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…

PH to maintain ‘beneficial relations’ with US, China; independent foreign policy means not to take sides – SFA Locsin » Manila Bulletin News

Published November 7, 2019, 5:41 PM By Roy Mabasa The Philippines wants to maintain “beneficial relations” with the United States and China instead of taking sides between the world’s two colliding powers. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit / MANILA BULLETIN) This was the message conveyed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as he explains the country’s strategy on how to navigate the geopolitical tension in the South China Sea without the risk of becoming “everyone’s enemy.” Speaking at a forum organized by the Institute of Strategic and…

PH resumes stamping on Chinese passports with nine-dash line map – UNTV News

PH resumes stamping on Chinese passports with nine-dash line map Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019   •   46 MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday (November 6) announced that it will resume stamping of Philippine visa on Chinese regular e-passports. “We support this policy update of the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a statement. The BI stopped stamping visas directly on Chinese passports in 2012 under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III in protest…

PH sovereignty not an issue in alleged harassment of Liberian ship: Panelo

MANILA – The Philippine sovereignty was not an issue in the alleged harassment of Liberian-flagged ship by Chinese naval ship, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Thursday. On ANC’s Headstart, Panelo said the government did not protest the issue, considering the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the seafaring industry. “We will not endanger, put in peril the 400,000 seafarers plus we do not want to offend the foreign country being represented by that vessel by taking its right to assert itself,” Panelo said. According to reports, Liberian-flagged and Greek-owned crude…

China’s warning flares not a direct threat to PH aircraft |

MANILA, Philippines — China’s firing of warning flares against Philippine military aircraft patrolling the West Philippine Sea were not a direct threat, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said, appearing to downplay Beijing’s actions in the disputed waters. “Is it a cause for concern? No,” the defense chief said in a statement to reporters on Wednesday. READ: AFP: China fired warning flares at PH military planes over West PH Sea Maj. Gen. Reuben Basiao, deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), told lawmakers during…

PH begins stamping Chinese passports despite ‘propaganda’ sea map

PH begins stamping Chinese passports despite ‘propaganda’ sea map MANILA (UPDATE)—The Philippine immigration bureau announced Wednesday it would resume stamping passports of visiting Chinese nationals, following Manila’s reversal of a 7-year-old policy protesting Beijing’s expansive maritime claim. Immigration officers were instructed to now place arrival and departure stamps next to Philippine visas on Chinese passports, Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier gave the go signal to stamp Philippine visas on such passports even if they were printed with a map showing Beijing’s nine-dash line.  The…

China fired warning flares vs. PH military planes 6 times – AFP

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 5) — China fired warning flares against Philippine military aircraft conducting patrols near the artificial islands Beijing controls in the South China Sea, the Armed Forces revealed Tuesday. “Recently, Beijing has also issued flare warnings against Philippine aircraft covering these areas, and from January to June 2019, there have been six flare warnings against Philippine maritime patrols have been noticed,” Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence Major General Reuben Basiao told lawmakers in a House briefing. Aside from firing warning flares, Basiao said…