Philippines unfazed by Taiwan Spratlys missile plan

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MANILA—The Philippines said Sunday it was prepared to defend its claims in the South China Sea, but downplayed a plan by Taiwan to deploy missiles in the area.

The island of Kalayaan, which means "Freedom" in the Filipino language, that was created in 1978 mainly to assert the Philippines' claim to the disputed territory in the Spratlys, a chain of islets in the West Philippine Sea. AFP/Kayalaan Municipal office

Defence department spokesman Zosimo Jesus Paredes said the country enjoyed good relations with Taiwan and believed its plan to supply missiles to coastguard units in the areas it claims was not a threat to the Philippines.

“We cannot dictate on Taiwan on what or what not to do,” Paredes told reporters. “For as long as they don’t occupy what we already occupy, we have no problem. Live and let live.”

However, he said Manila was prepared to “defend to the hilt” islets it has already occupied in the Spraltys.

But when asked whether Manila considered a move towards aggression, he said: “Not really… we should not be over reactive.”

Paredes stressed the government still believed in pursuing a peaceful solution, but stressed Taiwan’s move might be misunderstood by some claimants as provocative.

He said Taiwan’s move could be seen as “unsettling” by other claimants to the area, stressing that it should have officially informed them of its plan so as not to escalate tensions.

“I think moves like these should be coordinated (with other claimants) so that we will not be taken aback,” he said.

Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for President Benigno Aquino III, meanwhile declined to comment on whether the government had officially sent a letter to Taiwan expressing its concerns.

China claims all of the South China Sea, including the Spratlys, a group of islands and islets believed to sit atop vast oil and mineral reserves.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines and Malaysia also lay claim to all or part of the Spratlys.

The overlapping claims have been a source of tension in the region, with the United States reiterating a call to all parties last week to peacefully solve the problem following Taiwan’s threat.

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  • Anonymous

    For all the people (especially some US & Filipinos) who loves to blame the Chinese or their money yuan and to get a more profound meaning of the article above, it is much better to know other peoples culture before you accuse them. Read in Wikipedia about the 1911 Chinese uprising, fall of the last dynasty of China, Sun Yat Sen, Opium War, and the now famous Long March (named after various commercial models of Chinese rocket boosters). Problem with PHL is that most of the sellf-appointed intellectuals are too narrow-minded, most of what they knew are about western democrazies, cat walks, and dogmas. I’m a true blood pinoy and I’m for the truth, i’m NOT biased to what is really true. It’s not my intention to protect Chinese or Chinoys but to tell to brainwashed PHL what is really true. The facts are “blowing in the wind” especially these times but we are hardheaded not to believe what we observed as true because for a very, very long time since we step into the western-leaning schools and read/saw/heard corporate medias until now, our senses are constantly blinded. We love to tag anybody who doesn’t conform to the west as evils which is ironic.

    • Anonymous

      My hint is, Taiwan’s missiles are actually for Vietnam and Philippines. It’s absurd that Taiwan is acting offensively against PRC which historically since it’s founding has not done yet anything against its motherland. Although they have this brotherly animosity, still they considered themselves as brothers (remember when they joined with communist to oust the Jap occupiers in WW2). The South China Sea dispute is really complicated even I myself can’t figure who has the real sole sovereignty in those islands. For the information of those who don’t know yet, China’s claim in the area is that long time ago during their dynasty periods BC or CE, that area was under their jurisdiction as shown in their old maps. I’m wondering why PHL media doesn’t tell this to readers/viewers so you won’t think diabolically about China? A bit helpful also to know (see google or others) about a Filipino sultan or datu from Sulu who paid courtesy to a Chinese emperor in a not-so-distant past.

      • Anonymous

        @getreal911:disqus   you seem to mix up history or only have a one sided history. Also history cannot help with territorial claims. if that would be the case let the Indonesians and Malay claim the Philippines as majority of us are descendants of them or let the US claim the Spratlys since they bought the Philippines from Spain.

        If a territory is disputed then we should look at it geographically, it is closest to the Philippines (Palawan) and Malaysia and Vietnam. So why would Taiwan and China dispute our claim when geographically they are not connected?

        Also what is a true blood pinoy you claim to be, is it a figure of speech? Our own culture has been destroyed and exploited by the Spanish in the name of Christ and of inner conflicts for centuries. I can agree with you is that there are many people who are voicing their anger towards China and creating this conspiracy theories.

      • Anonymous

        IslandExpress,  China’s claim, in reference to getreal’s comment, has old maps to show and back up china’s claim, but even the colonial powers who colonized most of southeast asia has old maps too , and mind you they didn’t just have maps, they occupied southeast asia for a very long time.  But in all of that time, there was no doubt who the real owners of southeast asia, it is not the colonizer or china, but the southeast asian people.  China may claim and show old maps of the area just like the western colonial powers, but that doesn’t mean it belongs to them.  This is not mainland china. It is the territorial domain of the southeast asian.  china should keep its hands off from other people’s territories.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYWL57BMQAELENDCVXXLKQLSKI Don Sia

        Just refer to the UN on who is right and who is wrong. Period!

      • Anonymous

        Taiwan’s government officials was already qouted saying that the missiles was actually for Vietnam and the Philippines from other news article.

        Even the West who colonized southeast asia  has old maps and records too which they occupied and colonized.  They had claimed and occupied the area for a long time but there was no doubt who thre real owners of southeast asia, it is the inhabitants of southeast asia.  Just like the west colonial powers in the past China may claim that part of southeast asia in the spratlys and elsewhere in that region but the real owner of the territories are the inhabitants of southeast asia.  It is the territorial domain of the southeast asian people.  It is not mainland china that china can claimed it.

    • Anonymous

      @getreal I agree, Filipinos lack knowledge about china, chinese history, and chinese in general to really put forth a descent argument that support the Filipinos point of view.  I would encourage anyone to learn more about china so that anyone will have the tools and knowledge to counter and put forth the view point that support the point of view that many Filipinos hold with regards to china.  I think it is beneficial to know more about chinese history and china in general so that you can have a good counter argument when someone flashes chinese history in front of you and used it as a the biblical truth.

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    hindi kaaway ang taiwan
    bagkos kaanib

    ang kalaban ay ang tsina

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OAFZIN56TAAM73TEKNPNEBQV3U AdrianD

    a missle silo not to be worried about?! haha you got to be kidding ASEAN should do something about this.

    Is this thing built within our 200 mile exclusive economic zone?  nevertheless, seriously this could ignite a war.

  • Anonymous

    Hindsight would dictate it is a much better policy not to allow any missile deployed in the Spratlys.  History tells us that a friend of today may be an enemy tomorrow especially if there are stakes envolved like the mineral deposits that almost all countries would like to obtain.  Even if the purpose is for a deterent to China, it is still a bad option to follow.  A gamble of today may be the bankruptcy of tomorrow!  As what the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure.

  • ryan andres

    weaw… “defend to the hilt” daw ooo?

    Aber, sige nga, how do you plan to “defend to the hilt”? With our bangka and tora tora fleet?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FGUQU7CI7GBRJFYMRUXT6JZWYQ Reginald Maranan

    Every nation claiming something from the Spratly’s should just follow the international laws. If they won’t then why did they bother creating them? Sometimes the simplest solutions are ignored because of selfishness and that’s what makes the World so difficult to live in today.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LV2INVWR6LUX5NNWVOH3WI2MHA Marcelo

    The U.S smiles on the plan of Taiwan to deploy missiles in Spratlys. It means, Mainland China would follow suits. Thus Arms race in the Spratlys among claimants countries. Thus good for the U.S military industries that could help perk up the stagnant U.S economy.I even suspected the U.S was the one that goaded Taiwan to do this. Geez, what a smart shrewd move to sell arms

    • Anonymous

      Actually the missiles are Taiwan made.

  • Anonymous

    Taiwan: Hoy nag-deliver kami ng missiles sa Spratlys ha.
    Pinoy: Ay ok lang basta wag lang sa mga ino-occupy naming islands ha? Kasi pag naghatid kayo ng missiles sa island namin e titiradurin namin ang mga destroyers at missiles niyo.
    Taiwan: Aba oo naman. Pero siyempre nakatutok lang naman yung mga missiles sa islands na ino-occupy niyo.
    Pinoy: Ay ok lang, basta ‘wag niyo lang kaming pasasabugin ha. Baka kasi biglang kumati ang kamay niyo at mapindot niyo ang “fire missile” button.
    Taiwan: Oo naman, maganda ang relations natin di ba? Dami niyong mga maids at factory workers sa amin e.
    Pinoy: ok sige, basta pag naghatid ulit kayo ng missiles, sabihan niyo kami para hindi kami mukhang tanga sa media at sa buong mundo. So sa ngayon, hindi kami mag-o-over-react…basta ‘wag niyo kaming pasasabugin ha? please????

    PATHETIC reactions from our leaders….;=((

    • Anonymous

      @joerizal  PH government officials are a bunch of clowns.  Notice how a lot of PH leaders seems to be capitulating already before they could even expressed the concerned and disappointment of the Philippines. They don’t know how to manage the situation.  There doesn’t seem to be a skilled and experienced enough PH officials to telegraph to Taiwan about the Philippine’s disapproval and concerned about Taiwan’s plan to deploy missiles in the Spratlys. PH officials have already surrender before they could even make a case to persuade Taiwan not to go ahead with their plans.

  • Anonymous

    Diplomatically-correct ang reaction ng Philippine government, tama lang. Taiwan has the right to do it, afterall, they are doing it on their occupied-territory, bilang panghanda kung sakali na may ibang bansa na galawin yung nasasakupan nila. Besides, what could we do aside from just shouting our complaints? We are in the build-up stage, we do not have the capability yet….for now.

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