Second Philippine ship sent in China standoff


MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines deployed a second vessel to tiny islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) on Thursday in a bid to assert its sovereignty in a territorial standoff with China.

Authorities said a coast guard boat would join the Philippines’ biggest warship in the morning at Scarborough Shoal, where two Chinese surveillance vessels were protecting a group of Chinese fishermen from being arrested.

“It will be backing us up in the area,” Navy commander Vice-Admiral Alexander Pama said of the 56-meter-long (184-foot) search and rescue coast guard vessel.

However Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez also emphasized the Philippines was intent on ending the standoff peacefully, and negotiations with Chinese diplomats would continue.

“What is important is that we are talking to them to reach a diplomatic solution. The diplomatic solution should be fair and workable,” Hernandez told reporters.

The dispute began on Sunday when Philippine authorities found eight Chinese fishing boats at the shoal, a group of tiny islands and reefs 124 nautical miles west of the country’s main island of Luzon.

The Philippines accused the fishermen of being there illegally, asserting the area was Filipino territory because it was within the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognized by international law.

However China claims all of the West Philippine Sea as its own, even waters up to the coasts of other countries, and Chinese authorities insisted the fishermen were allowed to be at the shoal.

Competing claims to the West Philippine Sea have long been regarded as one of Asia’s potential flashpoints for military conflict.

The sea holds enormous economic and political significance, as it is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas resources, is home to vast fishing grounds and hosts shipping lanes that are vital for global trade.

Aside from the Philippines and China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei also have competing claims to the waters.

In the latest flare-up in tensions, the Philippines’ deployed its navy flagship vessel to Scarborough Shoal immediately after the Chinese fishermen were discovered there, with orders to arrest them.

But the two Chinese surveillance vessels appeared on the scene on Tuesday and blocked the Philippine warship from approaching the fishing boats.

The Chinese embassy in Manila released a statement on Wednesday ordering the Philippine warship out of the disputed waters.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin accused the Philippines of “harassing” the Chinese fishermen and said a protest had been lodged.

“We urge the Philippine side… not to make new troubles and create conditions for the friendly relations of the two countries,” Liu said.

The Philippines and Vietnam complained last year of increasingly aggressive acts by China in staking its claim to the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines accused Chinese vessels of firing warning shots at Filipino fishermen, as well as harassing an oil exploration vessel and placing markers on islets within Philippine territory.

However this week’s standoff is the highest-profile in recent years.

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  • rodger66

    mga walanghiyang intsik, timing nyo pa sa birthday ko !!! habang dumadami ang nag-comments, magiging comedy ang bagsak nito !!!

  • boyfarmer

     If there’s a war it will not be a numbers game, Philippines needs
    capability to detect and sink  incoming ships, US satellites can provide
    data for this. China will have to travel about 500 miles by ships to
    reach the Philippines that will give us a lot of time to prepare a
    welcoming committee. We need lots of small boats with capability to sink
    large warships so that these Communist chinese cannot land on our
    shores. We need nuclear defense shield through the American nuclear
    defense umbrella so Philippines will have to ask if America will really
    provide this defense pursuant to mutual defense treaty of 1951.

    Soon or late, there is going to be a shooting war between China and
    the Philippines, we have to prepare for this, if we are not a Nation of cowards. We have to upgrade our
    defense capabilities if not the China will be laughing at us and will
    continue to bully us. We will lost our pride and our honor.

    Where is now the magnificent 12 senators who rejected the extension
    of the stay of the American US base. What have you done? Come forward,
    defend our country now.

    Magnificent 12 and other Nationalists kuno, You removed the US base
    but you have not modernized the Philippine Armed Forces, what have you

    War is now knocking at our doorstep. Diplomatic approach is one option but we need to prepare for the worst. I hope our tough talking President is not a coward.

    • joshmale2004

      Wake up my friend. America never forgets. The day these 12 Senators voted them out of our country with the whole world watching to the embarassment of the mighty US military, they established their defense perimeter starting from Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands. We are now outside of this defense perimeter so America will not even lift a finger to help nor defend us.For all you know, this is the chance of America to test China’s progress in war against USA military by allowing us to engage in a military confrontation with China without their help.
          Our small boats will not even sink a single China Frigate.America will not even share their nuclear defense umbrella with us. This is a well entrenched defense secret of America and will not compromise its secrecy just to defend us.
          Just accept the fact that we are on our own and that we are 20 years behind of china’s military capability.

      • boyfarmer

         I mean modern, fast and missile armed boats capable of inflicting harm on large warships, we need to modernize Philippine navy.

    • cane-juice

       @Boyfarmer: YOU ARE SOOOOOO RIGHT.

  • Leonardof

    The Philippines is reaping what it’s pseudo nationalists led by the plunderer Estrada sow. And where are they now? Not a sound of whimper protesting the bullying of the Chinese, can be helar from them. They ought to say sorry to the weary Filipino people and make amends for their great mistake of driving out the American bases.  

    • cane-juice

       @Leonardof: YOU ARE SOOOOOO RIGHT.

    • Raymund Baroy


  • RobertoMagtuytoy

    What the Philippine should do is to hostage a busload of Chinese tourists and and bring them in Luneta……you know the next scenario.

    • cane-juice

       @Roberto Magtuytoy: Better still….., Why not put those 12 senators who rejected U.S. Bases Extension in the bus and send it “floating” to China, with or w/o life-vests.

      • reneboy726

        GOOD, para masulit naman ung mga pinapasweldo ng mga taxpayers ka kanila

    • to0

      Let us bring back Death Penalty to foreign drug lords. An eye for an eye. The Chinese even steal the internal organs useful for transplant, how dare our government which is dominated by Chinese merely shrug it of as though nothing happen. This practice by the Chinese is immoral in International Relationship.

    • boyfarmer

       bad suggestion, your idea is a crime, in times of war though we shoot to kill enemies, we have rules of engagement in accord with the Geneva convention, to deviate from the rules will be war crime.

  • Raymund Baroy

    Those who voted for the expulsion of the US bases need to go to Scarborough Shoal now. Nasaan na ang mga protesters? 

    • reneboy726

      numero uno….JOSEPH ERAP ESTRADA, ano na erap paki mo ang galing mo ngayon….hanggang pelikula ka lang talaga, BUWISIT KA

  • DAR

    I would rather send senators Lito “Leon Guerero” Lapid & Bong “Panday” Revilla as a force deterrent to the Chinese navy, its a sacrifice all of us willing to take. 

  • fugeee

    lecheng melamine na yan!!! mga rallyistang makabayang kuno, doon kayo  sa tapat ng bullying chinese embassy mag noynoying para may pakinabang kayo…tuligsain nyo amo nyo!!!

  • PinoyAko2012

    Now what… mga taong ayaw ng american bases noon baka gusto nila mga insikto..Sabagay madaling mapuksa ang mga insikto spray lang ng ddt yan patay na mga yan lol

  • farero

    @boyfarmer, true but we already have a lot of chinese here. they could be sabotaging us already

    • Thunderstorm52

       This is exactly right. The Japanese did that very same thing here in the  Philippines before and during World War II. The Chinese are or likely would be doing the same thing. ANYONE who thinks the US should not be here or be our allay is nuts!!!

  • to0

    When the Chinese sent their vessel to our territory, throw your diplomacy out the window. China is bullying us. Let our Navy vessel stay there forever if need be to assert our claim. Diplomacy is for the sissy.

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