rope attached to white buoys. Another video showed an anchor being hauled from the water into a wooden outrigger boat. The Coast Guard announced it had "successfully" removed the barrier "in compliance with presidential instruction". "The barrier posed a hazard to navigation, a clear violation of international law," it added. China, which seized Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012, deploys coast guard and other vessels to patrol the fishing ground. The floating barrier prevents fishing boats from entering the shoal's shallow waters where fish are more abundant. Philippine officials previously accused the Chinese coast guard of installing the barrier shortly before the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ship arrived at the shoal last Wednesday. Several media outlets, including AFP, were on board the BRP Datu Bankaw and saw the barrier. "We will take all appropriate actions to cause the removal of the barriers and to protect the rights of our fishermen in the area," National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said in a statement Monday. Ano said the Philippines condemns the installation of barriers, arguing such action "violates the traditional fishing rights of our fishermen whose rights... have been affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral ruling". Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin hit back Monday, saying Scarborough Shoal was "an inherent part of China" and China had "indisputable sovereignty over it and its surrounding waters". Scarborough Shoal is 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of the Philippines' main island of Luzon and nearly 900 kilometers from the nearest major Chinese land mass of Hainan. Under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which China helped negotiate, countries have jurisdiction over the natural resources within about 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) of their shore. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, while several other countries, including the Philippines, have overlapping claims to parts of it. Beijing has ignored the 2016 international court ruling that its claims have no legal basis. The Philippine foreign ministry said Monday it would "take all appropriate measures to protect our country's sovereignty and the livelihood of our fisherfolk", without elaborating. Filipino fishermen say that China's actions at Scarborough Shoal are robbing them of a key source of income and a place to shelter safely during a storm. burs-pam/amj/dva © Agence France-Presse The post Philippine Coast Guard says ‘successfully removes’ barrier at disputed reef appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

Teodoro: China’s Ayungin Shoal actions ‘dangerous, irresponsible’

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. slammed the recent actions of China against the Philippine vessels conducting a rotation and resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre in the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea as an "irresponsible and egregious violation of maritime safety". “The Philippine Coast Guard vessels were once again dangerously harassed. This is to me irresponsible behavior on the part of the Chinese Coast Guard and I think that the world knows who is in the right here so it does need much more saying or talking about,” Teodoro said in a media interview in Philippine Navy headquarters at Naval Station Jose Andrada, Roxas Boulevard, Manila. “The world has reacted before to the water cannoning,” he added, Though China did not use water canon this time, Teodoro lamented that it did perform “more dangerous maneuvers” against the Philippine vessels. “I think what has to be underscored here is that wala ngang water cannoning pero mas delikado ang mga maniobrang ginawa nila sa mga kasama nating PCG (I think what has to be underscored here is that while there was no water cannoning, the CCG vessels conducted more dangerous maneuvers against our PCG),” Despite China’s increasing aggressions,  Teodoro said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PCG will continue to hold its RoRe mission to the Ayungin Shoal. Teodoro sees the need to look closely at the upgrading of the PCG and the Philippine Navy to be able to effectively attend to maritime security threats and protect the welfare of Filipino fisherfolk. “They need to have capabilities for protecting Filipino vessels, maritime safety and security — what the Chinese Coast Guard doing is an egregious violation of maritime safety,” the defense chief said. Teodoro maintained that the Philippines is strictly following the rules-based international order. “Tayo dire-deretso lang nag-iiskort ng ating RoRe vessels e sila nanggigitgit ng ganun. So sino ang iresponsable dito? Sa akin obvious na po ang kasagutan (We are only escorting our RoRe vessels while they are harassing us like that. So who is being irresponsible here? For me, the answer is already obvious),” he said. The post Teodoro: China’s Ayungin Shoal actions ‘dangerous, irresponsible’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 11th, 2023

US, Vietnam warn against ‘threat or use of force’ in South China Sea

The United States and Vietnam warned on Monday against the "threat or use of force" in the disputed South China Sea, days after the latest clash involving Chinese vessels. President Joe Biden and Vietnam's Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong said the competing claims on the strategic waterway must be settled under international norms. Beijing claims almost the entire sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored an international court ruling that its assertion has no legal basis. "The leaders underscored their unwavering support for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, without the threat or use of force," Biden and Trong said in a joint statement. They also called for "freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea". The statement came a day after Biden and Trong struck a deal to deepen cooperation, widely seen as a way to counter China's growing assertiveness in the region. Washington is at loggerheads with Beijing on a range of issues including trade, security, human rights and climate change and is looking to boost its network of allies to counter Chinese influence. Vietnam, which fought a war with China between 1979 and 1988, is wary of its giant northern neighbor, and is one of a handful of countries with claims on the many islets and outcrops that dot the South China Sea. Last week the Philippines accused Chinese Coast Guard and "militia" boats of harassing two of its own coast guard vessels as they took supplies to Filipino troops on the Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippine Navy deliberately grounded an old ship on the shoal in 1999 to check China's advance in the waters. China deploys hundreds of vessels to patrol the South China Sea and swarm reefs. The Philippines, a longtime US ally, has outposts on nine reefs and islands in the Spratly Islands -- which Vietnam also claims along with the Paracel Islands. Manila says Chinese coast guard and navy ships routinely block or shadow Philippine boats in the contested waters. Tensions between Manila and Beijing flared last month when China Coast Guard vessels used water cannon against a Philippine resupply mission to the reef, preventing one of the boats from delivering its cargo. pdw/aph/ser © Agence France-Presse The post US, Vietnam warn against ‘threat or use of force’ in South China Sea appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 11th, 2023

China can’t make arrests in disputed sea

China does not have the “authority or power” to conduct law enforcement operations on waters under the Philippine exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, an official of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said. National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya, insisted that only the Philippine government has the sovereign right to hold law enforcement operations in the WPS because it is within the country’s EEZ “The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea wishes to emphasize that China has no authority or power to conduct law enforcement operations in our exclusive economic zone,” he said in a media forum on Saturday. The Armed Forces of the Philippines reported that Chinese vessels made dangerous maneuvers and harassed two Philippine Navy boats and two Philippine Coast Guard escort ships while on a rotation and resupply mission en route to the BRP Sierra Madre, a commissioned navy vessel grounded in the Ayungin Shoal since 1999. Malaya rebuffed the claims of the Chinese Coast Guard that it was just conducting law enforcement operations against Philippine vessels “illegally entering” their territory.   Within Phl EEZ “Law enforcement operations in the exclusive economic zone are within the purview of elements of the Philippine government — and that is why the statement of the Chinese Coast Guard is wrong,” he said. Malaya slammed the dangerous maneuvers and aggressive conduct by vessels of the CCG and the Chinese maritime militia against the Filipino troops aboard the Philippine supply boats delivering fresh food and other replenishment supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre. “Again, we strongly deplore and condemn the continued illegal, aggressive, and destabilizing conduct of the CCG and CMM within the nation’s exclusive economic zone,” he said. China’s use of a water cannon to disperse Philippine vessels conducting a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre last month has gained the attention of many lawmakers, maritime experts, and international leaders. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. made clear during the 18th East Asia Summit in Indonesia “that the Philippines condemned the harassment in the South China Sea and stood firm in the government’s commitment to assert its sovereign rights over the Philippine waters.” The post China can’t make arrests in disputed sea appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 9th, 2023