BookmarkMANILA: The United States said on Tuesday (Mar 23) it is backing the Philippines in a new stand-off with Beijing in the disputed South China Sea, where Manila has asked a Chinese fishing flotilla to leave a reef., insisting it owns the offshore territory.
AdvertisementAdvertisementThe US Embassy said it shared the concerns of the Philippines and accused China of using “maritime militia to intimidate, provoke, and threaten other nations, which undermines peace and security in the region”.“We stand with the Philippines, our oldest treaty ally in Asia,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement.
READ: Philippines accuses China of 'incursion' in disputed seaPhilippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday demanded about 200 Chinese vessels he said were militia boats leave the Whitsun Reef, a shallow coral region about 175 nautical miles (324km) west of Bataraza town in the western Philippine province of Palawan. headtopics.com
AdvertisementAdvertisementPhilippine officials said the reef, which they call Julian Felipe, is well within the country’s internationally recognised exclusive economic zone, over which the Philippines “enjoys the exclusive right to exploit or conserve any resources”.
The Philippine coast guard spotted about 220 Chinese vessels moored at the reef, which Beijing and Vietnam also claim, on Mar 7.On Monday, a surveillance aircraft spotted 183 Chinese vessels still at the reef, said Philippine military chief lieutenant general Cirilito Sobejana, who released aerial pictures of the Chinese vessels in one of the most hotly contested regions in the strategic waterway.
The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest over the Chinese presence, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said.AdvertisementCOMMENTARY: US-China ties are set to worsen, before they get betterChina insisted it owns the reef, which it calls Niue Jiao, and said the Chinese vessels converged in the area to avoid rough waters.
Beijing denied the vessels were maritime militias. “Any speculation in such helps nothing but causes unnecessary irritation,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement on Monday. “It is hoped that the situation could be handled in an objective and rational manner.” headtopics.com
The US Embassy, however, said: “Chinese boats have been mooring in this area for many months in ever increasing numbers, regardless of the weather.”China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have been locked in a tense territorial standoff over the resource-rich and busy waterway for decades.
President Rodrigo Duterte would talk to the Chinese ambassador in Manila about the issue, his spokesman, Harry Roque told a news conference.Duterte has nurtured friendly ties with Beijing since taking office in 2016 and has been criticised for not immediately demanding Chinese compliance with an international arbitration ruling that invalidated Beijing’s historic claims to virtually the entire sea.
China has refused to recognise the 2016 ruling, which it called “a sham”, and continues to defy it.Duterte has sought infrastructure funds, trade and investments from China, which has also donated and pledged to deliver more COVID-19 vaccines as the Philippines faces an alarming spike in coronavirus infections.Read more: CNA »
1.8 million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine: Health minister
A total of 1.2 million people have completed the full vaccination regimen, says Mr Gan Kim Yong.
Back with what? Money? Weapon? Sanctions? Or only voice? 🙄
US, Philippines officials discuss Chinese activities in South China SeaThe national security advisers for the United States and the Philippines discussed their shared concerns over Chinese activities in the South ...
South Korea's Kakao to buy 2 US storytelling apps for US$950 millionSEOUL: South Korea's Kakao Entertainment said on Tuesday (May 11) it was acquiring US-based online comic app Tapas and serialised fiction app ...
Baidu, Tencent in US extend slide after SEC actions amid US-China tensionU.S.-listed shares of China based Baidu Inc and Tencent Music Entertainment group plunged this week, dropping as much as 33.5per cent and 48.5per ...
US won't force NATO allies into 'us or them' choice on China: BlinkenThe United States will not force any NATO ally to choose sides between Washington and Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on ...
Philippines, US to begin 2-week joint military drill on Monday