Posts Tagged ‘Permanent Court of Arbitration’

Some Countries Defy China’s Ban on South China Sea Fishing

June 14, 2017

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China is enforcing new limits on fishing in the South China Sea, despite protests from countries with fishing operations in the disputed waterway.

The Chinese government said it began a new fishing moratorium last month to protect fishing stocks. The moratorium lasts for three months, 30 days longer than in previous years. It also covers more fishing operations than previous moratoriums.

Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines all claim control over waters within the area covered by the moratorium. Some fishing boat operators in those countries are defying the moratorium.

The Vietnamese government criticized the moratorium, questioning its legality.

The Philippines government has been working with China to resolve trade disputes and has not commented on the new fishing moratorium.

Taiwan’s government gives awards to fishing boat operators who set their own fishing limits. The government said it would assist fishing operators affected by the new Chinese fishing rules.

Taiwanese boats are known to follow blue-fish tuna in the South China Sea.

Chiu Chui-cheng is an official with the Taiwan government’s Mainland Affairs Council. He said Taiwan officials are ready to order rescue missions “to protect the safety of fishing crews and their vessels.”

“So we ask that our Taiwanese friends in the fishing industry relax,” he said.

Taiwanese fishing boats flying national flags prepare to leave for Taiping Island in 2016. Taiwan and China have disputing claims in the South China Sea.

Taiwanese fishing boats flying national flags prepare to leave for Taiping Island in 2016. Taiwan and China have disputing claims in the South China Sea.

China has enforced previous South China Sea fishing moratoriums by arresting fishing boat operators. But analysts said many fishing operators know the best areas to fish to avoid drawing attention of Chinese officials.

Murray Hiebert is an area expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He said China is likely to use different enforcement methods against violators of its fishing moratorium.

They include taking control of fishing boats, arresting boat operators or sinking boats whose operators do not follow orders from Chinese authorities

Hiebert said, “Some Vietnamese fishing boats will continue going out to fish and risk harassment or arrests. Others are likely to hang back to avoid trouble.”

Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis praised China for working to limit North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But he said the United States would not accept a Chinese military buildup on islands in the South China Sea.

Mattis made the comments while attending a recent meeting in Singapore.

Chinese Foreign Minister official Hua Chunying responded to Mattis by saying China will continue to “safeguard” its claims to the South China Sea.

But Hua said China remains ready to “peacefully” resolve disputes to uphold the “peace and stability of the South China Sea.”

Ralph Jennings reported on this story for VOA News. Bruce Alpert adapted the story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and share your views on our Facebook Page.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/some-countries-defy-china-ban-on-south-china-sea-fishing/3897179.html

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FILE photo provided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac —  A Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Time To Take Action To Defend The Philippines

June 13, 2017
OPINION
/ 12:22 AM June 13, 2017

I meant to write on Rizal and President Duterte, but taking part in the Defend Democracy Summit at the UP School of Economics on Monday brought me face to face with the human toll of the Duterte administration’s irresolution in defending the West Philippine Sea. We must make time to understand the Duterte era from a historical perspective; on Thursday, the Inquirer and the De La Salle University seek to do just that, with a historians’ forum on Philippine independence and the rise of China. But today—today I want to talk about Norma and Ping and the fishermen in Zambales they represent.

Let me belabor the obvious: The Defend Democracy Summit was called out of the sense that democracy in the Philippines today needs to be defended. The organizers defined four areas that needed defending: national sovereignty, human rights, democratic institutions, truth.

Assigned to the first workshop, I had the chance to listen to Prof. Jay Batongbacal, one of the world’s leading experts on the South China Sea disputes. (I added a few words on the Chinese view, from confusion in the 1930s about the location of the Spratlys to allegations in the English-language Chinese press of Philippine aggression in 2016.) In the discussion that followed, the diversity of the perspectives represented was striking: women, businessmen, students, environmentalists, political activists, fisherfolk. I was especially impressed by the intensity of the intervention of the likes of Norma and Ping, who represented fishermen from Zambales whose lives and livelihood are increasingly at risk.

 

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Not for lack of trying: The fishermen are organized, conduct roundtables in their communities, connect to local and national reporters. But since the start of the Duterte administration, they have found themselves at the mercy of the Chinese—and the authorities do not seem to be of any help. One of the representatives spoke of a recent incident where Chinese fishermen were arrested while poaching in internal waters, and a Chinese Embassy official appeared to tell police officers: “Philippine law does not apply to them (the poachers).” (I will try to get to the bottom of this incident.) He also vigorously rejected media reports that Filipino fishermen can now fish inside Scarborough Shoal.

A group of Zambales fishermen has been conducting meetings and workshops among themselves. In their last workshop, they came up with a list of five demands, in Filipino, that illustrates the immediate effect of the government’s failure to protect their way of life.

The five demands they addressed to the Duterte administration include:

Remove China’s illegal structures and stop certain practices that only favor China.

Allow fishermen to fish and to seek cover in Scarborough Shoal in times of typhoons and calamities.

Provide livelihood for fishermen’s families affected (by Chinese control of Scarborough Shoal since 2012).

Avoid classifying Scarborough as a marine sanctuary because in the end this will only become a fishing area for China.

Stop the illegal quarrying in Zambales used for the reclamation (of Chinese-occupied reefs) and the building of Chinese military structures, in the West Philippine Sea.

Another representative warned: “In five years, maybe in two years, Zambales will be out”—meaning out of fish stock, because of aggressive Chinese fishing.

Yesterday, June 12, was the 90th birthday of an extraordinary teacher who is, amazingly, still teaching. Onofre Pagsanghan, better known to generations of students at the Ateneo de Manila High School, and to thousands of students and parents who have heard his lectures in different schools across the country, as Mr. Pagsi, was—is—a spellbinding speaker. His gift is equal parts heart and craft; a lifetime of integrity and excellence becomes visible through his lectures, even his casual remarks.

What a privilege it was to study under him.

On Twitter: @jnery_newsstand

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104727/remove-chinas-illegal-structures#ixzz4js4z0UQu
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FILE photo provided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac —  A Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines defy China fishing moratorium — Sovereignty and China’s legal rights at issue

June 10, 2017

Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines are defying a Chinese imposed fishing moratorium in the South China Sea, which includes areas embroiled in territorial disputes, VOA News reported.

The countries object to the three-month ban, which was imposed by China on May 1 without consulting them.

Chinese maritime security agencies patrol the waters and have previously arrested unlicensed vessels. However, since a United Nations tribunal declined to uphold China’s territorial claims for much of the sea last year, the legality of the country’s actions isn’t certain.

https://www.undercurrentnews.com/2017/06/09/vietnam-taiwan-and-the-philippines-defy-china-fishing-moratorium/

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VOA

Countries Defy China’s Extra-Strict Fishing Moratorium in South China Sea

June 09, 2017 2:36 AM
By Ralph Jennings
FILE - Fishing boats are docked in Tho Quang port, Danang, Vietnam, March 26, 2016. Fishermen from around the South China Sea tell stories of contending with bandits and coast guards.

FILE – Fishing boats are docked in Tho Quang port, Danang, Vietnam, March 26, 2016. Fishermen from around the South China Sea tell stories of contending with bandits and coast guards.

China’s toughest rivals in a maritime sovereignty dispute are defying an extra-strict fishing moratorium declared by Beijing this year in the contested South China Sea, putting their own trawling fleets at risk of arrest.Beijing declared the moratorium on its own from May 1 for three months, 30 days longer than in previous years and restricting more types of fishing operations. It covers the South China Sea above the 12th parallel north of the equator. Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines claim waters inside the moratorium zone but did not agree with China to pause fishing.

Vietnam has condemned the moratorium while the Philippines, which held upbeat talks with China on their maritime disputes last month, has kept quiet, analysts believe, to avoid legitimizing the ban. Taiwan gives awards to fishing boat operators who impose their own moratorium and will help anyone caught by China.

In this image taken and made available by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (center right) reviews nautical charts aboard a Taiwan Navy ship before it sets out to patrol in the South China Sea.

In this image taken and made available by the Taiwan Presidential Office, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (center right) reviews nautical charts aboard a Taiwan Navy ship before it sets out to patrol in the South China Sea.

“Our fisheries agency in the past has sought fishing parties to warn them about safety matters involved with mainland China’s moratorium,” Chiu Chui-cheng, spokesman for the Taiwan government’s Mainland Affairs Council said. Taiwanese boats are known for following blue-fish tuna in the South China Sea.

“When operators encounter life safety or boat safety matter at sea, our government will immediately react and enact rescue measures to protect the safety of fishing crews and their vessels,” Chiu said. “So we ask that our Taiwanese friends in the fishing industry relax.”

The moratorium, after a world court tribunal ruled last year against Beijing’s claims much of the sea, casts new disdain on China around Asia while reminding other countries of the strength of Chinese de facto control.

“It’s no use protesting (the moratorium), because you’re acknowledging that they’re imposing the ban, but on the ground fishermen know where to avoid,” said Termsak Chalermpalanupap, a fellow with the ISEAS Yusof Ihsak Institute in Singapore.

Earlier fishing curbs

Beijing has enforced previous seasonal South China Sea fishing curbs, the first of which it declared in 1995, by arresting foreign fishing boats. After so many years, veteran boat operators know where they can safely go, analysts say.

China will check boats that it finds illegal and arrest any without a license, vessel name or port of registration, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council says.

But neither silence nor protests imply acceptance of a single country’s rule over the high seas, said Douglas Guilfoyle, associate international law professor at Monash University in Australia. High seas refers to waters outside the exclusive economic zones extending from the shores of coastal states.

“You are not obliged to contest claims without legal foundation,” Guilfoyle said. “International law requires not just that a state assert a new rule, but that other states accept it, and acceptance by acquiescence or silence isn’t a usual method of rule-making in international law. You normally need positive assent.”

South China Sea Territorial Claims

South China Sea Territorial Claims

China’s claims

China claims most of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea, citing historic records as a basis. It has alarmed the other claimants by letting coast guard vessels operate in disputed waters and by building artificial islands, some for military deployments.

The fishing moratorium violates a July world arbitration court ruling in The Hague against the legal basis for China’s claim over more than 90 percent of the South China Sea, analysts say.

China has gone easy on Philippine fishing boats over the past year as the two governments try to settle their dispute. Negotiators met last month for what the Philippine side described as a productive first meeting, according to media reports from Manila.

But Beijing routinely keeps Filipinos out of Scarborough Shoal, a prime fishing spot in Manila’s west coast exclusive economic zone, and boat operators know they can’t access it.

Vietnam, which despite a year of stepped-up dialogue with Beijing, still resents China over historical sovereignty disputes, said in March it would send ships to protect its fishing vessels from action taken under the moratorium.

The fishing boats will probably be detained, arrested or sunk as China sends its coast guard and maritime police, said Murray Hiebert, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington.

“Some Vietnamese fishing boats will continue going out to fish and risk harassment or arrest,” Hiebert said. “Others are likely to hang back to avoid trouble.”

China would arrest Vietnamese boats anyway, said Zhang Hongzhou, research fellow with the China Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

“This is not only during the moratorium,” Zhang said. “During the fishing season as well, if they trespass into the Chinese-controlled areas, the Chinese coast guard and other law enforcement vessels will take action against them.”

Countries dissatisfied with arrests can seek international arbitration at least to get a boat released, Guilfoyle said.

The sea yields 16.6 million tons of fish every year and the fishing industry employs about 3.7 million people, a National Geographic report said last year, but fish stocks are declining. Claimant countries also prize the sea for its marine shipping lanes and reserves of gas and oil.

https://www.voanews.com/a/countries-defy-chinas-extra-strict-fishing-moratorium-in-south-china-sea/3893413.html

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

China says it is vigilant as two U.S. bombers fly over South China Sea — Plus Who Lost the West Philippine Sea?

June 9, 2017

Reuters

China said on Friday it was monitoring U.S. military activities in the South China Sea, after two U.S. bombers conducted training flights over the disputed waters.

The U.S. Pacific Command said on its website that two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew a 10-hour training mission from Guam over the South China Sea on Thursday, in conjunction with the Navy’s USS Sterett guided-missile destroyer.

The exercise comes after a U.S. warship in late May carried out a “maneuvering drill” within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea.

The U.S. military conducts such “freedom of navigation” patrols to show China it is not entitled to territorial waters there, U.S. officials said at the time.

The latest exercise was part of Pacific Command’s “continuous bomber presence” program, but it did not give details on where it was conducted, and did not refer to it as a freedom-of-navigation operation.

“China always maintains vigilance and effective monitoring of the relevant country’s military activities in the South China Sea,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the United States.

“China’s military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and regional peace and stability,” it said.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes each year, a stance contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The United States has criticized China’s construction of islands and build-up of military facilities there, concerned they could be used to restrict free movement and extend China’s strategic reach.

U.S. allies and partners in the region had grown anxious as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump had held off on carrying out South China Sea operations during its first few months in office.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Who lost the West Philippine Sea?

/ 12:09 AM June 06, 2017

This could be the question that will haunt us in our old age. Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio asked the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum on Monday to imagine that moment, years from now, when our children and grandchildren will sit us down and ask us: “Who lost the West Philippine Sea to China?”

It is our “civic duty,” Carpio said, to raise the alarm today about the imminent loss of our territory and our waters, to forge a national consensus on what needs to be done, and to defend the West Philippine Sea.

What is at stake in the dispute with China, and in Beijing’s continuing disregard of the July 12, 2016, arbitral tribunal ruling? In his “The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea” (the e-book is available online, free of charge), Carpio added up the costs: The Philippines stands to lose “about 80 percent” of its exclusive economic zone (“including the entire Reed Bank and part of the Malampaya gas field”) and “100 percent” of its extended continental shelf (about 150,000 square kilometers of maritime space). Altogether, China’s claim to most of the South China Sea “encroaches on over 531,000 sq km of Philippine EEZ and ECS, including all the fishery, oil, gas, and mineral resources found within this vast area, which is larger than the total land area of the Philippines …” Carpio does not mince words: “This Chinese aggression is the gravest external threat to the Philippines since World War II.”

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Bill Hayton, the BBC journalist who is a leading expert on the South China Sea disputes, recently tweeted a link to a new article in the “Journal of Modern Chinese History.”

“The Origins of the South China Sea issue” is by Li Guoqiang, who is identified in the journal as “vice director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.” Perhaps not coincidentally, CASS publishes the journal.

Hayton’s one-tweet review is brutal: “Li Guoqiang demonstrating the intellectual bankruptcy of official Chinese history of the South China Sea. ‘Nonsense on stilts’.”

He points to his “favorite” among Li’s “ridiculous statements”: “For example, in 1791, British Captain Henry Spratly ‘discovered’ Mischief Reef in the Nansha Islands and named it after his German crewman Mischief.”

Set aside the mention of Mischief (the claim that the reef was named after a “German” crew member named Heribert Mischief seems dubious) or of the use of “Henry” (in fact, Captain Spratly’s name was Richard). But the man who gave his name to the Spratly Islands was born in 1802.

This ridiculousness is repeated in a propaganda website like http://www.spratlys.org (“Spratly Islands—China’s precious pearls in the South Sea!”), where the “timeline” asserts that “Captain Spratle arrived in the group and named the islands by his name” in 1791—11 years before he was born!

This is the kind of thinking that supports the aggressive Chinese posturing in the South China Sea. Just imagine if, rather than merely acknowledging Chinese military might, President Duterte’s scathing tongue were directed at this and other fallacies. Mischief abroad!

 

On Twitter: @jnery_newsstand

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/104569/lost-west-philippine-sea#ixzz4jVr93U3d
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Pentagon: China used coercive force to assert and maintain maritime claims

June 8, 2017
FILE – In this Friday, April 21, 2017, file photo, an airstrip, structures and buildings on China’s man-made Subi Reef in the Spratly chain of islands in the South China Sea are seen from a Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force. Beijing says it is “firmly opposed” to a Pentagon report on the Chinese military that highlighted China’s construction of military facilities on made-made islands in the South China Sea and speculated that Beijing would likely build more military bases overseas. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing has used its growing power to assert its sovereignty claims over features in the East and South China Seas, the US Department of Defense said in its 2017 China Military Power Report.

“China has used coercive tactics, such as the use of law enforcement vessels and its maritime militia, to enforce maritime claims and advance its interests in ways that are calculated to fall below the threshold of provoking conflict,” the report read.

The Pentagon reported that for the past year, China continued construction of its military outposts in the Spratly Islands in the disputed South China Sea, part of which the Philippines claims as the West Philippine Sea.

China can now deploy military asserts to the Spratly Islands as it is nearly finished with the construction of infrastructures on Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross Reefs.

READ: China can now deploy military assets to South China Sea

The report also noted that Beijing was able to land civilian aircraft on its airfields on the “Big Three” artificial islands.

The Pentagon took note of the July 2016 of an arbitral tribunal ruling which invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim in the disputed waters, which Beijing rejected.

“Among other things, the tribunal ruled that China’s ‘nine-dash line’ cannot represent a lawful maritime claim to the extent that any of the claims it reflects would exceed the limits of China’s maritime entitlements under the Convention,” the Pentagon said.

The report added that the United Nations-backed tribunal did not rule on sovereignty claims to land features which is an issue outside the scope of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

President Rodrigo Duterte did not attempt to advance the Philippines’ position based on the ruling, easing tensions between Beijing and Manila.

“China publicly welcomed improved relations with the Philippines, signing $24 billion in potential economic agreements and pledging to settle territorial disputes through dialogue, and it also characterized President Duterte’s approach towards China as contrasting with that of his predecessor, former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III,” the report read.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused China of using its economic power to “buy its way out” of problems including the South China Sea dispute.

In a joint statement after the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations in Sydney, Tillerson and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called for the demilitarization of disputed features in the South China Sea.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/08/1707979/pentagon-china-used-coercive-force-enforce-maritime-claims

RELATED: China hits Tillerson’s remarks on evading South China Sea issue

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law.

Philippines: Constant Bowing To China Risks Marginalization, Supreme Court Judge warns

June 5, 2017
By: – Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 12:09 AM June 06, 2017
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Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio
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The Philippines could see its own “Finlandization” if it does not assert its sovereignty and stand up to China in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warned on Monday.

“Unless we do something, we will be like Finland, a nominally independent country. We will have our own political system but when it comes to foreign affairs, we follow the foreign policies of China. That is what Finlandization means,” Carpio said at the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum.

“Finlandization” is the neutralization of a small and vulnerable country in foreign policy to avoid being taken over by a bigger and more powerful neighbor.

READ: IN THE KNOW: Finlandization

The term was coined during the Cold War when the Soviet Union rendered Finland, which shares a long border with the communist giant, neutral to enable the smaller country to remain sovereign even just in name.

“[Finland] has been occupied by Russia before. To remain sovereign and independent, it has to be neutral, it has to follow Russia’s foreign policies,” Carpio said.

Carpio said that with China claiming 80 percent of the South China Sea, it would share a 1,700-kilometer-long boundary with the Philippines, leaving only a “tiny sliver of water” in Manila’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) separating the two countries.

He raised the possibility that China would build up Panatag Shoal (internationally known as Scarborough Shoal) soon, which is why the Duterte administration must assert the Philippines’ victory in the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which last year invalidated China’s claim to almost all of the South China Sea and declared Beijing had violated Manila’s right to fish and explore resources in waters within its 370-kilometer EEZ.

Carpio stressed the arbitral court’s ruling was not a paper victory for the Philippines.

“It’s about time to bring it up now because time is of the essence … The coast is clear. It can happen anytime,” he said, referring to the possibility of China transforming Panatag Shoal into an artificial island and topping it with military facilities.

Once this happens, the Philippines can no longer take back Panatag, Carpio stressed.

Panatag Shoal is a resource-rich fishing ground 230 km west of Zambales province, well within the Philippine EEZ.

China seized Panatag Shoal from the Philippines after a two-month maritime standoff in 2012, prompting Manila to take its territorial dispute with Beijing to the international arbitral court in The Hague.

Beijing refused to take part in the arbitration and rejected the ruling, handed down on July 12 last year, insisting it had “undisputed sovereignty” in the South China Sea.

Last piece of puzzle

Also known as Bajo de Masinloc, Panatag Shoal is the “last piece in the jigsaw puzzle for China to control the South China Sea,” where it has developed disputed reefs into artificial islands with air and naval defense systems, Carpio said.

President Duterte practically green-lighted China’s reclamation of Panatag Shoal when he recently said he could not do anything to stop China, Carpio said.

He added that the United States under President Donald Trump was unlikely to stop China, as it was looking at Beijing for help in reining in North Korea.

Carpio recalled that in March 2016, Chinese dredgers were monitored to be on their way to Panatag Shoal but then US President Barack Obama warned Chinese President Xi Jinping to back off.

Control of the South China Sea would give China not only economic control, but also greater military power in the region.

Security specialists in Asia have long expressed concern over China’s objective to form an expansive maritime defensive perimeter straddling Asian waters and stretching to the Pacific Ocean, using its island-chain defense strategy.

If China succeeds in completing its first island chain in the South China Sea, it will proceed to build a second island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

The Philippines and Japan are in the way of the Chinese defense strategy.

Japan sits above the first and second island chains, while the Philippines lies between the two chains.

“The feeling of being hemmed in, sandwiched, would be our feeling if China goes to the second island chain. If you rise economically, you will also rise militarily in power and gain more strategic advantage over your neighbors,” Carpio said.

Anchors of national policy

He said any Philippine leader must follow the “three anchors of national policy” in resolving the South China Sea dispute.

A Philippine leader must be someone who can be friendly and trade with China, but remain steadfast in defending the country’s territory and maritime entitlements, Carpio said.

The leader must also nurture the Philippines’ military alliance with the United States, he added.

Carpio emphasized that the Philippines must continue its engagement with the United States because the Mutual Defense Treaty keeps China’s aggression in the South China Sea in check.

He said he would give Mr. Duterte an “A++” in his friendliness to China, but added that the President had yet to prove himself as a staunch defender of Philippine territories and maritime entitlements.

Carpio recently earned the ire of President Duterte for urging the government to enforce the Hague court’s ruling.

“If I am called names, that is OK with me because I want to discuss this on [its] merits,” he said.

He emphasized that it was “the civic duty of every Filipino to defend our territory, defend our maritime entitlements in accordance with international law and our Constitution.”

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Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/157672/carpio-warns-ph-vs-bowing-china#ixzz4j9H3XFMJ
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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said th

John McCain calls for joint exercises to challenge ‘bully’ China

May 31, 2017
U.S. Sen. John McCain delivers a speech at the invitation of the United States Studies Centre in Sydney, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. In February, the Republican senator leaped to Australia’s defense after President Donald Trump got into a heated discussion with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over an Obama-era agreement on the resettlement of refugees. AP/Rick Rycroft

MANILA, Philippines — An American senator suggested that United States-led multilateral exercises could be a good way to push back against Beijing’s excessive claims in the disputed South China Sea.

“If the Chinese are able to prevent us from exercising freedom of navigation then I think that has a profound consequences for the entire region,” Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said in a speech in Sydney.

McCain, chair of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, stressed that China’s vast territorial claims have no basis in international law.

“The challenge is that as China has grown wealthier and stronger, it seems to be acting more and more like a bully,” McCain said.

McCain’s remarks in Australia comes days before delegates from the US and China are scheduled to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue or the 16th Asia Security Summit in Singapore.

The US senator noted that Australia has become entangled in a strategic competition between America and China.

The senator, however, did not directly urge Sydney to take part in freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.

“I would not try to tell the Australians what they need to do, but there are exercises where a number of nations join together — we call it RIMPAC [Rim of the Pacific Exercise]— that the Australians participate in. They’re broad naval exercises,” McCain said.

Hosted by the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, the RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise.

Countries that participated in maritime exercises last year were Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, China, Peru, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the US.

McCain added that the joint naval exercises would be an opportunity to exercise freedom of navigation.

“But I also wanna emphasize I understand the importance of trade with China and Australia. I understand the importance of their relationship,” the American senator said.

Washington recently launched its first freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea under the Trump administration.

Irking Beijing, a US Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef, one of China’s artificial islands in the Spratly Islands.

Mischief or Panganiban Reef, also being claimed by the Philippines, is included in the ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands.

The tribunal considered Mischief Reef as a low-tide elevation, which gives no entitlement to any exclusive maritime zone under international law.

RELATED: Analyst: US South China Sea operation a sign of support to Philippines

Related:

 (The “Project of the Century” is, at heart, an imperial venture.)

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

South China Sea: Op-Ed from the Philippines — Unconstituational To Have “Joint Resource Developement” — China and the Philippine Have No Overlapping Sea Entitlements

May 30, 2017
12:06 AM May 30, 2017

In the recently concluded Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, the special envoy for intercultural dialogue Jose de Venecia Jr. revived proposals for joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea, citing the joint seismic marine undertaking among the Philippines, China and Vietnam during the term of President Gloria Arroyo as a model for cooperation. He said “[i]t is obvious as members of the Asean family that today, with China, we must find ways and means to jointly develop the area’s hydrocarbon potential to help lessen our common dependence on distant petroleum sources in the Middle East.”

The government must exercise utmost caution and tread very carefully on this matter, for the protection of the national interest.

Prior to Philippines v. China, the idea of joint exploration and development in the WPS may have had some plausible justification on the ground that the rights of the Philippines and China in our exclusive economic zone were theoretically contested. After that decision, such plausible deniability is no longer tenable. Simply put, joint exploration and development are incompatible with the Constitution.

The arbitral award declared that the Philippines does not share with China any overlapping entitlements. In the language of our Constitution, areas in the WPS believed to contain oil and gas, such as Reed Bank, are part of our “marine wealth” and the State must “reserve [their] use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens.” Because they “are owned by the State,” their “exploration, development, and utilization … shall be under the full control and supervision of the State.”

What this means is that any joint agreement to explore, develop, and utilize our marine wealth with China is null and void. Such agreements effectively impair the authority of the State to control and supervise the use and enjoyment of our marine wealth through its institutional machineries—the executive, legislative and judicial branches. They also materially diminish the rights of Filipinos to the benefits arising from such resources. We cannot, for example, compel China to submit to the Commission on Audit and/or pay income or franchise taxes for its share in the income—forms of control sovereigns traditionally impose.

The most insidious aspect of a joint agreement with China is the fact that the basis of such economic sharing is the recognition of China’s sovereign rights over our exclusive economic zone—a culpable violation of the Constitution and an implied waiver of our victory at The Hague.

The Duterte administration must realize that whatever economic gains there may be from any joint agreement with China over the WPS can only be made at the expense of giving away our sovereign rights over the area. Joint agreements are a Trojan Horse against our country’s continuing efforts to effectively assert the rights we have won at The Hague.

Lest anyone forget, China is bound by that judgment because it is a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. We must construe its present refusal to abide by that judgment as a strategic effort on its part to buy time as it attempts to secure a waiver of judgment—express or implied—from any post-Aquino administration.

In response to criticisms that President Duterte has been timid on the matter of enforcing the Philippines’ rights against China, he recently revealed that he had previously informed Xi Jinping of his intention to drill oil in our EEZ, but was threatened with war. He seems to imply, in the balance of his remarks, that he does not intend to go to war with China over oil.

This is, of course, well and good, insofar as practical politics goes. But one also hopes that such a pacifist line is not later transformed into a pragmatic justification for entering into an unconstitutional and inequitable joint agreement over the WPS that simultaneously waives our sovereign rights.

Florin T. Hilbay is a former solicitor general. He was agent to the Republic in Philippines v. China.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/104396/trojan-horse-west-philippine-sea#ixzz4iaDzKfdA
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

G7 calls for demilitarization of ‘disputed’ South China Sea areas — A Slap At China

May 29, 2017
The Group of Seven or the seven richest countries in the world have issued a joint communiqué expressing concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas and calling for a demilitarization of “disputed features.” AP/Andrew Medichini

MANILA, Philippines – The Group of Seven (G7) or the seven richest countries in the world have issued a joint communiqué expressing concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas and calling for a demilitarization of “disputed features.”

The joint statement was released following the May 26 and 27 meetings in Taormina, Italy attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump.

The leaders strongly opposed any unilateral action that could increase tensions.

They expressed their “commitment to maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law.”

The joint communiqué voiced support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and for the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes “through diplomatic and legal means, including arbitration.”

China was “strongly dissatisfied” with the mention of the East and South China Sea issues in the G7 statement as Beijing called on G7 allies to stop making “irresponsible” remarks.

In April, the G7 foreign ministers called for the implementation of The Hague arbitral ruling on the South China Sea, as they reiterated their strong opposition to threat or use of force and building of outposts and their use for military purposes.

The G7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

“We consider the July 12, 2016 award rendered by the arbitral tribunal under the UNCLOS as a useful basis for further efforts to peacefully resolve disputes in the South China Sea,” the G7 joint communiqué read.

They also maintained their commitment to the freedom of navigation and over-flight.

The ministers emphasized the fundamental importance of building trust and security and of the peaceful management and settlement of maritime disputes in good faith and in accordance with international law, including through internationally recognized legal dispute settlement mechanisms such as arbitration.

They encouraged dialogue based on international law towards early finalization of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

China earlier vowed not to honor the arbitral tribunal ruling as it continued fortifying its artificial islands and restricting Filipinos’ access to disputed waters even if they are within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/30/1704940/g7-seeks-demilitarization-disputed-sea-features

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.

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China has built islands by reclamation of sand and coral and has militarized them for People’s Liberationa Army (PLA) use. Seen here, Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys group of islands are shown from the Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force during the visit to the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. Philippine President Duterte on Friday, May 19, 2017, described this as “some kind of armed garrison.” Credit Francis Malasig/Pool Photo via AP — China has now occupied and built up by reclamation seven small reefs and atolls that have been made ready for military use.

China dismisses US account of ‘dangerous intercept’ in South China Sea

May 28, 2017

Beijing instead blames US flight for infringing its territory sovereignty

By Teddy Ng
South China Morning Post

Sunday, May 28, 2017, 2:47pm

Image result for Chinese J-10 fighter jets, photos

Chinese J-10 fighter jet

The Chinese Defence Ministry on Sunday dismissed Washington’s account of an encounter between Chinese and US military aircraft over the South China Sea last week, blaming the US flight for posing a threat.

A statement by the ministry said a US surveillance plan was spotted in airspace southeast of Hong Kong on May 25, and Chinese military aircraft intercepted it in accordance with the law.

“The operation by the Chinese military aircraft was professional and safe,” the statement said. “Recently, the US has been sent military vessels and aircraft to China’s maritime and air space, infringing upon China’s territorial sovereignty and posing a threat to the lives of people from both sides.

“Such operations [by the US] is the root of Sino-US military maritime and air safety incidents.”

US officials said the US Navy P-3 Orion was 240km southeast of Hong Kong in international airspace when two Chinese J-10 fighters carried out the “unsafe intercept”. One J-10 flew within 200m in front of the US plane, restricting its ability to manoeuvre, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Tensions in the South China Sea have eased in the past months, but have resurfaced in recent weeks. The US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Dewey last week sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China on Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in South China Sea, west of Palawan Island in the southwest Philippines.

 A US Navy P-3 Orion surveillance aircraft. Photo: Handout

In another move, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was “strongly dissatisfied” with the mention of the East and South China Sea disputes in a Group of Seven statement, calling on the G7 allies to stop making “irresponsible remarks”.

In their communique on Saturday, leaders of the G7 (comprising the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom as well as the European Union) said they were concerned by the situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. They also called for a demilitarisation of “disputed features”.

China is committed to properly resolving disputes with all nations involved through negotiations while maintaining peace and stability in the East China Sea and South China Sea, ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement on Sunday.

China hopes the G7 and other nations would refrain from taking positions, fully respect the efforts of countries in the region in handling the disputes, and stop making irresponsible remarks, Lu said.

Beijing and Tokyo have a long-standing a dispute the uninhabited Diaoyu islets, which Japan controls and calls the Senkakus, in the East China Sea.

Beijing’s extensive claims to the South China Sea are also challenged in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.

The US has criticised China’s construction of islands and build-up of military facilities in the South China Sea, concerned they could be used to restrict free navigation and broaden Beijing’s strategic reach.

Additional reporting by Reuters

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2095988/china-dismisses-us-account-dangerous-intercept-south

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The U.S. Air Force's WC-135 Constant Phoenix sniffer plane in a file photo. (Yonhap)

The U.S. Air Force’s WC-135 Constant Phoenix sniffer plane in a file photo. (Yonhap)

An SU-30 fighter jet

An SU-30 fighter jet CREDIT: EPA

Related:

China has built islands by reclamation of sand and coral and has militarized them for People’s Liberationa Army (PLA) use. Seen here, Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratlys group of islands are shown from the Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force during the visit to the Philippine-claimed Thitu Island by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano and other officials off the disputed South China Sea in western Philippines Friday, April 21, 2017. Philippine President Duterte on Friday, May 19, 2017, described this as “some kind of armed garrison.” Credit Francis Malasig/Pool Photo via AP — China has now occupied and built up by reclamation seven small reefs and atolls that have been made ready for military use.

 (Smart money is on China right now)

FILE - Vietnam People's Navy personnel carry their country's national flag.

 (Contains links to several earlier related stories)

FILE photo p rovided by Filipino fisherman Renato Etac —  A Chinese Coast Guard boat approaches Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. Scarborough Shoal has always been part of the Philippines, by international law. China says it is happy to control fishing in the South China Sea. Credit: Renato Etac

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For about five years China has been loudly proclaiming “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea.” China has said, everything north of the “nine dash line” shown here, essentially, belongs to China.  On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid. But China chose to ignore international law.