China’s new PH ambassador bullish on SCS code of conduct

MANILA – Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said China remains optimistic about an “early conclusion” of the crafting of an ASEAN-China code of conduct in the South China Sea.  Speaking to reporters during the Chinese New Year reception Wednesday, Huang said the parties have completed the first reading of the code of conduct and have started the process of the second reading. Huang said the visit of a Chinese coast guard vessel to Manila, the first in history, is part of efforts to implement a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that seeks…

‘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…

PH, China Coast Guard to hold joint maritime exercises next week – UNTV News

The Black Nazarene is taken on a procession as Catholic devotees flock around to mark its feast day in Manila, Philippines, 09 January 2020. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG MANILA, Philippines — This year’s Traslacion of the Black Nazarene moved faster than in previous years, according to authorities. From the starting point at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta, devotees were able to cross and reach Ayala Bridge and Palanca Street for almost five hours only specifically from 4:00am to 7:00am. This year, the Andas was escorted and surrounded by police personnel forming the…

PH, Japan to enhance partnership for peace

The Philippines and Japan on Thursday vowed to enhance cooperation to maintain peace and security, stability and rule of law in the region despite ongoing maritime disputes with China. “We committed to continue our cooperation—bilaterally and in all possible forums—to maintain peace and security, stability, and the rule of law in our region,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said, in his speech during a joint press briefing with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Locsin admitted he had “candid exchanges” on various issues, including the…

Subi Reef is PH territorial sea

Under the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court (ICC), individuals who commit a crime against humanity may be charged before the ICC. This is true even if such individuals are citizens of a state that is not a party to the Rome Statute, provided that the crime is committed in the territory of a state that is a party to the Rome Statute. Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and former Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed last March 2019 a “communication” with the ICC charging China’s President Xi…

PH rolls out red carpet for China at sea as other neighbors protest incursions

MANILA, Philippines — While other claimants have been recently pushing back against Beijing’s extensive maritime claims in the South China Sea, the Philippines has chosen to roll out the red carpet for the Asian superpower. The Philippine and Chinese coast guards will hold maritime exercises next week, Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Capt. Arman Balilo said on Tuesday (Jan. 7). China Coast Guard vessel 5204 will dock at Manila’s South Harbor on Jan. 13. On Jan. 14, simulation of search and rescue and firefighting would be held at the PCG headquarters…

Year of rough seas for PH in the face of belligerent China

MANILA, Philippines – Yes, the Chinese have been sneaking in and around the West Philippine Sea before, but in 2019, Filipinos faced empirical and visceral proof of China’s constant, widespread, and belligerent presence in Philippine waters. A Chinese ship that had all the markings of a military vessel sank a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea in June, abandoned the distressed fishermen in the cold of the night, and took time to apologize for it. Off the Mindanao backdoor, in the same month, an unauthorized Chinese aircraft carrier and…

New Chinese envoy to PH assumes post, vows ‘best is yet to come’ – The Manila Times

SENIOR Chinese diplomat, Huang Xilian, arrived on Tuesday to begin his post as China’s ambassador to the Philippines. Huang was former envoy to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) based in Jakarta before he was assigned to serve as Beijing’s top diplomat in Manila. He replaced Zhao Jinhua who started his stint in Manila in 2014 at the height of a maritime dispute between the Philippines and China over overlapping claims in the Spratly islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea. Huang said the “best is…

US Navy confirms real intent of PH arbitration vs China – The Manila Times

RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO THE US Navy last week, in its actions and official statements, in effect revealed what was really one of the real aims of the Philippines’ arbitration suit that President Aquino 3rd and his foreign secretary Albert del Rosario brought against China in 2013. It wasn’t to win back for the Philippines islands or reefs it claims to own in the Spratly islands, which it alleges China grabbed from it. The arbitration was intended — other than to demonize China as an evil aggressor in the South China…

Analyst warns PH vs joint exploration with China in disputed S. China Sea

WASHINGTON, DC—A senior analyst of a US-based think-tank has warned the Philippines against entering into joint exploration of South China Sea resources with China, saying it might compromise Philippine sovereignty.  Speaking to Filipino journalists, RAND Corporation’s Derek Grossman said the Philippines should weigh the costs and benefits of a joint exploration with China in Reed Bank in the disputed waters. While it may smoothen relations, Grossman said, it would be done on Beijing’s terms.  “What we’re seeing is joint exploration for energy resources probably’s not gonna work out. It will…