China holds ‘war games’

A+
A
A-

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez. INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Chinese military forces on Wednesday held air and ground defense exercises in the protested Sansha City in the southern province of Hainan, the prefecture established last year to govern the disputed Spratlys islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The exercises were held amid a string of already controversial moves China has made in the contested waters—oil exploration, sea patrols and plans to build infrastructure—despite its reiteration that it will never provoke tension among claimants to the resource-rich islands.

As this developed, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) called on China to stop its provocation in the disputed waters as claimant nations hope to resolve the debate peacefully.

“We continue to call on China to act responsibly and refrain from taking further action that will heighten tensions in the region,” said DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.

Citing information from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the South China Morning Post said the drills were held on Jan. 2 at Sansha City in the Paracels, the city of Shenyang in northeast China’s Liaoning province and Jinan, the capital city of the eastern Chinese province of Shandong.

The PLA said drills were also held on New Year’s Day in the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang, also a province in eastern China.

PH claims not covered

The drills do not appear to cover Philippine-claimed territories in the West Philippine Sea, including the Kalayaan Island Group in the Spratlys off Palawan and the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal off Zambales. Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also have partial claims to territories in the West Philippine Sea.

The exercises were aimed at “enhancing soldiers’ combat consciousness and capabilities” in the event of a surprise attack, the Hong Kong newspaper said.

Drills included “air defense, antiterrorist, emergency muster and fire drills,” according to the Post.

The report also revealed that some 1,000 civilians and 6,000 Chinese troops are stationed as “permanent residents” in Sansha City, established in June last year as a Hainan prefecture to exercise administrative powers over all of the Spratlys islands.

Infrastructure investments

China is reported to be planning to infuse a $1.6-billion investment in the city to develop its infrastructure, including air and sea ports.

The city sits in the Paracels, also a disputed island chain being claimed by Taipei and Vietnam. While the Philippines has no claim to the islands, the DFA has a standing protest to Sansha’s establishment as its jurisdiction covers Philippine-claimed parts of the Spratlys.

Asked for comment, the DFA asserted the Philippines’ sovereign rights over West Philippine Sea territories within the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

“No military activities shall be undertaken by any country within the Philippine maritime and territorial jurisdiction without the consent and authority by the Philippine government,” Hernandez said in a statement.

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

  • opinyonlangpo

    The Philippines too will conduct wargames once the ships, warplanes and helicopters that it ordered will arrive, probably after four years more.

  • DurangoJoe

    PurpleDaisy13, I got another more important thing to tell you that will make you sick with diarrhea.. According to international law “secret treaties” is illegal. Beijing openly says that she “is in solidarity with Taiwan in the West Philippine Sea grab.” Each country seem to exactly know their role in the West Philippine Sea grab and not a single incident of disagreement indicate that these two countries are individually pursuing their goal which means that these two countries already have an unnamed treaty or an agreement to the detriment of the other countries. They are joining forces to gain strategic advantage which is illegal according to international law. You should get a brick and hit your head with this law.

    • PurpleDaisy13

      re: “According to international law “secret treaties” is illegal.”

      DurangoJoe, after you’ve damaged your credibility by misinterpreting Article 52, under the Vienna Convention of Law on Treaties, you are required to share us your source of all future accusations.

      Thus, you need to share with us your source of “Secret Treaties as being illegal” according to International Law.  Tell us what part of International Law, it’s Article or Section that describes your discovery.

      Otherwise, you’re just pulling more sh*t out of your azz again for all of us to smell DurangoJoe.

      • DurangoJoe

        Now i am convinced that you don’t know sh!t about international law. You have to have to find it yourself and be surprised at what you don’t know. Besides even if I tell you, you don’t understand the implications of the law anyway like Article 52, so it is a total waste of time. Now this is not an accusations but a fact. But just to remind you, Beijing and Taiwan are mortal enemies. It is included in Taiwan’s constitution that they will take back mainland China in the future. Beijing promises to invade Taiwan if she declares independence from Beijing. This was the situation between the two countries before the South China Sea territorial grab. Then all of a sudden these two countries are in bed with each other. There has to be an agreement between the countries to create this great leap forward for both countries. International law is all about following the rule of law. Mitt Romney and Obama already said that “China does not follow the rules.” Always trying to cheat their neighbors to get ahead and now it is even worse that Taiwan is included in the scheme. Secret treaties between two countries to grab the whole South China is illegal. You don’t have to believe what I say. You can discredit everything I say because you don’t want to accept the fact. What is it to you anyway? You are an American.

      • H_A_B_A_G_A_T

        amen hahahha,
        turuan mo daw sya.
        50 cent party yan, trabaho nyan mag twist ng mga facts mag sinungaling at atakihin ng personal ang ibang commentator.
        pag nalaman nya ung facts mas madali na sa kanya etwist .

        good job bro. 

      • DurangoJoe

         Thank you. Mabuhay Philippines!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6NVJE4NYLGDSCO6KQ4GWP35SVM Macario

    Do we need to make this a news? China holding war games? I think it’s their right to do so as long as they gamely bomb their own territory…no fuzz about it. The Philippines can also do the same…mabuti nga yan e nang maubos ang armaments nila…

  • Manuel Pacquiao

    Bayot diay ka bai kay wala ka pa naminyo. Kaon ka ug ahas? utin siguro na bai imong gikaon? Bayot man diay ka, tig supsup

  • Manuel Pacquiao

    AFP diay ka? hahaha.

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