US ships to continue sailing in South China Sea despite warning

By Dempsey Reyes /Manila Times Despite a warning coming from China not to start any trouble at the South China Sea (SCS), the United States yesterday maintained it would continue its operations there under international laws.“The United States will fly, sail and operate everywhere international law allows. That’s it. I wish we had a longer statement for you, that’s the simple truth,” Lt Gen Eric Smith, commander of the Japan-based US 3rd Marine Expeditionary Forces, said at a news briefing after the Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) war drills’ closing ceremony at Camp…

COLUMN-China goes unconventional in escalating South China Sea face-off: Peter Apps

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters) By Peter Apps LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) – In early December, a flotilla of two dozen Chinese fishing boats and escort warships sailed to here the disputed Filipino-occupied reef of Thitu. By the end of the month, Beijing had almost 100 vessels in and around the archipelago, sparking an initially largely hidden confrontation that could yet spark outright war. When China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy turns 70 in October, the celebrations will centre here its largest, highest…

Locsin on sea dispute: It is ours and they took it

Locsin on sea dispute: It is ours and they took it MANILA, Philippines — Although President Rodrigo Duterte has said he is not willing to go to war with China over disputes in the West Philippine Sea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he does not fear it. Beijing claims indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea, including areas in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or what the country calls the West Philippine Sea. When a netizen asked the Philippines’ top diplomat about the Department of Foreign…

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on April 12, 2019

  At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Kono will pay an official visit to China from April 13 to 15. During his official visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will co-chair the fifth High-level Economic Dialogue between China and Japan with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. Senior officials of economic departmentsof both countries will attend the event. The two sides will also attend the opening ceremony of the China-Japan Youth Exchange Promotion Year. Q: The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office…

Spratly Islands ours—China – Manila Standard

China on Thursday repeated its claim over the Spratly Islands after Malacañang slammed the persistent presence of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea. Lu Kang “The Nansha Islands are China’s territory, which is backed by sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing. “For thousands of years, Chinese fishermen have been fishing in these waters in the South China Sea. Their rights should not be challenged.” Lu made his statement after Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Philippines would always assert its sovereignty…

Marines test ‘Lightning Carrier’ concept in the South China Sea

The Marine Corps elaborated on its plan for the Lightning Carrier in its 2017 Marine Aviation Plan, which suggests that by 2025, the Marines should be operating 185 F-35Bs, more than “enough to equip all seven” amphibious assault ships. “While the amphibious assault ship will never replace the aircraft carrier,” the Corps said, “it can be complementary if employed in imaginative ways.” These ships, the America-class ships in particular, could theoretically be outfitted with 16-20 F-35s, along with rotary refueling aircraft. “A Lightning Carrier, taking full advantage of the amphibious…

OPINION: China goes unconventional in escalating South China Sea face-off

In early December, a flotilla of two dozen Chinese fishing boats and escort warships sailed to the disputed Filipino-occupied reef of Thitu. By the end of the month, Beijing had almost 100 vessels in and around the archipelago, sparking an initially largely hidden confrontation that could yet spark outright war. When China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy turns 70 in October, the celebrations will center on its largest, highest profile warships – particularly its pair of aircraft carriers, set to be the first of many. High-tech sabre-rattling is clearly at the…

US, Philippines Training To Repel Island Invasion Amid China Tensions

U.S. and Philippine troops have reportedly been training for a potential island invasion scenario, which is a real possibility as tensions rise in the disputed South China Sea. On Wednesday, U.S. and Filipino forces conducted a joint airfield seizure exercise on a Lubang Island, located adjacent to the sea, in what was a first for the allies, Channel News Asia reported Thursday. The drill was practice for a real-world situation in which a foreign power has seized control of an island in the Philippines, taking over the its airfield, GMA…

China claims Spratlys within its territory, as Malacanang pushes back

MANILA (UPDATE) – China on Thursday maintained its claim on Spratlys Islands or Nansha Islands, unfazed by stern warnings issued by the Philippine government recently. “The Nansha Islands are within China’s territory, for which we have sufficient historical and legal basis,” said Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Lu Kang during a press conference on Thursday. Lu added that the rights of Chinese fishermen who have been fishing in the said waters in the South China Sea for thousands of years should not be challenged. Malacanang on Wednesday made it clear that…