Philippines says boosting maritime presence to protect territory, resources


Reuters

April 21, 2021

6:55 PM HKT

The Philippines is beefing up its presence in the South China Sea and deploying more ships and an aircraft to protect its maritime territory and resources, a government task force said on Wednesday.

The Philippines has ramped up its rhetoric in recent weeks in defiance of what it says is threatening behaviour by Chinese vessels in its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), despite four years of rapprochement with historic rival China.

“We are exhausting all means possible to protect our territory and EEZ,” the Philippines’ South China Sea task force said in a statement.

The deployment is the latest move in an ongoing feud with China over what Manila called “swarming” by hundreds of fishing vessels it said were manned by Chinese state-backed militias. China has denied militias were aboard.

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered authorities to continue “sovereignty patrols”, and intensify operations against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in its territorial waters, the task force said.

Nine vessels from the coastguard and the fisheries bureau, a coastguard aircraft and police watercraft and rubber boats were being deployed in the South China Sea, including in waters off Philippine-held islands in the Spratlys, the task force said.

U.S.-ally the Philippines has filed several diplomatic protests over Chinese activities in the South China Sea, with the latest accusing its giant neighbour of illegal fishing and massing more than 240 boats within its EEZ. read more

The challenge puts the spotlight on Duterte’s controversial pursuit of better relations and economic ties with China.

The firebrand leader said on Monday he was prepared to deploy navy ships to assert the Philippines’ sovereign rights to oil and mineral resources in its EEZ, telling China that if it started drilling for oil, so will he.

China claims almost the South China Sea, where about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes each year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean whether I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


4 Comments on “Philippines says boosting maritime presence to protect territory, resources”

  1. Joseph says:

    Not necessarily. China has been know to offer cooperation for the exploration and exploitation on the disputed area. It is a way to work together positive on the disputed area to benefit every involved, no matter their views for the dispute. The problem is always those who are not, involved. Cooperation does not benefit those who are lurking on the shadow, well not so in the shadow anymore, ready to grab what should not be theirs. Duterte has been know to support cooperation with China. When he says that he would drill for oil if China start drilling, would most likely mean that he would drill that oil together with China, using the same drills the Chinese are using. But being Western media, they would most likely twist his words to make it sound he is confrontational against China. After all, why would such ‘confrontations’ with Phillipines be only ‘addressed’ on Westen media, and not on Asian media?

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  2. Simon says:

    Duterte says “if China start drilling for oil, so will he”. Reality is Philipines lack the technology and resources to drill for oil let alone the ability to locate oil. The only chance Phillipines can drill for oil if he accept Chinese sovereignty and partner with China.

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  3. […] Source: Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements – Philippines says boosting maritime presenc… […]

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