Duterte recalls talks with Xi: No US presence on Pag-asa island, so why the ships?

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Rodrigo Duterte shake hands after the Chinese leader signed the guest book at the Malacañang palace in Manila, Philippines, November 20, 2018. Mark Cristino, pool via Reuters/File MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte said early Saturday he assured Chinese President Xi Jinping that American troops would never set foot on Pag-asa Island in the disputed South China Sea as he asked why China’s ships were surrounding the area. Recalling “the last time” he met with the Chinese leader, Duterte said he was aware of repercussions…

Fresh water shows Taiping Island is not just rock: military | Politics | FocusTaiwan Mobile

Taipei, June 5 (CNA) A military official has reiterated that Taiping Island is an island, not just a rock, as he welcomed three Taiwanese naval ships that visited the island in the disputed South China Sea in late May, according to a Military News Agency report. Led by Rear Admiral Wang Kuo-chiang (王國強), the vessels moored at the Taiwan-controlled island, where they were invited by Captain Feng Yun-sheng (鳳運昇), the commander of Nansha Command, to drink fresh water drawn from the island’s Well No. 5. Feng said that the…

Fresh water shows Taiping Island is not just rock: military | Politics | FOCUS TAIWAN

Taipei, June 5 (CNA) A military official has reiterated that Taiping Island is an island, not just a rock, as he welcomed three Taiwanese naval ships that visited the island in the disputed South China Sea in late May, according to a Military News Agency report. Led by Rear Admiral Wang Kuo-chiang (王國強), the vessels moored at the Taiwan-controlled island, where they were invited by Captain Feng Yun-sheng (鳳運昇), the commander of Nansha Command, to drink fresh water drawn from the island’s Well No. 5. Feng said that the fresh…

Manila protests ‘swarming’ Chinese boats near island

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has protested the presence of more than 200 Chinese vessels that were sighted from January to March near a Philippine-occupied island in the disputed South China Sea, officials said Monday. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Department of Foreign Affairs lodged the protest after the military monitored about 275 Chinese vessels near Thitu island, which is called Pag-asa by Filipinos, in the Spratlys, the most hotly contested region in the busy waterway. A regional military spokesman, Capt. Jason Ramon, said the number of spotted Chinese…

Whatever Is Behind China’s Spratly Island Showdown, It Isn’t Drilling For Oil

China is building airbases in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea, dredging sand and dirt to create 2,000 acres of land where little more than rocky reefs existed before. Its biggest project is on Mischief Island, which sits less than 150 miles off  the Philippines’ Palawan Island but is 600 miles from China’s own Hainan Island. Like virtually all the of the Spratlys, Mischief is claimed by more than one country. China says it owns them all. The United States objects. China is ratcheting up the tension in the Spratlys.…

Taiwan conducts humanitarian rescue drill near Taiping Island | Politics | FOCUS TAIWAN

Taiping Island, May 21 (CNA) The Taiwan government plans to cooperate with countries close to Taiping Island in the South China Sea on humanitarian assistance and rescue, Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) disclosed Tuesday, during a multi-agency humanitarian rescue drill off the coast of the Taiwan-administered island. “Rendering humanitarian aid and rescue is a universal value shared by (people) all over the world,” Chen told CNA during the exercise. “As long as it is something conducive to cooperation, the government will endeavor to achieve it.” Chen said…

US urges Southeast Asia to respond to China’s island fortification

An aerial shot of Chinese-claimed reef Subi reef, from a Philippine airforce plane, as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana along with some journalists visit the Philippine-claimed Thitu island just opposite Subi reef in Spratlys on April 21, 2017. A group of Filipino fishermen have accused China’s coast guard of shooting at their vessel in disputed South China waters, Philippne authorities said April 21. Ted Aljibe, AFP MANILA — A senior United States Naval officer is encouraging Southeast Asian nations to determine its own response to China’s military expansion in the South…

South China Sea news: Beijing condemned by Taiwan, Taipei for infiltrating island | World | News

She warned China that Taiwan would deter military aggression in the Taiwan Strait when she addressed reporters a national security meeting. Her stern message came just days after the US unanimously backed legislation support Taiwan. She said: “The Chinese Communist Party continues to demonstrate provocative actions in the Taiwan Strait, destroying the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.” Ms Ing-Wen comments follow a spike in cross-strait tensions last month when China’s military staged extensive drills with warships, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft around the island. Members of the US Congress pushed…

Atienza asks DOTr to submit progress report on P450M Pag-asa Island seaport project

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN An official of the House of Representatives is seeking a progress report from the Department of Transportation over the supposed construction of the P450-million seaport project along Pag-asa Island. “What happened to the Philippine government’s plan to build a P450-million seaport on Pag-asa Island?” Senior Deputy Minority Floor Leader Lito Atienza said. Atienza raised this question amid the growing presence of Chinese maritime vessels around Pag-asa, which has been occupied by the Philippines since 1970. Pag-asa Island is one of the disputed territories in the…