Philippines to raise China dispute with US


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines said Monday it would officially take its concerns over an increasingly tense territorial dispute with China to the United States, its key military ally.

The Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff over competing claims to the Scarborough Shoal, a small group of islands in the South China Sea, for more than two weeks with both sides stationing vessels there.

With China ratcheting up the pressure, the Philippines planned to seek counsel from the United States during top-level meetings in Washington next week, foreign affairs department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

“What we are saying is that maybe they (US) should be apprised of what is happening in the Scarborough issue,” Hernandez told reporters.

“What is happening in the Scarborough Shoal poses a potential threat not only to the Philippines but to other countries … who use it for navigation and unimpeded commerce.”

He said the Philippines would formally raise the issue during the so-called “2+2″ talks between Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario and Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and their US counterparts, Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta.

Hernandez said he could not say exactly what the Philippines’ objective was in raising the issue with the United States.

But the talks in Washington are expected to serve as an avenue for the Philippine government to seek more help for its armed forces, considered to be among the region’s weakest and poorly resourced, officials said previously.

The two nations are also bound by a mutual defence pact in which the United States has pledged to come to the aid of its weaker ally if it faces military aggression.

The Philippines’ move could further anger China, which has insisted the United States should have no role in the dispute.

The Philippines’ announcement came after the Global Times, a newspaper run by China’s ruling Communist Party, warned in an editorial at the weekend of a potential “small-scale war” to end the Scarborough Shoal stand-off.

“Once the war erupts, China must take resolute action to deliver a clear message to the outside world it does not want a war, but definitely has no fear of it,” the editorial said.

China claims the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), even up to the coasts of the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.

The stand-off with the Philippines began when Chinese vessels blocked Filipino attempts to arrest the crew of eight Chinese fishing boats at Scarborough Shoal.

The shoal is about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon, and

The nearest Chinese land mass from Panatag Shoal (internationally called Scarborough Shoal) is Hainan province, 1,200 kilometres to the northwest, according to Philippine naval maps.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Sherwin Abad

     isa pa itong ASEAN. mga sarili lang ang inisip at kung paano magkkapera sa mga Tsina.  Kaya nga divide and conquer ang ginagamit na strategy ng CHina sa mga SEA claimant countries.  Pag hindi nagkaisa ang ASEAN, tuta ng China ang kalalabasan.

    • reddfrog

       Eh tuta ng Amerikano, okay lang?

  • neverwint3r

    so itong mga instik beho na ito are planning a small-scale war against the philippines? ang kakapal talga ng mukha, according even chinese generals are itching for war against the country.

    well, ang masasabi ko lang, bring it on. we have defeated the spanish, the americans and the japanese in various world wars. our soldiers are among the most experienced and veterans fighting the communists and the muslim insurgents. give them the proper equiptment, they can defeat the chinese easily.

    e ang mga intsik? laging talunan in various world wars. and in the korean war, their millions of troops were soundly defeated, suffering casualties 25x more than the americans/UN. and in the vietnam-china war in early 80s, when they tried to invade vietnam with 800,000 troops, they were repulsed and suffered humiliating defeat. can you imagine china fully mobilized their regular army troops but were soundly defeated by vietnamese para-military forces? ganyan ka-inutil mga intsik.

    so don’t get intimidated by these chinese. it’s either the country stand up and fight for their rights(which international laws and historic evidences are on their side) or lose their national pride and risks territorial disintegration. either remain a democracy or be a communist puppet state.

    • jjBoy2

      neverwint3r with all due respects to you; we only defeated the Spaniards because we got  our hands on weapons brought home by Aguinaldo and with the help of the Americans, we did not defeat the Americans…rather they gave us independence and most likely it was their decision because of the economic crisis which was troubling them at that time also, we were able to withstand the Japanese because the Americans liberated us.  It was the dropping of the atom bomb that made the Japanese surrender WWII.  Now we need them again but our politicians insist on independence so that they can steal more money from the Filipino people and this country.  The thing that saved us eversince is the US.

      • kapitanBagwis

         Hopefully they will save us again if only to give us war machines to defend the country.

    • reddfrog

      You are comparing the old China with the modern China? You should know your enemy before “bringing it on”. That said, modern warfare will involve missiles raining down on Metro Manila and other major cities 24/7. You won’t see PLA soldiers landing in Manila Bay – that is so 20th century. So how are you going to kill them if you can’t even reach them?

    • freelancer_21

      its actually the americans that defeated the spaniards then it led to the phil-american revolution…

  • Carlo

    basta mssabi ko. wag nman sana mgkagera! war is not a solution to every problem.

    • jjBoy2

      WWII partly became the solution that saved America from the economic turmoil that was happening at that time.  The problem was like the financial crisis happening today.

    • Eric Nicolas

      Tama Carlo… War is the very least solution.

  • Enrico Ibanales

     the reason why the chinese govt, doesnt want this matter to bring it in itlos because they dont have legal basis to claim the area. so i strongly appealed to the aquino govt, please defend the west philippine sea against the chinese invaders. You should fight for our rights whatever happened… dont be afraid to them……….

    • jjBoy2

      That’s obvious…unfortunately because of our corrupt politicians and military we have nothing to fight with even just for our pride.

      • reddfrog

        Threaten them. Tell them we will exile Miriam Defensor Santiago to China if they do not leave immediately.

      • Tarhata

        Even if china will not leave immediately just exile miriam santiago to china and turn her into chop suey.

  • Baracudat

    I think at this time every country are busy reforming their own economy and china is taking advantage on this situation by injecting funds on other country. So most of the UN members will keep on quiet on any issues raising against china. Remember US election is coming so decision to counterpart china may give the current US govt into trouble. As of this time what we can do is a diplomatic engagement. We have rights to protect what we beleive is ours. Nobody wants to be responsible for the lost of lives in case war broke up that’s why the govt are taking precautions on this issue not just because you are angry and you want to fight.

  • pinoy_unity

    Simulan na ang paggawa ng depensa sa mga industria ng pinas. Kahit malilit na barko kung may panglaban at marami mahihirapan ang malaking pwersa. Gamitin na ang mga factory at dry dock sa bansa para gumawa ng maliit at mabilis na panglaban sa dagat. Tumulong sana ang mga negosyante kundi apektado sila kung sakaling sumugod ang mga intsik at di tayo naka laban. Ayaw natin ng laban pero kung sinusugod ka na at inaabuso kailangan ng lumaban.

  • kapitanBagwis

    Just give us the necessary war machines for DEFENSE and the Filipinos can protect itself. No American soldiers have to get involved. Advisers maybe.

  • pinoy_unity

    The Chinese Government wants to control the shipping lanes passing thru
    this region, that’s the reason it wants to get the shoal even if its
    1200 miles away from its land. Treating other nations as inferior over
    its history and not even recognizing INTERNATIONAL LAWS (some kind of
    barbaric and uncivilized). Taking advantage of a weaker state and acting
    as a bully is its game but will avoid conflict with stronger state
    (like Japan , USA, Russia) – trying to sound courageous but picks weaker
    opponents only ( Sun Tsu Style ) in tagalog – Sa bata lang ako lalaban
    kasi kayang kaya ko.

    Philippine should get ready to defend because the bully will try to
    use it’s strength, I’ve never seen a bully that can be reasonable , it
    only understand fighting like Chinese movies always about bullying.

    Lets ask the US to fight the bully but we need to be prepared as well…

  • BeWise

    As a Christian nation, let us give the whole matter to God’s hand and rest our complete faith and trust to Him. This situation calls for every Filipino to be united in prayers. We may not have the grandest of weapons, battleships or even modern military equipment to be used against them, but we have a living God that is able and powerful to solve the issue according to His Wisdom. No doubt that China is bigger than us, but our God is bigger than everything and has sovereignty to all. Right now, some might say we are looking or facing a “giant “or Goliath in front of us, but like what David did, he put his trust to God and focus his eyes to His Power and Might for with God nothing is impossible! Let us make a common stand as children of God and a messenger of peace and ask God His guidance and wisdom. May the peace of our Lord be unto our hearts!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos