Failure of Pompeo’s Intervention with South China Sea Disputes


China’s survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 conducted geological survey in July in the disputed waters in the South China Sea that claimed by both China and Vietnam. Vietnam protested but China simply ignored that. I described it in my post “ Vietnam Merely Watched China’s Survey in Disputed Waters” on July 15.

On August 1, Reuters says in its report “Pompeo blasts Chinese ‘coercion’ in South China Sea”, “U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday criticized Chinese ‘coercion’ in the disputed South China Sea, highlighting a divide with Beijing at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations with world powers. “

China’s survey ship left the disputed area on August 7 and gave the impresion that Pompeo’s intervention worked.

However, Reuters says in its report “Vietnam demands Chinese ship leaves its exclusive economic zone” on August 16 that the survey ship has returned to the disputed area.

Pompeo’s intervention has simply been ignored.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters reports full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-thailand-pompeo/pompeo-blasts-chinese-coercion-in-south-china-sea-idUSKCN1UR4D2 and https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vietnam-china-southchinasea/vietnam-demands-chinese-ship-leaves-its-exclusive-economic-zone-idUSKCN1V61CO


South China Sea: Philippines WARNS China of ‘suicide missions’ as alliance weakens


PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has warned China of “suicide missions” in the South China Sea.

By Claire Anderson

PUBLISHED: 00:56, Mon, Apr 15, 2019

UPDATED: 07:24, Mon, Apr 15, 2019

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Mr Duterte’s warning followed China’s increased presence around Pag-asa island, also known as Thitu. The island has reportedly been swarmed by hundreds of Chinese vessels. Mr Duterte said at a press conference: “I will not plead or beg, but I am just telling you that lay off the Pag-asa because I have soldiers there.

South China Sea: Philippines order Beijing to STOP endangering fisherm

“If you touch it, that’s another story.

“Then I will tell my soldiers ‘prepare for suicide missions’.”

The Philippines President has previously kept China as a close ally in the hope to attract trade and investment.

But he has called on the Chinese ships’ presence an “illegal” violation of Philippine sovereignty.

The country’s warning to China has reportedly strengthened the Philippine’s alliance with the US who are fighting to push back China’s hold on the disputed waters.

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “China’s island building and military activities in the South China Sea threaten Philippine sovereignty, security and therefore economic livelihood, as well as that of the United States.

“As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or public vessels in the South China Sea will trigger mutual defence obligations under Article 4 of our mutual defence treaty.”

The US Navy and participated in drills alongside the Philippines to practice recapturing small islands seized by a hypothetical foreign military force.

In the exercises, the US also tested a new application for its amphibious assault ships.

The waters are the world’s busiest trade route is also claimed by the likes of Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei.

So far, the US has conducted 15 freedom of navigation operations in the area since 2015.

The US also want allies to consider similar manoeuvres.

Source: Express “South China Sea: Philippines WARNS China of ‘suicide missions’ as alliance weakens”

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


US says concerned about China-Vietnam incident in South China Sea


Chinese oil rig

Chinese oil rig

The United States said on Wednesday it was concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation in the South China Sea after reports of a Chinese vessel ramming Vietnamese ships. It called for restraint on all sides.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated the U.S. view that China’s deployment of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China was “provocative and unhelpful” to security in the region.

“We are strongly concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels in the disputed area,” she told a regular news briefing.

“We call on all parties to conduct themselves in a safe and appropriate manner, exercise restraint, and address competing sovereignty claims peacefully, diplomatically, and in accordance with international law.”

Psaki said the United States had seen reports that Philippine police had seized Chinese and Philippine fishing boats carrying illegally harvested sea turtles in the South China Sea and detained their crews.

“We urge both sides to work together diplomatically,” she said. “Given the United States works with the international community to combat wildlife trafficking, we are concerned that the vessels appear to be engaged in direct harvest of endangered species of sea turtles.”

China has demanded that the Philippines release its boat and

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships in a part of the South China Sea where the giant oil rig was deployed.

It said the collisions took place on Sunday and caused considerable damage to the Vietnamese ships. Six people sustained minor injuries, it said.

The dispute comes days after U.S. President Barack Obama visited Asia to underline his commitment to allies there, including Japan and the Philippines, locked in territorial disputes with China.

China has not yet responded to the Vietnamese allegations of ramming, but Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said earlier on Wednesday that the deployment of the rig had nothing to do with the United States, or Vietnam.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

Source: Reuters “U.S. says concerned about China-Vietnam incident in South China Sea”

Related posts:

  • Tensions surge in South China Sea as China locks horns with Philippines, Vietnam dated May 7, 2014
  • Philippines, US begin war games focusing on maritime threats dated May 6, 2014
  • Philippines says US obligated to help in case of attack dated May 1, 2014
  • Philippines’ Tremendous Contributions to Human Race March 15, 2014
  • South China Sea Disputes: US Pivot to Asia Has Zero Effect dated February 19, 2014
  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013

Philippines, U.S. begin war games focusing on maritime threats


U.S. and Filipino military officers salute during the opening ceremony of the Balikatan 2014 Joint Exercise inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila May 5, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

U.S. and Filipino military officers salute during the opening ceremony of the Balikatan 2014 Joint Exercise inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon city, metro Manila May 5, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

Thousands of Philippine and U.S. soldiers began annual war games on Monday, the first under a new security pact with the United States, focusing on maritime security in the face of China’s growing naval presence in the disputed South China Sea.

The joint exercises “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) would test the combat readiness of the two oldest allies in this part of the world to respond to any maritime threats, including piracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

The new security pact was signed last week just hours before U.S. President Barack Obama visited. Obama said the agreement was a testament to Washington’s “pivot” to Asia and was an “ironclad” commitment to defend the Philippines.

The Philippines has territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea, which is said to be rich in energy deposits and carries about $5 billion in ship-borne trade every year. The Spratlys in the South China Sea are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

“Tensions in the Asia-Pacific region have increased due to excessive and expansive maritime and territorial claims, undermining the rule of law,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said at the opening ceremony at the main army base in Manila.

“The aggressive patterns of behavior aimed at changing the status quo threaten peace and stability in the region. Balikatan 2014, with its focus on maritime security, strongly supports our capabilities to address these challenges.”

Asked about the exercises, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said all sides needed to work “constructively” to maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.

“We hope that the relevant U.S.-Philippines drills can work in this direction,” she told a daily news briefing.

On Saturday, a navy plane dropped food and water to troops stationed on a transport ship that ran aground on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. Chinese coast guard ships have set up a blockade around the shoal.

Nearly 5,500 American and Filipino troops are taking part in the two-week drills in different parts of the main island of Luzon. The war games will see U.S. F-18 fighters rehearse bombing runs and troops involved in live fire drills.

Under a new security pact, the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement, signed last week during Obama’s visit, the U.S. will have wider access to local bases and construct facilities to store supplies and equipment for 10 years in exchange for increased support on maritime security and humanitarian assistance.

The annual war games come under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, part of a web of security alliances the United States built in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War.

Dozens of leftwing activists protested outside the main army base in Manila, saying the Americans were using China as a bogeyman to gain a forward base in the Philippines.

“Our armed forces will not modernize just because we conduct war games with U.S. forces,” said Renato Reyes, secretary-general of leftwing group Bayan (Nation).

“Our capacity to defend our territory against China will not be improved just because there are training exercises.”

Source: Reuters “Philippines, U.S. begin war games focusing on maritime threats”

Related posts:

  • Philippines says US obligated to help in case of attack dated May 1, 2014
  • Philippines’ Tremendous Contributions to Human Race March 15, 2014
  • South China Sea Disputes: US Pivot to Asia Has Zero Effect dated February 19, 2014
  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Encirclement of China dated July 6
  • South China Sea Disputes: Chinese Strategy dated July 10, 2013

Philippines says U.S. obligated to help in case of attack


Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario delivers a statement during a news conference in Manila March 30, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario delivers a statement during a news conference in Manila March 30, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

The United States has a treaty obligation to help the Philippines in case of an attack on its territory or armed forces in the South China Sea, the Philippine foreign minister said on Wednesday, rejecting questioning of a security pact.

The United States and the Philippines on Monday signed a 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement allowing U.S. forces wider access to Philippine bases and to position ships, aircraft, equipment and troops for maritime security.

The deal was testimony to an “ironclad” U.S. commitment to defend its oldest Southeast Asian ally, U.S. President Barack Obama told troops from both countries this week while on a visit to Manila.

But Obama did not say categorically the United States would defend the Philippines in its territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, leading to some questions in the Philippines about the scope of the pact.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario issued a statement on Wednesday apparently aimed at dispelling doubts about the deal.

“Under the Mutual Defense Treaty, the U.S. will come to the assistance of the Philippines if our metropolitan territory is attacked or if our armed forces are attacked in the Pacific area,” del Rosario said.

“In 1999, in a diplomatic letter, the U.S. affirmed that the South China Sea is considered as part of the Pacific area.”

China claims virtually the whole of the South China Sea and has in the past couple of years been much more assertive in staking its claim.

In 2012, China seized control of a disputed reef known as the Scarborough Shoal, preventing Filipino fishermen from getting near the rocky outcrop.

Last month, the Chinese coastguard blocked two civilian Philippine ships from delivering food and water to soldiers deployed aboard a Philippines navy transport vessel at another disputed spot, Second Thomas Shoal.

They continue to blockade the area.

HARD WORK

The Philippines in March lodged a case against China at an arbitration tribunal in The Hague to try and settle the festering territorial dispute.

Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the South China Sea, where $5 trillion of ship-borne trade passes every year and is believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas.

China’s Foreign Ministry said maintaining peace and stability “accords with all sides’ interest” and would require hard work by all sides.

“The (Chinese) people have reason to demand that any agreement signed by the United States and the Philippines accords with this principle and does not harm mutual trust with other countries in this region and regional peace and stability,” ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters at a regular briefing.

Some Philippine legislators and non-government organizations have criticized the security deal with the United States as unconstitutional and said it unfairly favors the United States.

“Through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, the Philippine government has surrendered our sovereignty to free-loading U.S. forces,” said Renato Reyes of the left-wing Bayan (Nation) group.

Source: Reuters “Philippines says U.S. obligated to help in case of attack”

Related posts:

  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013
  • South China Sea Dispute: Encirclement of China dated July 6
  • South China Sea Disputes: Chinese Strategy dated July 10, 2013
  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Disputes: US Pivot to Asia Has Zero Effect dated February 19, 2014
  • Philippines’ Tremendous Contributions to Human Race March 15, 2014

Philippines says will exercise self-restraint in disputed seas


Members of the Philippine marines are transported on a rubber boat from a patrol ship after conducting a mission on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, as they make their way to a naval forces camp in Palawan province, southwest Philippines March 31, 2014.  Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro

Members of the Philippine marines are transported on a rubber boat from a patrol ship after conducting a mission on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, as they make their way to a naval forces camp in Palawan province, southwest Philippines March 31, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro

The Philippines said on Friday it would exercise self-restraint in the disputed South China Sea after China attempted to block a small government boat from delivering supplies to soldiers in Second Thomas Shoal.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Manila would do nothing to raise tension in disputed areas while awaiting a ruling from the international court on its arbitration case against China over its nine-dash-line claims.

“The Philippines makes clear that it will continue to exercise self-restraint and will not raise tension in the South China Sea,” del Rosario said in a statement.

“The Philippines is not the country that has greatly increased its naval and maritime presence in the South China Sea. Nor has it challenged freedom of navigation. Nor has it blocked or forcefully intimidated any other country in the South China Sea.”

Del Rosario was referring to two large Chinese coast guard ships which tried last week to prevent the Philippine navy from rotating its troops and resupplying them at a transport ship that ran aground in Second Thomas Shoal.

Manila is seeking a ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to confirm its right to exploit the waters in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as allowed under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The claim questions China’s “nine-dash-line” claim to most of the South China Sea.

China claims about 90 percent of the sea’s 3.5 million sq km (1.35 million sq miles) waters. The sea provides 10 percent of the global fish catch, carries $5 trillion in ship-borne trade a year and is believed to be rich in energy.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan also have ovelapping claims in the sea.

The Philippines is no match to China’s naval capabilities in the South China Sea, avoiding any provocation and direct confrontation, particularly in Scarborough and Second Thomas Shoals.

“Countries should be judged by their actions, not by their words,” del Rosario said. “We reiterate that arbitration is a peaceful, friendly and a durable settlement mechanism under international law.”

Manila hopes China will participate in the legal process.

But China has rejected international arbitration and called on the Philippines to return to bilateral negotiations, warning the case seriously damaged relations.

Source: Reuters “Philippines says will exercise self-restraint in disputed seas”

Related posts:

  • China summons Manila envoy over South China Sea legal case dated April 1, 2014
  • Philippines’ Tremendous Contributions to Human Race March 15, 2014
  • Manila to challenge China blockade in South China Sea dated March 14, 2014
  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013

Beijing laying a trap for the Philippines in South China Sea, say experts


Protesters in Manila. Photo: AFP

Protesters in Manila. Photo: AFP

Beijing is laying a trap for the Philippines in disputed waters, experts say, waiting for an excuse to seize territory in the oil-rich Spratlys

With tension running high between the Philippines and China because of their maritime dispute, one wrong move could see Beijing grabbing all the disputed islands, say regional experts.

“The danger really is a short, sharp conflict due to miscalculation,” said Chito Santa Romana, former ABC News Beijing bureau chief who was once shortlisted to become Manila’s ambassador to China. “The margin of error for our forces is really very small.”
Speaking at a forum yesterday on “Understanding 21st century China”, Santa Romana warned the Philippines should be wary of China’s “cabbage” [encirclement] strategy.

“The idea is for us to make a mistake – to ram their ship, to arrest a fisherman, to fire at a fisherman – if we do any of those, I think we lose an island,” he said.

“If we make another mistake, I think the Chinese will continue to probe the weak spots, and if they can achieve it, they would want to control all the disputed islands before a decision [by the arbitration committee on the law of the sea] is made. So even if they lose the case, there is nothing more to talk about.”

On Saturday, the Philippine military used a small supply vessel to evade larger Chinese coast guard ships blockading a tiny Filipino garrison on the Second Thomas Shoal.

The shoal is part of the Spratlys, a chain of islets that sit near key shipping lanes, surrounded by rich fishing grounds that are believed to lie atop huge oil and gas reserves. A small number of Philippine soldiers are stationed on a navy vessel that was grounded there in 1999 to assert the Philippines’ sovereignty.

Marwyn Samuels, a China specialist from Syracuse University who has been a visiting professor at Beijing, Tsinghua and Nanjing universities, said Chinese efforts to block Philippine supply ships could be dangerous.

“Too much of this is not easily predictable, accidents will happen, somebody will make the wrong move at the wrong moment and that’s going to escalate, so yes, it’s worrisome,” he said.

He pointed out that while China has the military advantage, “from a political point of view it’s difficult [for China], because of the Americans”.

Manila and Washington are poised to sign an agreement that will increase the US military presence in the Philippines.

Beijing’s efforts to block the supply ships has stirred anger in the Philippines. A brief rally was held by left-wing activists yesterday in front of the Chinese consulate in Manila to protest “the harassment” by Chinese coast guard ships of the Philippine resupply ship.

About 60 members of the Akbayan political party, which is part of the ruling coalition, carried a mock yellow tape measure during the protest, yelling “China do you know how to measure?”

At a meeting of senior Asean officials in Myanmar that ended on Monday, Philippine foreign undersecretary Evan Garcia stressed the importance of a code of conduct in the South China Sea after Manila filed a case with the UN on Sunday challenging Beijing’s claim to most of the disputed waters.

He told the forum yesterday that the Philippine filing “manifested our commitment to a peaceful and durable means towards a lasting solution to the disputes in the South China Sea anchored on the rule of law.”

Source: SCMP “Beijing laying a trap for the Philippines in South China Sea, say experts”

Related posts:

  • Philippine Supply Ship Evades Chinese Vessel dated March 29, 2014
  • Philippines’ Tremendous Contributions to Human Race March 15, 2014
  • Manila to challenge China blockade in South China Sea dated March 14, 2014
  • US Not Willing to Be Drawn into War by Japan or Philippines dated February 11, 2014
  • South China Sea Dispute: Lucky China; Unlucky the Philippines dated June 21, 2013