Philippine Warship in Standoff With China Vessels

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by MBI Munshi, Apr 11, 2012.

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  1. MBI Munshi
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    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government says its largest warship is engaged in a standoff with Chinese surveillance vessels that blocked it when it attempted to arrest Chinese fishermen anchored at a South China Sea shoal where both sides claim sovereignty.

    Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario on Wednesday summoned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing to resolve the dangerous impasse diplomatically. His office said in a statement that the Scarborough Shoal "is an integral part of Philippine territory" and Filipino authorities would assert sovereignty over the offshore area.

    The shoal lies off the northwestern Philippine province of Zambales. China and the Philippines have been disputing ownership of the shoal, in addition to the Spratly Islands and other areas in the South China Sea.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine and Vietnamese sailors will play football and basketball matches on disputed South China Sea islands in a novel way to build trust in a region long feared as Asia's next flashpoint for armed conflict.

    The navies of the two countries have reached an agreement to conduct the "fun games" on two islands occupied by the Philippines and Vietnam, Philippine navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said Tuesday.

    He said the games were part of a broader agreement he signed in October with his Vietnamese counterpart. While the games are unlikely to make much difference on the ground, the rest of the agreement calls for their navies to undertake confidence-building steps and share more information to allow them to better respond to maritime accidents in the disputed Spratly Islands.

    China, which claims virtually the entire South China Sea, is likely to protest such a show of military alliance in the disputed region. The Chinese Embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to an Associated Press request for comment.

    Last year, the Philippines and Vietnam separately accused Chinese vessels of intruding into their territorial waters and disrupting oil explorations. China has dismissed the protests, saying Beijing has indisputable sovereignty over those areas on historical grounds.

    The three Asian nations, along with Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, have been locked in a long-simmering rift over South China Sea territories, including the Spratlys — a chain of islands, reefs and coral outcrops believed to be lying atop vast undersea deposits of oil and gas. The Spratly Islands also straddle one of the world's busiest commercial sealanes.

    Faced with China's formidable military, the Philippines and Vietnam have forged closer ties amid the territorial disputes. Aside from the navy-to-navy accord, the two countries agreed to set up a hotline between their coast guards and maritime police to strengthen their capability to monitor "maritime incidents," such as piracy, and incursions into their territorial waters.

    Under the naval agreement, Pama said Filipino navy men could visit the main Spratly island occupied by their Vietnamese counterparts and vice versa, then play football and basketball, although no date has been set for the friendly games. They can exchange information on a variety of issues and plan how best to respond to accidents such as those involving fishermen, he said.

    Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., who heads a small civilian community on Pag-asa, a Spratly island occupied by Philippine forces, welcomed the warming ties between the Filipinos and the Vietnamese. Vietnamese troops occupy Southwest Cay island several kilometers (miles) from Pag-asa island.

    "This will lessen the tension and apprehension about a shooting war," Bito-onon told The AP by telephone. "It's good if they'll play games, eat on the same table ... than not have a line of communication."

    Despite such diplomacy, the underfunded Philippine military has struggled to build up its capability to patrol and defend its territorial waters, Pama said, adding that the average age of some of the local navy's ships was 57 years. "Our ships are older than me," he said.

    The United States, a defense-treaty ally, last year provided a refurbished Coast Guard cutter, which was turned into the Philippine navy's largest and most-modern warship, and would turn over a second such ship next month, Pama said.

    The battle over the resource-rich Spratlys has settled into an uneasy standoff since the last fighting, involving China and Vietnam, that killed more than 70 Vietnamese sailors in 1988.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/201...-as-south-china-sea.html?_r=1&ref=global-home
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  2. Fanling Monk
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    Fanling Monk FULL MEMBER

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    It is my opinion that China wants a war very bad. She is daring the Philippines warship to shoot at her coastguards.
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  3. FairAndUnbiased
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    FairAndUnbiased SENIOR MEMBER

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    China is a peaceful country, but peace does not mean pushover.
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  4. ManilaBoy45
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    ManilaBoy45 FULL MEMBER

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    These fisherman are illegally poaching around Scarborough shoal and were caught with all kinds of marine livestocks afteir their boats were boarded by PN sailors, are we just suppose to let this happen and not enforce the law ...
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  5. FairAndUnbiased
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    FairAndUnbiased SENIOR MEMBER

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    If it was an American fisherman, you would not be saying this. In the Philippines, there's no rule of law. How dare you board a private vessel in international waters? That is like Somali pirates.
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  6. Fanling Monk
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    I hope there is some kind high level contacts, once shots fired, the situation can escalate.
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  7. Pak47
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    Chickens don't threaten Tigers.
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  8. OrionHunter
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    I think other countries affected by China's aggressive stance should also take part in the games to thumb a nose at them.

    Two pools could consist of...

    Pool A

    India
    Vietnam
    Philippines
    Taiwan

    Pool B

    Japan
    Malaysia
    Indonesia
    Russia

    Referees: USA and Australia

    Cheers!
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  9. Korean
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    It's not an international water, but Philippines EEZ.

    Palau police shot and killed the Chinese fishing boat captain and China didn't protest. China won't do anything if this boat's captain is shot and killed too, so Philippines may open fire within its EEZ if the Chinese fishing boat resists detainment.

    If shooting is not enough, ramming also works well. Make sure to aim for the propeller so the Chinese boat can't flee.
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  10. Fanling Monk
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    Fanling Monk FULL MEMBER

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    What the past has to with the situation here. The Chinese coastguard vessel here is blocking the largest Philippines warship from getting to the fisherman and dare it to shoot.
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  11. S10
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    S10 SENIOR MEMBER

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    You done crapping your pants from North Korea's rocket lauch yet? Make sure to clean up the floor.

    Oh North Korean should aim for the middle of your ships and break them in half, like last time.
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  12. Korean
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    Then ram the Chinese coastguard vessel in the rear to disable, then proceed to the Chinese fishing boat.

    Ramming is a tactic that Korean coastguard uses against Chinese boats, and this is why I recommend it.
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  13. Fanling Monk
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    Fanling Monk FULL MEMBER

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    Can you tell me what are you talking about?
  14. Amolthebest
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    Amolthebest FULL MEMBER

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    You forgot south Korea dude
  15. FairAndUnbiased
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    FairAndUnbiased SENIOR MEMBER

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    Shooting is a tactic that North Koreans use against South Korean coastguard.