VFA fallout » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 18, 2020, 12:32 AM CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN By HECTOR R. R. VILLANUEVA     “China sees itself as fixture of the universe: It always was; it will always be.” — Graham Allison, Harvard University Hector R. R. Villanueva China is gaining influence in the Philippines without trying. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte serves it on a silver platter. Foreign affairs advisers must have whispered into the President’s ears that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was dispensable compared to EDCA and MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty) to assuage the President’s…

PH Navy welcomes mission team guarding West PH Sea, Kalayaan Island Group » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 14, 2020, 10:57 PM By Martin Sadongdong The Philippine Navy (PN) welcomed on Thursday the Naval Forces West (NFW)’s Troop Rotation and Reprovisioning (RORE) Mission Team with BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS17) as the platform after more than a week of traversing the vast waters of the West Philippine Sea (WPS) to reach the respective Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) detachments. Philippine Navy (MANILA BULLETIN) A simple ceremony was held at the Oyster Bay Detachment in Ulugan Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Commodore Renato David, commander of the Naval Forces…

Sea code high on Asean summit agenda – The Manila Times

HANOI, Vietnam: Member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China expect the completion of the second reading of the code of conduct (COC) covering the disputed South China Sea this year, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. TERRITORIAL CONFLICT Map shows disputed claims in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) including major outposts and facilities on the Spratly Islands. AFP / ADRIAN LEUNG AND GAL ROMA Vietnam Foreign Affairs spokesman Le Thi Thu hang said the South China Sea would be high on the agenda of…

Carrots and sticks and the amorality of politics » Manila Bulletin News

Published February 8, 2020, 12:47 AM THINKING PINOY By RJ NIETO RJ Nieto I was mostly apolitical for most of my life, but I, like millions of other voters, caught the 2016 Election Fever. That’s why the erstwhile politically apathetic RJ started a personal (mostly political) blog called “Thinking Pinoy (TP)” . I was extremely idealistic at first, seeing issues with a black-and-white, good-vs-evil, right-vs-wrong lens. I guess it worked after the public saw a spunky political commentator who stood in stark contrast to the generally vanilla, play-it-safe opinions of…

Why the VFA endangers our nation’s security – The Manila Times

RICARDO SALUDO THINGS change. When the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States was ratified by the Senate in 1999, the US was not a major rival of China, and there were hardly any threats of war involving American forces in Asia. So, rotating them in the country for such purposes as external defense, counterterrorism, and military exercises, did not undermine our security. Things are vastly different two decades on. China is now a rising superpower often locking horns with the US. In recent years, frictions…

Let time deal with China-West Philippine Sea issue » Manila Bulletin News

Published January 24, 2020, 6:19 PM By Genalyn Kabiling Going to war with China over the West Philippines dispute will be “reckless” and “dangerous” since the Philippines will likely end up getting annihilated, President Duterte said. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ACE MORANDANTE / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) For now, he said he would rather promote friendly trade and investment relations with China than beat the war drums and send troops and ships to the disputed territory. “I cannot afford a stand where I will be drumming…

Chinese envoy cites steady growth of PH-China relations » Manila Bulletin News

Published January 16, 2020, 7:49 AM By Roy Mabasa Newly installed Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian has conveyed Beijing’s gratitude and appreciation to all its Filipino friends and the Chinese community in Manila for their valuable contributions in the “sustained, sound and stable growth” of the Philippines-China relations. Chinese Ambassador-designate to the Philippines Huang Xilian (PNA via Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / MANILA BULLETIN) “The year 2019 witnessed the sustained betterment and growth of China-Philippines relations. President Xi Jinping and President Duterte met twice last year, setting the…

PHL, Chinese Coast Guard hold joint maritime drills in Manila – UNTV News

Jakarta – The president of Indonesia on Wednesday visited an island in disputed waters of the South China Sea amid a weeks-long standoff between Indonesian and Chinese vessels, an outgrowth of the ongoing territorial spat in which Jakarta and Beijing both claim sovereignty over the area. Joko Widodo made the symbolic trip to Natuna Besar – the main island of the Middle Natuna Archipelago in the Riau Islands province – in a bid to assert Indonesia’s claims of ownership of the waters. There, he met with local fishermen and talked…

China’s Coast Guard Chief Arrives in Manila for Bilateral Talks

China’s coast guard chief has arrived in Manila to lead a delegation for tabletop exercises and bilateral talks with their Philippine counterparts aimed at coordinating each other’s operations in the disputed South China Sea, officials said Tuesday. A marching band greeted Maj. Gen. Wang Zhongcai as he disembarked from the Chinese Coast Guard ship with pennant number 5204, which anchored at the Port of Manila on Monday, in what local authorities had described as an unprecedented visit. The Philippine Coast Guard later posted Wang’s pictures on Twitter showing him walking…

‘Talking to China the only solution,’ PH official says as Chinese Coast Guard docks in Manila

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — Officials of the Philippine Coast Guard on Tuesday welcomed Chinese counterparts on a week-long visit, marked by exploratory talks and exercises. A marching band greeted the Chinese Coast Guard as its Vessel 5204 laid anchor at the Port of Manila, led by Major General Wang Zhongcai. The visit was unprecedented, considering reports that the Chinese Coast Guard would harass Filipino fishermen and intimidate foreign ships in the West Philippine Sea, a portion of the South China Sea claimed and occupied by Manila and…