603,000 Chinese have visited PH, still below target

MANILA, Philippines — The continuing influx of Chinese tourists could fuel the country’s bid to host 8.2 million visitors this year, according to the latest data from the Department of Tourism (DOT). In April alone, 139,177 Chinese tourists visited the country, or 21 percent of the 662,987 foreign arrivals. The number was 26.77 percent higher than the 109,789 recorded in April last year. China — with its 602,981 visitors from January to April — also posted the fastest growth among the country’s top tourism markets with a 25.04-percent growth in…

Hong Kong braces for big crowds at annual rally to mark handover

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong holds an annual pro-democracy march on Monday, the anniversary of its handover to Beijing, that could draw big crowds amid widespread anger over an extradition bill that has plunged the financial hub into turmoil. A supporter holds a flag as he attends a rally to show their support for the police amid criticisms for its alleged mishandling of an anti-extradition protest, in Hong Kong, China June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu The bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China to face…

ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific underscores role of organization in regional dynamics

Photo: IC The 34th ASEAN summit hosted by Thailand from June 20 to 23 came at a time when the geopolitical environment in the region was on a simmer with the US throwing its weight behind the Indo-Pacific Strategy. ASEAN countries reached an agreement on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, implying the bloc has entered a very important stage. The summit was held when trade tensions between China and the US were still brewing. Therefore, developments during the summit merit interpretation.  Prior to the opening of the summit, rotating…

Russia and US warships almost collide in East China Sea

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe crew of the USS Chancellorsville had a close-up view of the Russian warship Admiral Vinogradov A Russian warship and a US warship have come close to collision in the western Pacific Ocean, with each side blaming the other for the incident. Russia’s Pacific Fleet said the cruiser USS Chancellorsville crossed just 50m (160ft) in front of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov at 06:35 Moscow time (03:35 GMT). It was forced to perform “emergency manoeuvring” to avoid the US ship. But US forces…

Watch dramatic video of near collision between US and Russian warships in South China Sea

The United States Navy has released video footages of what it claims is “an unsafe manoeuvre” by a Russian anti-submarine destroyer, which came within 50 metres of its guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville near the South China Sea on Friday. The footage shows the Russian Pacific Fleet’s anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Nikolai Ignatevich Vinogradov almost colliding with USS Chancellorsville, in yet another incident of interception by the two militaries. According to the US Navy the USS Chancellorsville was operating in the Philippine Sea when “at approximately 11:45 am on June 7 (9:05…

China may consider more Su-35 fighters after Russian new offer: report

Two Su-35 fighter jets and a H-6K bomber fly in formation on May 11, 2018. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force conducted patrol training over China’s island of Taiwan. Su-35 fighter jets flew over the Bashi Channel in formation with the H-6Ks for the first time, which marks a new breakthrough in island patrol patterns, said Shen Jinke, spokesperson for the PLA Air Force. Photo: Xinhua China might purchase more Su-35 fighter jets, Chinese media and military analysts said, after Russia reportedly offered an additional batch of the warplanes…

Letting Chinese fish in PH waters hit as illegal

SUNSET FOR FILIPINO FISHERMEN Fishing boats wait at anchor off San Roque in Occidental Mindoro for another trip to Recto Bank. A fishermen’s group in Pangasinan province has decried the government’s willingness to allow the Chinese to fish in the West Philippine Sea. —RICHARD A. REYES MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers and maritime law experts on Wednesday shot down President Rodrigo Duterte’s idea that the Chinese could fish in Philippine waters because the Philippines and China were “friends,” pointing out that allowing foreign intrusion into the country’s seas is a violation…

Philippines Plans Low-Key Upgrades in Disputed Spratly Islands | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – The Philippines has found funding for the biggest in a series of infrastructure upgrades planned on the islets it holds in the contested South China Sea, a move that will gently remind other countries, including China, of Manila’s claims. Money from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program will next year fund the paving of a 1,300-meter-long gravel and dirt runway on Thitu Island, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was quoted saying this month. Thitu anchors Manila’s holdings in the Spratly archipelago, which is also disputed by…

South China Sea dispute: China and Philippines frictions explained – What is going on? | World | News

The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims among several sovereign state within the region, namely China and the Philippines, but also Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. Annually, an estimated £2.65 trillion ($3.37 trillion) worth of global trade passes through the sea. So what’s the conflict between China and the Philippines? In July 2016, an arbitration tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ruled against the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC’s) maritime claims in Philippines v China.…