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China denies preparing for war over West Philippine Sea

BEIJING — China has denied it is increasing combat readiness in response to a territorial row with the Philippines over a disputed shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The tense standoff, which erupted last month, centers on Scarborough Shoal, a tiny rocky outcrop in the West Philippine Sea about 230 kilometers (140 miles) from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon.

The dispute began when Philippine authorities detected Chinese ships fishing there. They attempted to arrest the crew, but were blocked by Chinese surveillance vessels that were quickly deployed to the area.

China’s defence ministry denied military units were getting ready for war, despite warnings in state media that China is prepared to fight to end the standoff.

“Reports that the Guangzhou military region, the South China Sea fleet and other units have entered a state of war preparedness are untrue,” the ministry said in a brief statement on its website Friday.

The Guangzhou military region in southern China has responsibility for the area.

It gave no source for the reports, but rumours on the Internet say China has ordered some military units up to level two of its four-level scale of war preparedness, one notch from the top which indicates full readiness.

The two nations have had non-military vessels stationed at the shoal since April 8 in an effort to assert their sovereignty to the area.

China claims virtually all of the West Philippine Sea, which is believed to sit atop huge oil and gas reserves, as its historical territory, even waters close to the coasts of other Asian countries.

The Philippines says the shoal is part of its territory because it falls within its exclusive economic zone.

On Friday, around 300 protestors demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in the Philippines to denounce “bullying” by Beijing.

A Chinese state-backed newspaper on Saturday accused the Philippines of whipping up nationalism through the protest, but it added military conflict in the West Philippine Sea was possible.

Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia also claim parts of the sea. The rival claims have for decades made the waters one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

“Nationalism seems to echo just as strongly wherever you go around the South China Sea [West Philippine Sea]. The Philippines is showing prominent such behaviour,” the Global Times said in an editorial.

“It remains possible that military conflicts will ensue in the South China Sea, and when that happens China will certainly take firm action,” it added.

Chinese authorities also this week ordered tour operators to suspend trips to the Philippines.

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Tags: China , Conflict , dispute , Foreign Affairs and International relations , Philippines , Scarborough Shoal , War , West Philippine Sea

  • Mario_Garcia

    放馬過來吧!!!  go ahead release your Chinese horses!!!

  • quenchy

    Ibagsak and Komunistang Tsina!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AYITA5V33GYZSLC3G37UCVNTKA Ben

    China has denied it is increasing combat readiness in response to a territorial row with the Philippines over a disputed shoal in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    Well, go ahead make our day! Please remember we have an MDT with the US, destroy our ships and that will drag the US in the scene to defend us, you don`t want that to happen when your country is not that strong yet as compared with the combined US global force, not to mention her Asian allied forces? It`s like asking for World War 3.

  • rodulio

    I wouldn’t worry too much these Dogs..
    Fellow Filipinos,China the Dog days are numbered. Something more is going to unfold down and man it is really going to be big and just be patient. The events that we see now are are just the beginning but expect to see more good things. Just look at what the Philippines is doing, right now they are just playing low key as much as they can.1. The Philippines officials had a meeting with Clinton which is a great sign2. Philippines is considering buying Multi-role jets 3. The US is trying to ease trade barriers with the Philippines4. South Korea might consider helping the Philippines5. Japan have committed a 1000 ton vessel to help the Philippines for maritime issues6. President Aquino just have a meeting last tuesday with Senator McCain7. President Aquino is going to meet with President OBAMA8. President Aquino is also going to London…9. Vietnam has also join the protests against ChinaPeople can say whatever they want and it is perfectly ok. Just wait and see because China’s days are numbered and China the dog will be contained and the U.S is going to ratched their strategy against China and yes, they will help the Philippines. Just wait and China will be the laughing stock on the daily news. Some people think that the U.S. will not help the Philippines well then lets wait. All people in the Congress don’t like China believe me and as I have said, something is going to come out of this and it is just going to be very good….China the Dog, you will be contain like a dog and it is just a matter of time….PurpleDaisy13 will treated like a dog as well…..you communist paid moron…..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PBOZBBLRVEOTWHXEXOAXJR3Q3Y Dana

    The problem with China is that they are liars! This propaganda will not work on Filipinos. They just give marching orders to their men in Guangzou area to prepare for war. Chinese marines onboard Chinese diesel Submarines are already traversing the areas of the Spratlys and the Scarborough Shoal. This diesel subs need to surface at some point. The best time is at night.  Filipino Navy SEAL WERE patroling at night too and just turn off the engines of their zodiacs at night in the middle of the water. They are equiped  with generation- 3 night vision with thermal infrared googles.  YES they have video recordings of Chinese diesel subs surfacing at night.    

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PBOZBBLRVEOTWHXEXOAXJR3Q3Y Dana

    There is an upheaval within the Chinese govt. between the politburo and the PLA hardliners.  That news that we got that there is a ‘coup de etat’  in China is TRUE.  Yes its true but was just covered up by the propaganda wing of the red Chinese.  It came from the group of Chinese hardliners like Bo Xi Lai. These hardliners were the offspring of those top dogs during the time of late chairman Mao Tse Tung.  That PLA General who anounced a limited war on the Spratlys to teach Filipinos a lesson belong to that group.

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