Chinese ships remain in Scarborough Shoal


MANILA, Philippines—Defense Chief Voltaire Gazmin on Friday said China had maintained its presence in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea a year after the standoff between the Philippine Navy and Chinese vessels.

Gazmin said that two Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) vessels and a Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC) vessel had remained in the area.

“They are there but we don’t want the problem to escalate. We have done our part by submitting this to an international court of arbitration. We want a peaceful resolution of the case,” he said.

Gazmin, however, said the Philippine government continues to monitor the area through the military’s naval and air assets.

On Thursday, an Australian defense and security expert said that China was likely to increase its presence in the area to assert its jurisdiction over it.

“I don’t think it is the riches that some portray it to be. It is a sovereignty issue,” Russell Smith, director of defense and security in the Asia Pacific of IHS, a US-based critical information provider, told reporters.

IHS is the publisher of Jane’s Defense Weekly, a popular military-related magazine that provides security and defense intelligence and analysis, among others.

“I can see the Chinese increasing their patrol activity. I know the Chinese marine surveillance vessels were operating last week,” Smith said.

“I will say to you that I would anticipate that the Chinese maritime surveillance vessels, patrol activity would be increasing in that region and through the West Philippine Sea in the months ahead,” he added.

In April last year, Chinese vessels and a Philippine Navy ship, which was later replaced by a Coast Guard ship, figured in a standoff as China asserted its claim over the Panatag Shoal, triggering tension in the area as the number of Chinese vessels ballooned to nearly a hundred.

The Philippines said that Panatag Shoal was an integral part of the Philippine territory.

Citing information provided to him by an analyst of the Energy and Business Group of IHS, Smith said that oil exploration in the disputed shoal was actually not economically viable.

“There’s no oil and gas in Scarborough Shoal. According to our analyst, if there’s anything about the area, it’s not fighting over oil and gas…Majority of the oil and gas out of the South China Sea (or the West Philippine Sea), has already been discovered,” Smith said.

“It is not economically viable to extract. It is too deep. We don’t think there is anything significant out there anymore,” Smith added.

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  • Val Sor

    Boycott Made In China products. If you do, you keep jobs at home, and you avoid helping grow the Chinese Navy. For each dollar you pay for a Chinese product, 60 cents go to the Chinese government — money they use to build their military they use to harass us! Love your countrymen. Boycott Made In China products now.

    • kulas2

      Boycott more!!! Look at this:
      .”[China] has been a very bad place to keep your money…The Chinese economy has quadrupled in nominal terms in the last 10 years,” he says. “Western investors in the Chinese stock market have basically made nothing in that 10-year period. That’s a staggering indictment of the form of capitalism that exists in China.”

      And if the bubble bursts Western investors stand to lose whatever investment they might have made.

      Chanos explained his concerns about China at last week’s 2013 Wine Country Conference in support of Les Turner ALS Foundation to The Daily Ticker’s Lauren Lyster. According to Chanos:

      China is adding the equivalent of $2.5 trillion of new debt annually

      30% of China’s GDP growth depends on new credit creation—half outside of normal banking circles

      China’s excessive credit creation is invested in the wrong sectors

      Every new dollar of debt created is yielding less growth in GDP

  • Per Fernandez


  • Per Fernandez

    The only way to solve that problem with China is to fast track the A F P modernization.It happens the modernization is more on talking than acquiring the armament example the italian frigates now they scrapped the plan in favor of new, the two italian frigates is worth of one brand new frigates.

  • Grin Olsson

    It seems to me that regardless of three Chinese ships in the area or not, the United States and the Philippines should hold maneuvers on the Scarborough Shoals with helicopter landings of troops while U.S. Navy and the Philippines Navy watch on – and literally ignore the Chinese presence – that would really freak the Chinese out – and be a major happening for the Philippines – What does the government say to this? I think it’s a fantastic idea!

  • Rommie V. Pacana

    It is a big embarrassment to the Armed Force of the Philippines for its failure to drive away those Chinese intruders from our territorial waters…the Department of National Defense is only good at announcing that the Chinese are still there in Scarborough Shoal and have done nothing…what a shame…

    • $18209031

      Kulang sa budget sa gasolina ang PAF Islander na mag ikut ikut doon.

  • completelybaffled

    Bring the US bases back.

  • kapitanvic1

    Our revenge on China is coming in the form of H7N9 bird flu virus and unhealthy environment caused by off the charts pollution readings. Karma, perhaps?

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