South China Sea: Philippines Duterte SUES China for harvesting clams near Thitu island | World | News

The government plans to take legal action against China for harvesting giant clams in Scarborough or Panatag Shoal, the Philippine Star reported. Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Twitter: “We just caught them doing that recently, filed a diplomatic note, and will be taking legal action. With our legal department now.” The action follows Chinese ships reportedly swarming Pag-asa island, also known as Thitu. Mr Duterte had previously warned Beijing to “lay off” the island or he will tell his soldiers to “prepare for suicide missions”. He…

Chinese surveillance near PNG expanding as Australia and US begin Manus Island naval upgrades – China power

Updated April 21, 2019 11:48:14 External Link: Chinese scientific ships have been sent to waters near Papua New Guinea High-tech Chinese ships are mapping waters close to Papua New Guinea just as the United States and Australia begin upgrading a naval base on Manus Island. Key points: Chinese ships deployed to waters near Manus Island as Australia and US announce naval base upgrades The vessels are among a fleet increasing its surveys around the Philippines, Palau, Guam and Japan Experts believe the information could be crucial in any future maritime…

Philippines protests Chinese ships around disputed island

As many as 275 Chinese ships and boats have been spotted this year around Thitu island, also known as Pag-asa island in the Philippines, said Jason Ramon, chief of public affairs for the Philippine military’s western command, to CNN Philippines. Armed forces spokesperson Edgard Arevalo cautioned that it was difficult to quantify how many ships are around the island at any one time, as Chinese vessels “come and go” from the area. “The information that we got is the more likely intention is to establish their presence in the area,”…

Check out Vietnam’s lesser-known island paradises for summer escape

Check out Vietnam’s lesser-known island paradises Tired of getting trapped in noisy, crowded resort towns during the summer vacation? Then explore these island paradises in Vietnam.   While many popular resort towns such as Sa Pa, Da Lat and Hoi An are overrun by tourists during the peak season, some islands remain less well-known and so are spared the tourist hordes.  If you are not constrained by a tight schedule, make sure to explore these six islands stretching from the south to the central region. Con Son Island  Con Son, 110…

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…

Palace: China vessels have no business at PH’s Kota Island

In this photo taken on March 28, some of the Chinese fishing vessels loiter near the Philippine-occupied Kota Island in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Contributed photo MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday said the Chinese vessels seen near the Philippine-occupied Kota (international name: Loaita) Island in the Spratlys “have no business being there.” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it would be “an assault on our sovereignty” if the vessels, said to be part of China’s maritime militia, continued “to be present in our territory.” Panelo said…

Island Building Alters Waters Leagues Away and for Years After

Dredging the seafloor to create new islands in the South China Sea significantly affected the surrounding waters during and after island building, according to a recent study. Satellite imagery revealed that building an artificial island on Mischief Reef released kilometers-long sediment plumes and altered biological markers in the water surrounding the island. Hard data on the long-term environmental damage from island building could lead to better evidence-based policies about the practice and protect vital marine resources. “Not only is it impacting the biological activity in the reef, but it’s impacting…

Philippines’ President Duterte Tells China to “Lay Off” Thitu Island

Speaking at a rally in the city of Puerto Princesa on April 4, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to send his troops on a “suicide mission” if the Chinese do not “lay off” Thitu Island in the South China Sea. Thitu Island, which the Filipinos call Pag-Asa Island, is the second largest of the 18 Spratly Islands and the largest of the Philippine-administered islands. In additon to the Philippines, other islands in the group are occupied by Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia. “I’m trying to tell China, Pag-Asa is ours,” Duterte…

Vietnam quietly upgrades Spratly Island outpost — report

Vietnam quietly upgrades Spratly Island outpost — report Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) – April 10, 2019 – 9:26pm MANILA, Philippines — While China sent its maritime militia in response to the Philippines’ upgrade of its facilities on Pag-asa Island, Vietnam has also been expanding its facilities on its outposts in the Spratly chain in the South China Sea. Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported that Hanoi has extended its runway on Spratly Island, its largest outpost and administrative center in the area. Contrary to China’s industrial-scale dredging…

U.S. Warship Sails Near Disputed Island in South China Sea

The USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship carrying helicopters and F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) fighter jets, was recently spotted in waters “near the Scarborough Shoal,” the Philippines’ ABS-CBN News reported on April 9. Scarborough Shoal, which is also claimed by Taiwan, was seized by China in 2012 after an extended standoff with the Philippines. Bloomberg reported that the Wasp joined the annual joint Exercise Balikatan with the Philippines this month. The Wasp didn’t pass within 25 nautical miles of the shoal, according to a U.S. defense official who…