Philippines Morning News For March 25, 2020

Poor should get food, cash aid first – Bong GoSEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go called on concerned government agencies to provide food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable groups first as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.— Manila Times Duterte wants speedy delivery of medical supplies in war vs. COVID-19President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night called for the speedy delivery of medical supplies amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).— GMA Network Duterte’s special powers bill punishes fake news by jail time, up to…

Chinese Maritime Militia on the Move in Disputed Spratly Islands

Even as the coronavirus crisis sweeps through Asia, China continues to assert its presence in the South China Sea by deploying maritime militia around disputed islands and reefs in the Spratly island chain, according to vessel tracking data and satellite imagery reviewed by Radio Free Asia. A fleet of Chinese ships has been moving this month through the Union Banks, a collection of small land features disputed between China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Among the most significant features in this area are the Chinese-controlled Hughes Reef and Johnson…

With world busy fighting coronavirus, China quietly builds installations on Philippine-claimed reefs

With world busy fighting coronavirus, China quietly builds installations on Philippine-claimed reefs Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) – March 24, 2020 – 12:24pm MANILA, Philippines — While the rest of the world is busy battling the coronavirus pandemic, China, where the virus originated, has taken advantage of the countries’ preoccupation by building new facilities on Philippine-claimed territories in West Philippine Sea. On Friday, government-funded Chinese Academy of Sciences launched two research stations on Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) and Subi Reefs in Spratly Islands to “help scientists expand their research into deep…

Books on Vietnam’s sea, island sovereignty debut | Society

The collection of books on Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty (Photo courtesy of the publishing house) Hanoi (VNA) – A collection of 20 books on Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty has been released to the public.  Launched by the Information and Communications Publishing House, the books include studies, documents, legal and historical evidence affirming the sovereignty of Vietnam over the country’s seas and islands, including the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos. The two archipelagos hold strategic locations, and the country’s sovereignty over them is clearly reflected through…

Will the Philippine-US military alliance survive Duterte and Trump?

MANILA — In mid-March, Philippine and American military officials met at Camp Aguinaldo in Manila to confront the biggest question currently facing their alliance: What to do after Aug. 9? The date marks the official termination of their Visiting Forces Agreement, 180 days after Manila served the notice of repeal to its lone mutual-defense treaty ally. “The unilateral abrogation of the VFA has triggered a major crisis in the alliance,” said Renato De Castro, a regional security expert and professor at De La Salle University in Manila, during a recent…

Philippines Morning News For March 23, 2020

Palace denies social media rumors Duterte will quarantine PhilippinesMalacañang on Sunday said there was no truth to rumors circulating on social media that President Rodrigo Duterte will impose a nationwide lockdown next week to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threat in the Philippines.— GMA Network Philippine banks roll-out relief to ease COVID-19 financial painBanks across the Philippines have begun rolling out a range of measures aimed at easing the financial pain the COVID-19 outbreak is causing households under government imposed lockdowns.— AEC News Today 530 UST Hospital staff quarantined…

Westworld Certainly Proves the Park’s Location

Since Westworld premiered in 2016, observers have questioned where Delos’ six sprawling topic parks are placed. In the Season 1 end, Finish subtitles seemed to fall away coordinates that fans followed back to the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea. Still, nothing was ever proved. But with the Season 3 premiere, believers have got recognition as Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard Lowe, soon a fugitive attempts to respond to the site of the massacre. The coordinates could easily have been an error or misdirection. Admitted, the HBO drama before mentioned China’s military and…

China Enlists Academics In South China Sea Propaganda War – OpEd

By Bich T. Tran and James Borton* During this COVID-19 global crisis, when facts and fiction are easily blurred, Beijing is using cyber skills to disseminate fake news stories, expelling American journalists, and turning to invited academics to steer policymaking arguments and write narratives that are patently false. In a recently published South China Morning Post article, ”Why the US-Vietnam Strategic Alliance in the South China Sea is Unlikely to Last,” Dr. Mark Valencia, a maritime policy analyst and a visiting senior scholar at China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, appears lost at…

China Enlists Academics in South China Sea Propaganda War

During this COVID-19 global crisis, when facts and fiction are easily blurred, Beijing is using cyber skills to disseminate fake news stories, expelling American journalists, and turning to invited academics to steer policymaking arguments and write narratives that are patently false. In a recently published South China Morning Post article, ”Why the US-Vietnam Strategic Alliance in the South China Sea is Unlikely to Last,” Dr. Mark Valencia, a maritime policy analyst and a visiting senior scholar at China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, appears lost at sea without…