Philippines rejects new Chinese territorial claim

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Galaxy, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Aug 27, 2011
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    Philippines rejects new Chinese territorial claim

    (AP) MANILA, Philippines — China has claimed new territory less than 50 miles (80 kilometers) from a Philippine province, boosting tensions over potentially resource-rich areas of the South China Sea, but the Philippines has dismissed the claim, an official said Monday.

    Energy Undersecretary Jose Layug Jr. told The Associated Press that China protested a Philippine plan to explore for oil and gas in the area in July. It is the closest point in waters off the main Philippine islands that China has claimed in the increasingly tense territorial disputes.

    Beijing has been asserting its territorial claims more aggressively as its economic and diplomatic muscle has grown. Its new claims are likely to bolster Philippine resolve to seek a U.N. ruling on the long-simmering disputes, which involve China, the Philippines and four other claimants.

    Among the areas being contested is the Spratlys, a chain of up to 190 islands, reefs, coral outcrops and banks believed to be sitting atop large deposits of oil and natural gas, which many fear could be Asia's next flash point for conflict.

    The issue is expected to be discussed Wednesday with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    The two new areas being claimed by China are not part of the Spratlys, Layug said.

    The Chinese Embassy delivered a protest to the Philippine government on July 4 after Manila invited foreign companies to bid for the right to explore for oil and gas in 15 areas. Chinese officials opposed the inclusion of "areas 3 and 4" northwest of Palawan province, claiming they fall under Chinese sovereign territory.

    "The Chinese government urges the Philippine side to immediately withdraw the bidding offer in areas 3 and 4, refrain from any action that infringes on China's sovereignty and sovereign rights," China said in a diplomatic note to Manila, adding that the Philippine action "cannot but complicate the disputes and affect stability in the South China Sea."

    China told the Philippine government that the planned oil explorations violated a nonbinding 2002 accord that called on claimants to South China Sea territories to stop occupying new areas and avoid action that could spark tension.

    In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a regular briefing: "We do not want foreign commerce involved in these kinds of investment and disputes over the South China Sea."

    Palawan province, about 510 miles (820 kilometers) southwest of Manila, faces the South China Sea, which is claimed entirely by China.

    One of the offshore areas now being claimed by Beijing lies just 49 miles (79 kilometers) northwest of Palawan, while the other is 76 miles (123 kilometers) from the western Philippine province, Layug said.

    The Philippine government told China the areas are located well within Philippine waters and are far from any disputed area, officials said.

    "The areas that we're offering for bidding are all within Philippine territory," Layug said. "There is no doubt about that."

    The two areas are more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) from the nearest Chinese coast, Layug said.

    About 50 foreign investors, including some of the world's largest oil companies, have expressed interest in exploring for oil and gas in the Philippines, half of them in the new areas being claimed by China, because of strong indications of oil there, he said.

    None of the prospective foreign companies has expressed concern over the territorial disputes, Layug said.

    "Of course their issue would be ensuring security and the support of the Philippine government when they are awarded the contract," he said.

    In March, two Chinese vessels tried to drive away a Philippine oil exploration ship from Reed Bank, another area west of Palawan. Two Philippine air force planes were deployed, but the Chinese vessels had disappeared by the time they reached the submerged bank.

    The Philippines protested the incident, which it said was one of several intrusions by China into its territorial waters in the first half of the year. Vietnam has also accused Chinese vessels of trying to sabotage oil exploration in its territorial waters this year, sparking rare anti-China protests in Vietnam.

    A British company behind the exploration at Reed Bank found very strong indications of natural gas and plans to start drilling in about six months, Layug said.

    President Benigno Aquino III plans to discuss a Philippine proposal at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit this week in Bali, Indonesia, to segregate disputed South China Sea areas so coastal states can freely make use of non-disputed areas. China has opposed the plan.

    Aquino's government also plans to bring the territorial disputes before the United Nations for possible arbitration.

    Philippines rejects new Chinese territorial claim - CBS News
  3. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Aug 27, 2011
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    According to great qing dynasty, Each and every neighbour's territory belongs to China. :pound: :rofl:

    On same criteria, As per Ancient India - Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Pakistan, Nepal, SL, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan are part of India too. AKHAND BHARAT. 8)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  4. sukhish

    sukhish Senior Member Senior Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    I think they will come India fold by default, thanks to china.
  5. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

    Oct 24, 2010
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    Wait for the US to up the ante.

    Multiple locations of threats means lesser burden on our borders and lesser threats.

    Not to talk of the money need to spend for China to counter each.
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    [h=1]Dispute Over Bare Islands Underscores Philippines’ Rocky Relations With China[/h]
    PALAWAN, Philippines — The rhetorical missiles fired by a state-owned Chinese newspaper late last month landed squarely on the shores of this westernmost province and a few dozen kilometers from the coral reefs and scrub-covered islets claimed by China, the Philippines and a number of other nations.
    “If these countries don’t want to change their ways with China, they will need to prepare for the sound of cannons,” wrote the unapologetically nationalistic Global Times, referring to the 750 islands and spits of land in the South China Sea, known as the Spratly Islands, which are also contested by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
    The following day, a riposte of sorts crackled on the sugar-white sands of Palawan as hundreds of American and Philippine Marines scurried from rubber dinghies and stormed into the adjacent jungle with machine guns blazing. It may have been a drill, but the symbolism was not lost on the throng of Filipino journalists on the beach for the occasion.
    Although both militaries said the location and timing were coincidental, the Philippine commander, Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, appeared to relish the show of force at a time when China’s growing assertiveness has rattled Manila and neighboring governments with claims to the islands.
    “The mere deployment of missiles or sound of cannons will not scare us from protecting our own territory,” General Sabban said as the drill got under way.
    China’s increasingly muscular claims over the Spratlys and two other island groups — one off the coast of Vietnam and another closer to Japan — have also unnerved the United States, which in recent weeks has been telegraphing plans to strengthen its presence in the region. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a stopover in Manila on Tuesday to observe the 60th anniversary of the defense treaty that binds the two countries.
    But even as it takes comfort in its longstanding alliance with the United States, the Philippines, a former American colony, is eager to find common ground with its giant neighbor to the north, whose growing economic pull it is finding impossible to resist.
    Although still relatively modest, Chinese investment in the Philippines doubled last year to $86 million, and bilateral trade, at $30 billion, was up 35 percent. During his first state visit to Beijing in August, President Benigno S. Aquino III took along 200 business leaders and courted investment in the hope that Chinese largess might buoy long-neglected infrastructure projects.
    In the months after his June 2010 election, Mr. Aquino made some striking concessions to China. The Philippines was one of the few democratic counties last year to hold back its ambassador from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony honoring the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. A few months later, Manila angered Taiwan by honoring Beijing’s request to deport to mainland China 14 fraud suspects who hailed from Taiwan.
    But the limits of Manila’s influence were revealed shortly after Mr. Aquino’s visit, when the mainland Chinese authorities executed three Filipinos accused of drug trafficking despite Mr. Aquino’s clemency pleas. The executions, and an increase in skirmishes between fishermen and naval vessels from both countries, have fueled Philippine determination to stand up to Beijing.
    Walden Bello, a congressman who made a symbolic touchdown on one of the contested islands last summer, said the Philippines was grappling with the realization that China’s economic prowess would probably eclipse that of United States.
    “Everybody has been affected by the sense that American power is on the wane and that China’s is on the rise,” he said. “But the fact that China would make such a brash and astounding claim to the entire South China Sea is disconcerting. I think there’s a feeling that we can’t allow our economic dependence on China let them trample all over us.”
    China does not claim that the entire South China Sea is under its sovereignty. But it does make disputed claims to island territories in the sea that would, if recognized, give it sway over developing resources in large parts of the sea, which are among the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
    The sea has substantial oil and gas reserves that, if fully developed, could someday rival those of Kuwait. Also at stake are rich fishing grounds that by some estimates supply about a tenth of the world’s commercial seafood.
    In injecting itself into the dispute — beginning last year when Mrs. Clinton declared the issue a matter of “national interest” — the United States has emphasized the area’s crucial role as a conduit for maritime trade.
    Despite its vulnerable economy and a weak military that relies on warships from World War II, the Philippines has not shied away from confrontation. In a gesture of patriotic bravado, government officials and the news media have taken to calling the region the West Philippine Sea, and Mr. Aquino has been vocally asserting claims to the islands, some of which are less than 50 miles off the coast of Palawan but more than 500 miles from China’s southernmost province.

    “Our message to the world is clear: What is ours is ours. Setting foot on Recto Bank is no different from setting foot on Recto Avenue,” he said in a recent state of the union address, referring to an oil-rich area 80 miles from Palawan and a prominent thoroughfare in Manila.
    Mr. Aquino has ordered increased Coast Guard patrols in Recto Bank — prompted by an incident in which Chinese ships tried to interfere with Philippine-led oil exploration efforts — and he has been avidly cementing ties with Vietnam and Japan. He has also been pushing a multilateral approach to resolving the Spratlys dispute, including involving the United Nations, despite China’s insistence that each country’s claim be tackled through one-on-one negotiation.
    Filipinos and the Chinese have ties that reach back centuries. Many of the country’s most prominent businessmen are ethnic Chinese, and Mr. Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino, traced her roots to coastal Fujian Province.
    Few analysts expect the two countries to go to war over the Spratlys issue, but increasingly frequent skirmishes have kept the issue at a low boil.
    “Although there is an appreciation that Aquino is engaged on this issue, the anti-China rhetoric coming from the government is not seen to represent the overall interests of the country,” said Aileen Baviera, dean of the Asian Center at the University of the Philippines. “Tough talk from a country with a very small stick is not always very pragmatic.”
    LETHALFORCE likes this.

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