Philippine Trust in China Has Hit 1-Year Low over Maritime Incidents | Voice of America

Sino-Philippine ties are showing signs of cooling since the two countries made friends in 2016, according to a recent survey on how much Filipinos trust their powerful Asian neighbor. Social Weather Stations, the Metro Manila research institution behind that survey, released new numbers last month saying people’s trust had fallen to a one-year low. It found that 51% felt “little trust” and 27% placed “much trust” in China. The institution’s surveys, seen as bellwethers of popular opinion, reflect a growing resentment of Beijing’s pressure on the Philippines over contested claims…

Asia Times | Let’s see just who really is the maritime expansionist

The call is for Australia, Japan and other willing partners to cooperate with the US to counter Beijing’s allegedly expansionist activities in the South China Sea. But wait a moment. Did not the US itself, in its 1951 San Francisco peace treaty with Japan, signed and ratified by Canberra and 47 others, in effect gift the largest and most numerous of the South China Sea islands to China? Article 2 (f) of the treaty states: Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel…

‘Irritant’ maritime survey issue ‘important’ to raise in Duterte-Xi meeting: Panelo

MANILA – It is important for President Rodrigo Duterte to raise with his Chinese counterpart the maritime surveys being conducted by Beijing in Philippine waters without consent from Manila.  Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this Saturday, in the wake of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s statements Friday hitting the secrecy of the passage of 9 Chinese warships through the Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi this year.  Duterte is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing later this month.  “That’s the call of the president whether he wants to raise…

‘We’re friends’: Philippines reminds China of maritime ‘courtesies’

MANILA – China should accord the Philippines the “courtesies” required of “friends,” Malacañang said Friday following sightings of Beijing’s research vessels and warships in Manila’s waters. China did not ask for clearance before several of its warships passed through the Sibutu Strait in the Philippines’ southern tip in 4 instances from February to July, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday. “We’re friends, we provide each other with courtesies required of friendship,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador told reporters Friday. Lorenzana earlier raised alarm after 2 Chinese research ships were monitored by a…

EU should expand maritime activity in Southeast Asia as China looms

On August 5, there was a sign of blossoming international relations even as global hostilities in trade, currency and diplomacy intensified: the EU and Vietnam signed a historic defense agreement — the first in Southeast Asia. The agreement paves the way for Vietnam’s participation in European military missions, peacekeeping operations and tighter defense cooperation, and comes as Europe extends its strategic ambition to East Asia, just when China is challenging the existing order. Though European powers are keen on maintaining robust and fruitful relations with Beijing, they have rightly shown their…

Hirono Pushes for Ratification of International Maritime Treaty

Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono is leading an effort to ratify a 40 year old U.N. treaty establishing international rules for global maritime activity. The U.S. signed the pact in 1994, but Congress never gave approval. Some of the world’s largest bodies of water are at the center of international disputes. From the Arctic Ocean to the South China Sea, countries are arguing about borders, influence and resources. Much of the debate takes place under a 40-year old international treaty, one that doesn’t even involve the United States.  The name is a mouthful: The United…

US Aircraft Carrier Visits Philippines amid Maritime Tensions between Manila, Beijing

The commander of one of the biggest American aircraft carriers vowed to protect freedom of navigation, as the ship arrived in Manila on Wednesday soon after the U.S. defense chief accused Beijing of destabilizing the region through expansionism in the South China Sea. The USS Ronald Reagan anchored off the capital of the Philippines, an American defense ally of nearly 70 years that contended for the past three years with increased incursions by Chinese ships into territory claimed by Manila in the disputed waterway. The carrier sailed in with other…

Commentary: Pirates and other dangerous activities remain pesky challenges for maritime enforcement in South China Sea

SINGAPORE: Two reports over the past week that concerned the South China Sea had been striking in contrast. The first was a report on an ongoing maritime standoff between China and Vietnam in Vanguard Bank, which reflected broader concerns about how geopolitical tensions have the potential to spiral out of control and impact regional peace and stability. Advertisement Advertisement Singapore’s destiny has been intricately linked to safe and uninterrupted access to global maritime commons, not least the South China Sea, which has served as a conduit for most of the…

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour’s Continental Shelf: Australia’s Timor Sea Maritime Boundary

Key Points Australia and Timor-Leste are both Parties to the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, which came into force between them on2 February 2013. An Agreement to formalise the maritime boundaries alignment in the Timor Sea was signed by the two countries on 6 March 2018. The alignment of the maritime boundary is only partially determined by that Agreement, Article 7(1) of which makes provision for the establishment of the “Greater Sunrise Special Regime”. As of July 2019, the Agreement is yet to enter into force. The…

‘Chinese military ships in South China Sea breaching maritime norms’

THE activities and behavior of Chinese military and paramilitary ships in the South China Sea (SCS) have not been transparent and are not consistent with maritime norms, the commandant of the United States Coast Guard has admitted, as he encouraged Coast Guards in the region to unite and make a push back against Beijing’s inappropriate demeanor. “I think we are seeing behaviors out of the Chinese Coast Guard, out of the maritime militia, that are not consistent with the rules-based order,” said Admiral Karl L. Shultz during a telephonic interview…