The Philippine-China Territorial Disputes Special Edition

The Philippine-China Territorial Disputes Special Edition

Good Morning From Manila!

Delfin Edolmo Eclevia here.

 

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Possible US-China Clash in the making?

The territorial disputes between the Philippines and China may trigger the biggest war in Asia since Vietnam and Indochina conflict.

With the dramatic and successful maneuvering of a Philippines ship and evading the Chinese naval blockade to restock the supplies of the Philippine marines holed up in BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal, the tension further escalated.   China is accusing the Philippines of intensifying the territorial disputes. China was further angered by the Philippine’s  move of filing the a formal complaint before the UN tribunal for arbitration of the territorial disputes.  China warned the Philippines for its retaliation.

Any Chinese attack on BRP Sierra Madre or an attempt to tow away the Philippine ship, however, is considered an attack against he Philippines. Will the US defend the country to  keep its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines? Will the US come to the Philippine rescue or can it afford heavy spending in the possible biggest armed conflicts in Asia with its own fiscal problems at home?

What do you say, mga Kababayan?

Please read on.

 

The Manila Bulletin

  • Any attack on BRP Sierra Madre may put into effect defense treaty with US   by Leonard Postrado
BRP Sierra Madre, Ayungin Shoal, Manila Bulletin

RUSTY BUT BRAVE. The BRP Sierra Madre has been aground on the disputed shoal, which is known as the Ren’ai reef in China and the Ayungin Shoal in the Philippines, since 1999. Though old and dilapidated, it bravely stands there alone in the high seas to assert the Philippine’s sovereignty over the disputed islands. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Manila, Philippines — Any Chinese attack against the derelict BRP Sierra Madre, which served as a make-shift outpost of the Philippine Marines at the Ayungin Shoal, is enough to reason for the United States (US) to come to the aid of the Philippines, an international law expert yesterday said.

See other photos of BPS Sierra Madre here

 

Philippine Daily Inquirer

  • China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre   by Christine O. Avendaño

China was warned Thursday against trying to tow away the BRP Sierra Madre from Ayungin Shoal, as this could be considered an attack against the Philippines and prompt the United States to defend the country in keeping with their Mutual Defense Treaty. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

 

  • US: We stand by our allies  China cautioned as tensions rise between Manila and Beijing   by Tarra Quismundo 

US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel reaffirms his country’ support for the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China. The Philippine flag flies proudly on the deck of the rusting BRP Sierra Madre. AFP and INQUIRER file photos

  • China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image   by Tarra Quismundo

A Philippine Marine gestures at a Chinese Coast Guard vessel which tries to block a Philippine Government vessel AM700 from approaching the Second Thomas Shoal (local name Ayungin Shoal) to resupply and replace fellow marines who were deployed for almost five months Saturday, March 29, 2014 off South China Sea on the West Philippine Sea. AP FILE PHOTO

China on Thursday accused the Philippines of “abuse of process” in seeking United Nations arbitration to settle disputes in the South China Sea, calling Manila’s move a “smear campaign” to tarnish Beijing’s image in the international community.China blamed the Philippines for the maritime dispute, insisting yet again that it has sovereignty over the territories and reiterating it has a “solid historic[al] and legal basis” for its claim, playing down the relative proximity of some of the islands to the Philippines’ western coast.
  • Palace ready for China backlash  ‘But China ties not defined by sea dispute’   by TJ Burgonio

LEAVE US ALONE Activists stage a rally at the Chinese Embassy in Makati City on Wednesday to protest the Chinese Coast Guard’s attempt to stop a Philippine resupply vessel from getting to the BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Saturday. RAFFY LERMA

The government is prepared for any backlash from its move to question in the United Nations China’s territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea, but Manila’s ties with Beijing remains the same, Malacañang said on Wednesday.Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.  said the Philippines was upholding its interest when it submitted its memorandum to the UN arbitral tribunal on Sunday questioning China’s claim over nearly the entire South China Sea, including waters within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ) called West Philippine Sea.

 

Rappler

 

  • China to PH: ‘Friends avoid lawsuits’


MANILA, Philippines – China remains convinced that a bilateral negotiation, and not international arbitration, is the best way to settle its territorial dispute with a “good neighbor” and long-standing “friend” like the Philippines.

“A resort to arbitration does not meet people’s expectations for friendship in both China and the Philippines,” said Zhang Hua, spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Manila, in a statement sent to the media on Thursday, April 2.

 

  • PH strikes back, files pleading vs China

DAVID VS GOLIATH. A Chinese coast guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a standoff as the Philippine boat attempts to reach Ayungin Shoal, a reef claimed by both countries, on March 29, 2014. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP

DAVID VS GOLIATH. A Chinese coast guard ship (top) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a standoff as the Philippine boat attempts to reach Ayungin Shoal, a reef claimed by both countries, on March 29, 2014. Photo by Jay Directo/AFP

Dwarfed by China in terms of military strength, the Philippines submitted the nearly 4,000-page document, called a memorial, to end decades of alleged bullying by the rising superpower. It sent the memorial to a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal incidentally after China on Saturday, March 29, harassed a Filipino ship again.

 

  • China slams PH ‘hype’ over West PH Sea

DAVID VS GOLIATH. A much smaller Philippine ship arrives at the disputed Ayungin Shoal. Photo by AFP

DAVID VS GOLIATH. A much smaller Philippine ship arrives at the disputed Ayungin Shoal.

China denounced the “hype” the Philippines created in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) a day before Manila submits on Sunday, March 30, its historic pleading against Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made this statement after a Philippine ship successfully reached the disputed Ayungin Shoal (Ren’ai Reef) on Saturday, March 29, despite China’s efforts to block it.

 

  • China harasses PH ship before pleading day

SEA BASTION. This undated handout photo released by the Philippine government on May 23, 2013 shows an aerial view of BRP Sierra Madre, a 100-meter (328 foot) amphibious vessel built for the US in 1944 and acquired by the Filipino navy in 1976, grounded at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. AFP Photo/Philippine Government

SEA BASTION. This undated handout photo released by the Philippine government on May 23, 2013 shows an aerial view of BRP Sierra Madre, a 100-meter (328 foot) amphibious vessel built for the US in 1944 and acquired by the Filipino navy in 1976, grounded at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. AFP Photo/Philippine Government

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines slammed China after two of its ships harassed a Philippine vessel in the disputed Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) on Saturday, March 29.

The incident erupted a day before the Philippines submits on Sunday, March 30, its historic pleading against China before an international tribunal. (READ: PH readies ‘convincing evidence’ vs China)

 

  • PH readies ‘convincing evidence’ vs China

HISTORIC CASE. The Philippines is set to file its written pleading against China on March 30. File 2012 photo of Chinese surveillance ships off Scarborough Shoal by DFA/Philippine Navy/AFP

HISTORIC CASE. The Philippines is set to file its written pleading against China on March 30. File 2012 photo of Chinese surveillance ships off Scarborough Shoal by DFA/Philippine Navy/AFP

 

 

 

Yahoo! News

US: Will stand by allies in disputes with China

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States cautioned China Thursday that it will meet its defense commitments to allies as tensions mount over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel told a congressional hearing that some Asian countries fear that Russia’s annexation of Crimea could serve as a precedent for Beijing.

In China’s most recent assertive display, its coast guard ships attempted to interdict a Philippine vessel resupplying a small offshore garrison in the Second Thomas Shoal.

The Philippines is a U.S. treaty ally and one of several nations with conflicting territorial claims with China over small islands and reefs in the South China Sea, most of which China claims for itself.

 

  • ‘PH arbitration case vs. China will not succeed’ 

China: PH trying to steal Chinese territory

The Philippines’ arbitration case against China regarding the West Philippine Sea “will not succeed,” a professor of Chinese studies said on Thursday.

“It will not succeed because  it will take a long time for UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea] to make that kind of decision. That is very technical. It is almost outside the legal authority of UNCLOS itself,” Marwin Samuels, Professor Emeritus of Chinese studies in Syracuse University, said.

 

 

Manila Standard Today

  • China, not PH, at fault for damaged ties—DFA Apr. 05, 2014 at 12:01am

2014_apr05_news3

THE Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday it was not Manila that had been damaging its relations with Beijing, adding it was China’s recent actions that were increasing the tensions in the South China Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario also said that the Philippine government’s decision to file its case against China before the Arbitral Tribunal was in adherence to  international law.

 

 

The Philippine Star

  • US: China blocking Filipino boats ‘provocative’   (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — China’s blocking of supplies to a Philippine outpost in the South China Sea is “provocative” and raises tensions, the United States said Wednesday, in its latest criticism of China’s assertive conduct in disputed seas of East Asia.

The Philippines, a U.S. ally, protested to China Tuesday its prevention of two Filipino vessels from taking supplies to troops on a decrepit military hospital ship that ran aground 15 years ago on the shallow coral outcrop of the Second Thomas Shoal. The rusty ship has since become the symbol of Philippine sovereignty over the area.

 

 

  • Militant group’s gift to China: Giant tape measure  (Associated Press) |

Protesters display a mock tape measure during a rally outside the Chinese consulate at the financial district of Makati City on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. AP/Bullit Marquwz

 

  • US submarine arrives in Subic  

A file photo of the USS MIchigan, an Ohio-class guided-missile submarine of the United States Pacific Fleet.

The US Embassy in Manila said that the submarine’s visit “highlights the strong historic, community, and military connections between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines.”

The Michigan is commanded by Capt. Erik A. Burian and crewed by approximately 150 sailors.

On Monday, San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD-18) stopped at Manila’s South Harbor also for a port call.

 

  • ‘No basis in China’s historical right over West Phl Sea’  (The Philippine Star) |

China’s most salient argument in its territorial claim over the West Philippine Sea – its historical right – holds no water, according to a senior justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

“China’s claim to a historical right to the waters enclosed within the nine-dash lines in the South China Sea is utterly without basis under international law,” Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said, echoing what he said is “almost universal opinion of non-Chinese scholars on the law of the sea.”

The supposed visit of Gou Shoujing to Scarborough Shoal in 1279 is the only historical link that China claims to Scarborough Shoal.

But Carpio stressed that China already used the same claim in another territorial dispute – against Vietnam over the Paracels islands.

 

 

The Territory Under Dispute:


Map of South China Sea

Google Map Here

 

spratly-islands-1

 

That’s all for today, Friends, and see you again next Friday.   Please leave your comments below to be able to read by our Kababayan worldwide.  Thank you and God Bless!
119
Delfin Edolmo Eclevia
For past Manila Newspapers Headlines editions, please click here.

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2 Responses so far.

  1. Armand Tirol Davila says:

    Does UNCLOS have teeth? NO! But UNCLOS have big claws! Should it decides in favor of the Philippines regarding the conflict with China in West Philippine Seas, China will fall like a leaf and it’s claim will die a natural death! While it is true that a favorable decision by UNCLOS will not settle the issue in the West Philippine Sea, bilateral negotiations will follow to effect a bilateral agreement putting the Philippines in a better bargaining position! This is no time for a LIMAHONG in the west Philippine seas!