China planning permanent structures on Bajo de Masinloc?

MANILA, Philippines – China has maintained a continued naval presence on Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, which is widely seen as a preparation for the establishment of a permanent structure well within Philippine territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

A confidential Philippine government report acknowledged that Beijing will use its growing military capability to assert its sovereignty and control in the disputed territories despite Manila’s assertions and continued diplomatic efforts to resolve the disputes. Continue reading

Philippines boosts military to resist ‘bullies’

Country relations in Asia are getting to the boiling point in regards to China. What we’re seeing within the region is an arms race to protect itself against the communist giant, and it’s not just the Philippines. For example, Japan seems to be silently going nuclear and going on the offensive to protect its disputed territory. Within the next ten years, we could see a situation where all countries within the Asian giant’s reach become strong enough combined that China will have no choice but to go on a ‘charm offensive’ and unite the continent under its political/military/economic umbrella rather than go to war with every neighbor. Having done this, combined with the United States suiciding itself from within and becoming more unreliable as a partner each day, it will have effectively taken out America’s hegemony in the Asia Pacific without having to go to war with it. However, because that nobody has a crystal ball (that works), a war or skirmish in the future shouldn’t be dismissed.

MANILA – Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a US$1.8-billion (S$2.26b) military upgrade to help defend his country’s maritime territory against “bullies”, amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.

The announcement came on the same day that the Philippines filed a protest with China over the “illegal and provocative” presence of a Chinese warship and two other vessels at a Filipino-claimed shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading

Chinese expert: If tensions escalate, US support for PHL, Japan will be ‘limited’

The United States will only give “limited” support to Japan and the Philippines if ever the situation between the two countries and China worsens, a Chinese expert said Wednesday.

A report posted on Chinese website SINA quoted Ruan Zongze, vice president and senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), as saying that he expects that the US  won’t “go too far” in supporting Japan and the Philippines. Continue reading

China Says Ready for ‘Escalation’ in Maritime Dispute With Philippines

China says it is ready to respond to “any escalation” by the Philippines, as a tense, month-long standoff continues over a disputed group of islands in the South China Sea.

The state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday quoted Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying as saying Beijing is not optimistic about the dispute over the Scarborough Shoal, located about 230 kilometers off the northwestern Philippines.

On Monday, Fu summoned a top Philippine diplomat in Beijing to make a “serious representation” over the situation. Fu told Charge D’affaires Alex Chua that Manila was escalating tensions and making it more difficult to reach a negotiated settlement.

China says the islands, known as Huangyan in China, are a key part of Chinese territory and that any Philippine claim to them is baseless. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its internationally recognized exclusive economic zone.

The Philippines, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims in the South China Sea.  China claims nearly the entire energy-rich region.

Full article: China Says Ready for ‘Escalation’ in Maritime Dispute With Philippines (Voice of America)