South China Sea: Philippines says it has ‘leverage’ over China after Xi warns of ‘trouble’ | World | News

Malacanang says the 2016 ruling, which did not recognise Beijing’s control over the waters is “not useless”, despite China’s refusal to accept the decision. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said: “We have a bargaining leverage. “If we didn’t have that arbitral ruling, we can’t say ‘what is the basis of your presence here?’ It’s not useless. “The only problem now is the enforcement of the ruling.” The ruling from the Hague-based international tribunal was handed down at the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term. Mr Panelo remained confident China would relinquish…

Xi Jinping wants China’s armed forces to be “world-class” by 2050

OVER THE past decade, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been lavished with money and arms. China’s military spending rose by 83% in real terms between 2009 and 2018, by far the largest growth spurt in any big country. The splurge has enabled China to deploy precision missiles and anti-satellite weapons that challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, says his “Chinese dream” includes a “dream of a strong armed forces”. That, he says, involves “modernising” the PLA by 2035 and making it “world-class”—in other words,…

De Lima: Duterte allowing Chinese fishers in PH waters an impeachable offense

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte committed an impeachable offense when he said Chinese fishers will not be barred from fishing in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, his fierce critic Sen. Leila de Lima said. In a dispatch from her detention cell, De Lima said Duterte’s pronouncements, deemed as policy statements, “are simply repugnant” to the Philippine Constitution as well as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the South China Sea arbitration ruling favoring the Philippines. De Lima added Duterte’s most recent statement “palpably shows a…

MSDF, Japan Coast Guard hold 1st joint drill in South China Sea:The Asahi Shimbun

The Japan Coast Guard and the Maritime Self-Defense Force conducted their first joint drill in the South China Sea on June 26, in a move apparently aimed at reining in China’s aggressive behavior in the region. The exercise with the MSDF in foreign waters marked a rare assignment for the Coast Guard as it is usually tasked with patrolling Japan’s territorial waters. The joint drill was the first the MSDF and Coast Guard has held overseas in at least five years. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that…

PHL not waiving EEZ rights in South China Sea to Beijing

The Philippines is not waiving its rights to exclusive waters in the South China Sea, President Duterte said on Thursday, walking back on an earlier stance allowing Chinese fishing that some officials said was unconstitutional. “The President will not relinquish our sovereign rights over our country’s exclusive economic zone,” President Duterte’s Spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a news statement early on Thursday, adding the President’s decisions are in accordance with the Constitution. Duterte also spoke to other Southeast Asian leaders at the weekend Asean summit about “the dangers of China’s…

Can the Philippines and China Get Past the Reed Bank Debacle?

The sinking of a Filipino fishing vessel in Reed Bank and abandonment of its distressed crew by a Chinese vessel on June 9 presented a new test to bilateral relations. While both sides sought to downplay the incident, the Philippines did express its resentment and has raised the matter in international bodies. As Manila’s and Beijing’s separate investigations draw to a close, a proposed joint probe has been met with both support and opposition. The timing of the incident could not been any worse. It happened as the country marked…

Duterte Faces Impeachment Calls for South China Sea Policy

Philippines Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III shocked the nation Thursday by coming out in defense of granting China fishing rights in Philippine sovereign waters in light of a Chinese ship sinking a Filipino fishing vessel and refusing to rescue its crew this month. Sotto argued that there was no way to confirm that the fish being caught had not swam from China into Philippine territory, so China should be allowed to catch them. The Philippine constitution bans the government from allowing any other country to fish in Philippine sovereign maritime territory, the news outlet Rappler…

FISHER: Chinese fighters buzz Canadian sailors

MATTHEW FISHER Aboard HMCS Regina – A pair of Chinese Su-30 fighter jets buzzed a Canadian warship Monday in international waters east of Shanghai, in the East China Sea. The formidable twin-tail Russian-built strike aircraft flew within 300 metres of HMCS Regina, screaming past about 300 metres above the water. It was the first close encounter between a Chinese warplane and a Royal Canadian Navy warship. It comes at a time of heightened tensions between China and Canada, triggered by Canada’s plan to hold an extradition hearing to the U.S.…