US investor bids to keep China out of Philippine shipyard

MANILA — U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management and Australian shipbuilder Austal have made a formal bid for the Philippines’ largest shipyard in Subic Bay, which has also attracted Chinese interest. Executives close to the deal have told the Nikkei Asian Review that the offer was still subject to negotiations with creditors of the shipyard, which collapsed earlier this year after its owner — the local unit of South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction — defaulted on $1.3 billion in loans. The initial offer was “reconfirmed this month,” a senior source close to…

Philippine marine life endangered by China: scholar

China should ban the giant-clam trade to save the coral reefs in the South China Sea from furtherdegradation, according to a US marine biologist.  Kent Carpenter from Old Dominion University in Virginia testified in favour of the Philippines in its territorial disputes with China, saying Beijing’s activity has devastated the marine environment. The academic environmentalist said giant-clam harvesting and island-building were responsible for most of the destruction. “The destructive island-building activities in the South China Sea not only smothered corals by covering them over with actual sand but the sand itself is…

United States wants code of conduct in West Philippine Sea

WASHINGTON D.C.— The United States wants a code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea, commonly known as South China Sea, that does not take away its right and the right of other countries to exercise freedom of navigation and overflight.  Speaking to a group of Filipino journalists, Mark Clark, director of the US State Department’s Office of Maritime Southeast Asia of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that while the US is not a party to negotiations nor a claimant state, it has a “vested interest”…

MTRCB: ‘Abominable’ off Philippine theaters since Tuesday

MTRCB: ‘Abominable’ off Philippine theaters since Tuesday MANILA, Philippines — Due to a controversial scene depicting China’s disproven territorial claim, DreamWorks film “Abominable” has been pulled out of Philippine cinemas since Tuesday, the Movie and Tele­vision Review and Classification Board said in a statement sent to Pilipino Star Ngayon Thursday. “MTRCB understands the situation brought about by the movie ‘Abominable. We wish to assure the public that the said movie is already off the Philippine market effective October 15, 2019,” chair Rachel Arenas said. The said map shown in…

US, Philippine, Japanese forces conduct maneuvers

BEIJING — Here’s your weekly look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in fish and possible oil and gas reserves. US, PHILIPPINES, JAPANESE FORCES IN AMPHIBIOUS DRILLS More than 2,000 U.S. and Philippine military personnel, along with a small contingent of Japanese forces, are holding annual combat exercises aimed at responding rapidly to crises and natural disasters and…

New Philippine Military Chief Expects No ‘Shooting War’ Over South China Sea

The Philippine military backs diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions with Beijing over the South China Sea, the new commander of the armed forces said Thursday, casting doubt that war would break out despite Chinese forays into contested waters. While troops are expected to secure or defend Philippine sovereignty, “war is not a primary instrument in resolving international conflict,” Lt. Gen. Noel Clement told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) in Manila. “We support the government’s strategy in resolving this conflict through peaceful and diplomatic means, so as to…