PH embassy in Beijing told to check China plans for Sansha City


Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has instructed the Philippine Embassy in Beijing to check on China’s reported plan to fortify the newly established Sansha City saying any such move would violate agreed conduct among claimant countries to the Spratly Islands.

Chinese newspapers, meanwhile, called out Manila and other countries involved in island disputes with Beijing for “provocations” in disputed seas as they justified the fortification of the controversial Sansha City and the upgrade of China’s naval forces.

In a statement sent to the Inquirer, Del Rosario said he has asked the Philippine post in Beijing to confirm reports that China will invest $1.6 billion to develop Sansha City, an administrative domain established to govern territories in the Spratlys.

“We are requesting our Beijing post to validate the information. We trust this is not the case since, if true, this would be in gross violation of the DOC (Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea),” Del Rosario said Thursday.

The DOC is a 10-year-old document that aims to deter use of force and instead promote peace and self-restraint among countries claiming resource-rich territories in the South China Sea, including China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines.

The Philippines calls part of the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as the West Philippine Sea.

China, which claims almost all of the Spratlys, established Sansha City as a prefecture of Hainan Province in June to govern the disputed islands.  The Philippines protested this move, saying this was “unacceptable” as the city’s administrative scope covered areas within its EEZ.

The same southern Chinese province, located closest to the disputed waters, announced earlier this month that its law enforcers would start interdiction of foreign ships in the South China Sea on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.

Del Rosario said China has yet to respond to the foreign office’s request for official clarification of the new policing law, which would allow Hainan authorities to board and search foreign ships that would pass by South China Sea, a critical trading route.

“We have officially asked for a clarification from the Chinese Embassy in Manila and as well asked our Beijing post to directly contact their (Chinese) foreign ministry. Until now, we are still awaiting an official response,” del Rosario said.

Standing by China’s moves that have stirred regional tensions, two Chinese newspapers criticized the Philippines and other countries involved in the island disputes for “provocations” in the South China Sea.

In separate editorials, the Global Times and China Daily asserted China’s right to secure its sovereignty and criticized the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan for what they described as provocative moves as the nations pushed for their claims in the South China and East China Sea.

The Global Times opinion writer Yu Jincui said in a piece published Thursday that China’s plan to develop Sansha City was aimed at bolstering the country’s southern maritime defense.

“The resolve to build Sansha is firm. It sends the message that China will not only respond to any provocation but will be proactive,” Yu said.

“Establishing the city is the first step, followed by the immediate task of developing Sansha into a solid frontier to protect China’s territory, which includes islands and undersea atolls in the South China Sea region,” he added.

He said the establishment of Sansha City was a response to “provocations” of counter-claimants Vietnam and the Philippines.

“The disputes in the South China Sea have intensified as Vietnam and the Philippines have been seeking to break the status quo by provocatively developing the area. Establishing Sansha City is China’s reaction to their provocations. China is now securing its sovereignty,” said Yu.

The China Daily meanwhile said China’s efforts to develop its Navy should not set off alarm bells in the region.  The newspaper instead criticized neighbors for posing a threat to China’s security.

The paper specifically cited the Philippines, a vocal claimant to the Spratlys, and Japan, with which the Chinese have a dispute over East China Sea islands, in justifying China’s need to bulk up its naval muscle.

“The provocation of countries like Japan and the Philippines who covet Chinese islands and waters has complicated and even worsened the country’s security environment. The need to usher in a better security environment in its vicinity highlights the fact that its capabilities have fallen far behind its needs,” the editorial read.

The paper said other countries should not be overly concerned about China’s moves to beef up its maritime power.

“The higher visibility of the Chinese navy has aroused concerns and even wild speculation overseas… It is unnecessary to overreact or read too much into China’s efforts to build itself into a maritime power,” said the editorial.

“China does not seek hegemony. It will not pose a threat to others. Its resolve to enhance its defense forces only serves its need to cultivate a good security environment for its peaceful development,” the paper said.

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  • Rigoberto_Doronila

    Philippine Foreign Policy in summary:

    All bark and no bite.

  • victor1052

    Don’t meddle in the business regarding the paracels(where sansha is situated) which we are not claiming anyway. It’s between vietnam and China. Let China kill vietnam. This will give us one less rival for the spratleys. Stupid DFA. Mind our own business. 

    • PurpleDaisy13

      re: “Don’t meddle in the business regarding the paracels(where sansha is situated) which we are not claiming anyway”


      An island in the middle of the South China Sea near the Paracels is too far from the Philippines EEZ and has no historical significance to the Philippines.

      Philippines DFA is embarrassing the country for being cry-babies, complainers, and trouble-makers at the Paracel islands.

    • Hai Nguyen

       Your attitude is precisely what China has been hoping for and nearly accomplished: when each small neighbor fears to engage a united opposition to their greedy claim for the whole sea, allowing them to take 1 out at a time. Eventually, there will be no rival for the Spratley’s that the Philippines has to concern with because China owns everything.

    • Iwaspaputok

       Philippines and Vietnam should closely united on this question. Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia can settle their differences in the spirit of ASEAN and face China

      • PurpleDaisy13

        re: “Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia”

        Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia has yet to settle any difference since signing the Declaration for the Code of Conduct for Parties in the South China Sea back in 2002.

        10 years later, Philippine, Vietnam, and Malaysia are still in conflict with who owns what.  It is clear that Vietnam does not believe Philippines owns any of the Spratly islands while Philippines doesn’t care what Vietnam thinks.

        ASEAN has not proven to resolve any of their disputes for the past 10 years.

      • Iwaspaputok

         Well, Vietnam and Malaysia have a common extended continental shelf project. It shows that the 2 countries can work together. Vietnam and the Philippines had several scientific projects in Spratlys.
        The only solution is an ASEAN-China solution, not bilateral. Forget about sovereignty, think cooperation

      • PurpleDaisy13

        re: “The only solution is an ASEAN-China solution, not bilateral. Forget about sovereignty, think cooperation”

        Everyone appears to have lost confidence in multilateral solutions and seems to all have engaged in bilateral solutions with other countries.

        Sovereignty is the only factor recognized by UNCLOS; not Cooperation that is not legally binding. 

      • ano ikaw

        Idiot…stop your generalizations.Of course your mother land has been undermining all diplomatic solutions put forward by the contesting parties. You are an idiot to reiterate that fact, when we all know that China only believes in physical/military force to get what it wants.

      • PurpleDaisy13


        re: “we all know that China only believes in physical/military force to get what it wants.”

        I’m sorry ano_ikaw, but their belief appears to have paid off.  China has control and current occupation of Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island/Panatag) due to their physical/military force.

        Your Philippines is so weak with regard to physical/military force that you can’t get what you want.

        I’m sorry that you have to lose ano_ikaw, but that’s life when you’re an idiot.

        Look at the United Kingdom.  They are a much smaller country than your Philippines and has a much smaller population and yet their physical/military force will kick your weak azz because they are the 5th most powerful military in the World.

        While your nearly non-existent Naval force sucks.

  • Albert Einstien

    NOYNOYING govt should read this NEWS: 12/2612 China announced early this week that it will invest more than $1.6 BILLION or P 66 BILLION pesos.. to build infrastructure, including an airport and piers, on the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea …KATUMBAS na yan ng BOUNG  AFP modernization budget for 5 YEARS…

    CORY ADMINISTRATION ALLOWED CHINA intrusion in 1987 to our Kagitingan Reef then .. they are NOW CLAIMING the whole SCS.
    The Geology and Mineral Resources Ministry of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has estimated that the Spratly area holds oil and natural gas reserves of 17.7 billion tons (1.60 × 1010 kg), as compared to the 13 billion tons (1.17 × 1010 kg) held by Kuwait, placing it as the fourth largest reserve bed in the world. These large reserves assisted in intensifying the situation and propelled the territorial claims of the neighboring countries.
    In 1968, the Philippines stationed troops on three islands which had been claimed by the adventurer Tomas Cloma as part of Freedomland On 11 March 1976, the first major Philippine oil discovery occurred off the coast of Palawan, near the Spratly Islands territory. As of 2010, these oil fields accounted for fifteen percent of all petroleum consumed in the Philippines.The government has received a total of P228.45 billion from the Malampaya gas-to-power project off Palawan since the complex began producing natural gas commercially in 2002.
    OBSERVATION STATIONS & resource study experts February 1987, commissioned by the Chinese government, establishing five marine observation stations. China Nansha station is located in the “Kagitingan Reef” to the Filipino to china Fiery Cross Reef.
    In early February 1988, the China Construction forces launched the construction of NO.74 ocean observatory on”Kagitingan Reef” . To guarantee the security of the establishment of the station site from 18 January to 14 March 1988, the South China Sea Fleet entered the Spratly Islands.
    then AFTER china established structures in SPRATLY ….cory INSTEAD of PROTESTING & sending the NAVY….she choose to go to her relatives in CHINA……” When President Cory came to Hongjian Village in 1988 she planted an araucaria tree (a genus of coniferous evergreen) to commemorate her visit. She also lighted incense at the altar of the Ancestral Temple of the Xu (Co) Clan. She was quoted as having remarked “I am the President, but I am also the daughter of Hongjian Village” ( news item )
    but VIETNAM protested fiercly while CORY visited her blood relatives at the time we are LOSING POSSESSION of our territories… RP now is in DILEMNA how can we KICK -OUT GIANT prc china in spratly…
    PNOY-TRILLANES secret deals with china is all in the news..after backdoor deals..china established govt on our islands in july 2012…NOW under PNOY again..e-passports of china now CLAIM our territory as their own..If only cory sent the AFP like what marcos did …CHINA now will not be claiming our territories…
    not only Cory-Pnoy tandem that we are losing territories in scs…..but EVEN RP’s MARCOS RECLAIM of SABAH which has potential to produce 1 million barrel of oil a day..was EXPOSED by NINOY AQUINO jr..( father of Pnoy ).. Ninoy is well known to be friends of Malaysian leaders like tunku Ismail Ibrahim & Sultan Iskandar ……..(In fact ,ninoy is a friend to malaysia EVEN during marcos time …on his clandestine with fake passports ( not heroic in fact that is a crime on itself ….. ) returned to RP sought the help of malaysians…in august 1983 ( route from Boston, via Los Angeles to Singapore met Tunku Ibrahim Ismail of Johor, then they proceeded to Johor met with other Malaysian leaders & with Sultan Iskandar …( wikipedia).

    • Noel

      During the time of Marcos, he did not allow even a piece of land to be taken by a foreign country.  In fact, he even attempted to reclaim Sabah.  When Cory took over, our sovereignty began to fall.  Not only that, it was during Cory’s time that the leftist groups that were sympathetic to China began entering the government and politics.  

  • ano ikaw

    Shut all Chinese businesses in the Phils.

  • Eyes

    Let me tell you something ano ikaw – The Philippine cannot kill China’s economic growth, but China can kill the Philippine’s economic growth just a piece of cake 123 and it’s done. Why? because China has huge consumers. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.   

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