Colmenares to gov't: Condemn China's use of military posing as fishing vessel | Global News

Colmenares to gov’t: Condemn China’s use of military posing as fishing vessel

/ 05:36 PM June 28, 2019

Colmenares to gov't: Condemn China's use of military posing as fishing vessel

Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares has called on the Philippine government and other stakeholders in the region to act against China’s use of military ships — allegedly posing as fishing boats — in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

“Since the Chinese Militia is a part of China’s Armed Forces, this deception is tantamount to China deploying its military against civilians.  Even the supposedly civilian Chinese coast guard has recently been merged with China’s Armed Forces,” Colmenares claimed.

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Colmenares, who is in an international lawyers’ conference in Moscow, Russia, said on Friday that countries can file a resolution before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and the UN Security Council to control the situation.

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“We can file a resolution with the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council calling for the UN to intervene to avoid escalating the tension in the disputed area,” he said in a message to reporters.

“Unless the South China Sea is demilitarized, China will continue to bully the other disputants because of its military superiority in the area.  If the disputants cannot agree on demilitarization, we must resort to institutions like the United Nations to implement the dismantling of military installations and demilitarization of the entire South China Sea by all countries including China and the other disputants,” he added.

According to the militant group leader, several experts from other Asian countries have similarly concluded that China is intent on militarizing the region.  He said that claims about the Chinese maritime militia have been discussed by To Anh Tuan, the Deputy Director of Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Studies of Vietnam.

“He (Tuan) showed pictures of Chinese fishing boats with high level communication equipment but without the usual fishing gear,” Colmenares relayed.

“He also showed satellite images of these Chinese boats just anchored for long periods in areas where there are no fish, which means they are not there to fish but to impose China’s military control in South China Sea incuding the bullying of civilian fishermen from other countries,” he added.

Colmenares also mentioned studies from Japan’s former Deputy Defense Minister Hideshi Tokuchi, who said that even China’s civilian coast guard has been merged with its military units.

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In the Philippines, talks about the Asian countries’ different stakes on the West Philippine Sea rose again after an incident where a Chinese vessel collided with a Filipino fishing boat in Recto Bank on July 9.  The area was inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

READ: China fishing vessel sinks Filipino boat after ‘collision’ in West Philippine Sea 

READ: Chinese vessel abandons PH boat after collision 

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte was quoted as saying that China can continue its fishing activities in its EEZ.  Critics countered that he can be impeached for these statements, as the 1987 Constitution mandates the president and military to protect the EEZ, so that it could be enjoyed solely by Filipinos. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)

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Duterte: China can fish in Philippines’ EEZ 

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Del Rosario says Duterte can be impeached for not defending territory 

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TAGS: China, local news, militia, Philippine news update, West Philippine Sea

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