China says Philippines fishermen used fire bombs in South China Sea


A Philippine flag flutters from BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999 and became a Philippine military detachment on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Erik De Castro

A Philippine flag flutters from BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999 and became a Philippine military detachment on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Philippines fishermen threw fire bombs at Chinese law enforcement vessels in the South China Sea, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, after Philippines media reported that fishermen had been struck by bottles hurled from China’s coast guard ships.

The reports said that a clash occurred at Scarborough Shoal, an area China seized control of after a three-month stand-off with the Philippine coast guard in 2012. The reports said Chinese coast guardsmen hurled bottles at the Philippines fishermen, who responded with rocks.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Scarborough Shoal – known by Beijing as Huangyan Island – was Chinese territory which Philippine fishermen had been fishing around illegally.

“Chinese official ships advised the illegally stationed Philippine trawlers to leave, in accordance with the law, but they refused to obey,” she told a daily news briefing.

“Certain people on the ships even waved around machetes and flung fire bombs, carrying out deliberate provocation, attacking the Chinese law enforcers and official boat, confronting China’s law enforcement and seriously threatening the safety and order of the waters around Huangyan Island,” Hua said.

China had strengthened its “management” around the shoal, she added, without elaborating.

A spokesman for the Philippines Foreign Ministry declined to comment, pending an official report “from our concerned agencies”.

China and the Philippines have long exchanged accusations about each other’s behavior in the disputed South China Sea.

China claims most of the energy-rich waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

A spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department, Commander Bill Urban, said Chinese Coastguard vessels had sought since 2012 to block fishing access to the area, “restricting the long-standing commercial practices of others”.

“We are concerned that such actions exacerbate tensions in the region and are counterproductive,” Urban said. He said that the United States, which is a treaty ally of the Philippines, wanted to see claims resolved peacefully in accordance with international law or arbitration.

Last week, the U.S. Navy said it had seen activity around Scarborough Shoal that could be a precursor to more Chinese land reclamation, which China has conducted on a large scale elsewhere in the South China Sea to back its territorial claims.

Navy chief Admiral John Richardson also told Reuters that a ruling expected in late May or early June in a case the Philippines has brought against China over its claims in the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague, could prompt Beijing to declare a South China Sea exclusion zone.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema in MANILA and Andrea Shalal and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and Grant McCool)

Source: Reuters “China says Philippines fishermen used fire bombs in South China Sea”


4 Comments on “China says Philippines fishermen used fire bombs in South China Sea”

  1. Joseph says:

    Whatever happened at sea, it was clearly a matter between two countries, which should solved amicably through dialog, not seeking faraway troublemaker big power to impose terms. The Philippines payed a high price for its shortsightness on relying to US, an unreliable waning ‘superpower’. Even Western analysts now increasingly see the US behaving like the British, a waning superpower not willing to admit its days are over. Small disputes between two friendly countries are normal. Even the US had disputes with the British or Canada in the past, all settled quitely. In the recent naval dispute between Indonesia and China, clearly both side want to settle the dispute quietly too as friendly neighbors, despite some Western interest tried to provoke Indonesian sense of nationalism. Already, Aaron Connelly from Australian Lowy Institute called the prospect of full blown conflict ‘stunning’. And they would continue to taunt Indonesian nationalism of ‘yielding to China’ if Indonesia chooses to ignore their provocation. Regardless, no one would one to be in Phillipines position, in bitter dispute with a major power, ignored by the other major power who promised to help them, a world outcast and a token Western ally that is ignored by everyone. Now their only ‘chance’ is the Hague international court of arbitration, a questionable world body that only serves Western interest and should be stripped all legitimacy, especially since they ruled unfairly against Timor Leste against Australia last year. Timor Leste clearly had better case, far better than Phillipines. But The Hague ignored them anyway in favor of Australian richs to continue to exploit the Timor Leste EEZ with impunity. On the SCS, the region was arranged by UNCLOS, so just as Wang Yi said, as long as the condition of UNCLOS is met, there is no need for arbitration, despite the US want to impose their own ‘UNCLOS’. In the Timor Sea, it is a different matter. There is only overlapping EEZ that clear needs arbitration, yet The Hague international court of arbitration refused Timor Leste request for arbitration only because it did not serve a Western interest. This is clearly one dodgy international organization that should never exist.

    Like

    • Simon says:

      I heard judges at the Hague often recieves high class prostitutes to win cases, one judge even got murdered while with hookers.

      The Hague exist under the servitude of NATO that are controlled by the Americans. It has no jurisdiction over none NATO members and certainly do not have the legaility or the respect to overrule the UN.

      Like

      • Joseph says:

        Lobbying and showering gifts (a legal form of bribing) to judges and juries is an integral part of Western legal practice. In the West, there are some many intentional loopholes made to benefit party of interest, they call it legal language or terms. It’s up to the judge to execute this loophole, no matter how controversial.
        But a court is supposed to settle disputes, such as between Australia and Timor Leste, not to forcibly change existing treaty such as UNCLOS. When a court of justice is biasly one-sided, it loses its legitimacy. How does The Hague explain its injustice to Timor Leste? How can we be sure that another ruling is not another bias injustice?

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  2. Sentinel says:

    CHINESE INTERNATIONAL ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES : A TIMID, UNEMPOWERED, OR AN INTIMIDATED LOT?

    “Certain people on the ships even waved around machetes and flung fire bombs, carrying out deliberate provocation, attacking the Chinese law enforcers and official boat, confronting China’s law enforcement and seriously threatening the safety and order of the waters around Huangyan Island,” Hua said.

    For goodness sake, isn’t it time Chinese Coast Guards stopped acting like wimps and arrest illegal fishermen and seize their fishing vessels? If necessary, fire on the ships and sink it. Enough is enough. Where territory is concerned, you have to be firm; Very firm. Arrest them all, impound their vessel or in violent cases, sink it.

    Like


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