Quantcast
Latest Stories

China ropes off Scarborough Shoal

By ,

Panatag shoal

To cut or not to cut?

Chinese fishing vessels left Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) but they roped off the mouth of its lagoon to prevent other fishermen from getting in, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference, Gazmin said the Coast Guard had reported to him that the Chinese left a long rope held by buoys at both ends of the entrance to the lagoon of the horseshoe-shaped reef.

Gazmin said the defense department was studying what steps to take about the rope.

Stormy weather in the West Philippine Sea has prevented Philippine vessels from going  to the shoal in recent days.

“It might be meant to prevent us from getting in because they are claiming [the shoal], but, of course, we are also claiming that it is ours,” Gazmin said.

Keep talking

In spite of the dispute, Gazmin said he and Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie  agreed to “keep the lines of communications open” when they met in Cambodia recently.

“We need to talk to secure a solution,” Gazmin said. “Our talks will continue.”

The Philippines and Vietnam are pushing a code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

A code of conduct would prevent the rival territorial claims of Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan in the West Philippine Sea from deteriorating into armed clashes.

Without a code of conduct, any of the claimants could not explore for resources in the disputed waters, Malacañang said Thursday.

Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said it would be difficult for any country to go into the area without a code of conduct that spelled out the “ground rules” for any exploratory activity by any of the claimants.

“While we may be open to some way of jointly exploring those areas and jointly exploiting those areas, I think the first thing that needs to be done is we need to have a binding code of conduct,” Carandang said at a briefing for reporters. “So [joint exploration] remains an aspiration until certain agreements can be reached with other claimant countries.”

Carandang said diplomats and legal experts could figure a way out for a joint exploration, but this would fail without a code of conduct.

China and the Asean countries, however, have signed the Declaration of Conduct in the South China Sea to deal with the territorial disputes peacefully.

Carandang appealed to China and all the other claimants to observe the declaration so as to prevent an increase in tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

Panatag standoff

Chinese poaching at Panatag Shoal provoked a maritime standoff between the Philippines and China from early April to mid-June.

Last month, 20 of 30 Chinese fishing vessels in an expedition to the Spratly Islands traveled close to Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island, drawing a warning from Manila not to come any closer.

Without hardware to defend its borders against Chinese intrusions, the Philippines has threatened to take the dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

China, however, rejects international arbitration, insisting on its policy of dealing with its rivals for territory in the West Philippine Sea in one-on-one talks.

When?

Beijing has said it is open to discussions of a code of conduct with the Asean countries. But Carandang said China had shown no sign it would soon sit down with the other claimants to draft the code.

“We expect them to continue to participate in these discussions,” Carandang said. “[But] whether they are going to participate in the next high-level discussion is a question mark.”

Carandang said the Philippines would provide shelter for fishermen who would be stranded in the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea despite the tensions there.

“In general, for humanitarian reasons, if fishermen were in trouble and we were in a position to help them and save their lives, we would, whether they be Filipino, Vietnamese or Chinese.” Carandang said.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ASEAN , Asia-Pacific , China , Diplomacy , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , International relations , Maritime Dispute , Panatag Shoal , Philippines , West Philippine Sea



Copyright © 2014, .
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
Advertisement
  1. Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  2. Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  3. HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  4. Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  5. Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  8. Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  9. Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  10. Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  1. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  2. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  3. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  4. Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  5. 85% of Filipinos love US – survey
  6. 10 US presidents who visited the PH (and what they said)
  7. WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  8. 19 Ukrainians, Russians, Filipinas rescued in bar raid
  9. 150 Filipino teachers in Maryland to lose jobs, visas
  10. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  1. US to China: We will protect Philippines
  2. Japan mulls no visa rule for Filipinos
  3. DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
  4. China warned: Don’t try to tow away BRP Sierra Madre
  5. Back home in Manila, and feeling out of place
  6. Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  7. Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  8. China: PH tarnishing Beijing’s international image
  9. What’s inside BRP Sierra Madre?
  10. Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
Advertisement

News

  • Cayetano to DOJ: Bare Napoles’ list of ‘pork’ officials
  • Drunk passenger triggers Bali hijack alert
  • Businesswoman allegedly killed by husband, brother-in-law
  • Roxas suspended from golf club for outburst over P5,000 guest fee
  • SC reschedules oath-taking of new lawyers
  • Sports

  • Guiao fined P100,000 for ‘mongoloid’ comment vs Meralco forward
  • Hawks and Grizzlies revel in home wins
  • Floyd: Manny’s power gone
  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • BDO nets P5.5 B in Q1
  • Pacquiao may be 2013 top taxpayer
  • Emperador nets P1.7 B in Q1
  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Plane lands at Bali airport in suspected hijacking—Indonesia air force
  • Obama lands in Seoul as N. Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Militant protests vs Obama, US set
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Marketplace