Chinese newspaper misquotes AFP chief on presence of militia in Spratlys

Chinese newspaper misquotes AFP chief on presence of militia in Spratlys MANILA, Philippines — In an attempt to downplay the presence of maritime militia in the South China Sea, a Chinese newspaper has wrongfully quoted Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr. In an article published February 17, Chinese newspaper Global Times accused Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of “misreading” satellite images of Pag-asa Island, one the largest features in the Spratly Islands. Global Times claimed that Madrigal “has played down AMTI’s report…

IN PHOTOS: PH Spratlys construction triggers China paramilitary response

Satellite image shows large Chinese flotilla spotted near Pagasa Island on Dec. 20, 2018. ASIA MARITIME TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE   MANILA, Philippines — China deployed a large paramilitary force late last year in an apparent response to the  ongoing construction by the Philippines on Pagasa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), new satellite images have showed. “A handful of Chinese vessels have operated in the area between Subi and Thitu since at least July 2018, likely in response to the initial Philippine effort to start runway repairs…

Lorenzana: Philippines should protest China rescue center in Spratlys

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. PHOTO by Frances Mangosing / INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should protest China’s establishment of a maritime rescue center on Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). In a turnaround, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he agreed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s call to contest the construction of the rescue station. “Initially, I said ‘what’s wrong with the rescue stations?’ in a way that’s for humanitarian purposes…But I think I agree with Secretary of Foreign Affairs that…

China’s weather stations in Spratlys serve military purposes — Batongbacal

China’s weather stations in Spratlys serve military purposes — Batongbacal MANILA, Philippines — Beijing’s weather monitoring stations on the Spratly Islands should also be seen as continued development and enhancement of military outposts in the Manila-claimed features, a maritime expert said. Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said China’s recent activities on its artificial islands should be viewed in the context of its efforts to gain de facto control of the South China Sea, part of which…

Panelo: No problem if China fishes in Spratlys

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 14) — A Palace official on Monday downplayed the reportedly massive presence of Chinese fishing vessels in the West Philippine Sea. According to a report by U.S. based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), China controls most of the fishing vessels in the Spratly group of islands, particularly around Subi and Mischief Reefs, two of Beijing’s military outposts in the contested area. The CSIS said there were more Chinese ships there in 2018 as compared to 2017. READ: Think tank flags increase…

Report about Chinese militia on Spratlys ‘just speculation’ |

MANILA, Philippines – The presence of Chinese maritime militia in the disputed Spratly Islands as reported by a US think tank is a mere “speculation,” Malacañang said Monday. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) has documented the increase of Chinese vessels in the Spratlys, including the islands controlled by the Philippines. “This gross overcapacity combined with their tendency to congregate around both Chinese-occupied reefs and those held by other claimants lead to the conclusion that most of these vessels serve, at least part-time, in China’s maritime militia,” the AMTI said in its…

There’s ‘massive overcapacity’ of Chinese vessels in Spratlys, says US think-tank

Chinese fishing vessels at Subi Reef on August 12, 2018. DigitalGlobe Inc. and Vulcan Technologies LLC MANILA—Chinese fishing vessels account for the largest number of ships operating in the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea, satellite images taken in 2018 show. The presence of the said vessels in the area was reported by Gregory Poling of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, using data from a 6-month joint project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Vulcan Inc.’s Skylight Maritime Initiative. Poling’s report was posted Wednesday, January 9,…

Philippines urged to monitor China’s coral reef rehab in Spratlys

Philippines urged to monitor China’s coral reef rehab in Spratlys Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) – January 10, 2019 – 10:44am MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government should monitor Beijing’s coral reef rehabilitation project on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo Party-list) said. Last week, China’s Ministry of Natural Resources announced that the country has installed facilities that would “protect and recover” coral reefs damaged by its massive island building activities in the contested waterway. Alejano said China’s initiative to rehabilitate the coral system…