Posts Tagged ‘West Philippine Sea’

China Does Not Own The South China Sea

December 1, 2018

 

Much as I abhor communism, I’ve always admired Mao Zedong for having united China and for establishing the Communist Party, the major institution that drove China’s modernization. The first and only time I was in China was in 1979, after Mao’s tragic cultural revolution had already ended. I asked the same question to all the cadres I met: If you had your way, where would you work? Everyone said, wherever the Party will send me. Until Shanghai, when, finally alone with me, a man took back his stock answer and said, “In the kitchen because there, I will never be hungry.”

Before 1949, with a population of half a billion, China had famine every year. Now, with nearly a billion-and-a-half people, hunger no longer afflicts the country. This is Mao’s magnificent achievement. More than this, with their own genius and brawn, China is now a world power and, as such, it must compulsively expand, seek raw materials, and spread its influence wherever and whenever it can. Now, it has even grabbed portions of our territory in the West Philippine Sea, which it should not have done to a neighbor that is defenseless and poor.

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This is the foremost challenge to our country today. Thank God, we have a patriot who sees this – Justice Antonio Carpio. He warns that at any time in the future, China’s People’s Liberation Army might be right at our front door. China justifies its territorial and maritime grab as a historic right. While false, the claim is embedded as a national mantra in every child from grade school onwards.

F. Sionil Jose (The Philippine Star) – December 1, 2018
Commentary

Justice Carpio gathered a vast array of ancient maps – including ancient Chinese maps – and even official documents of China, and convinced those wise men in the Hague to decide in our favor. The Spratlys are central to our survival. Much of the fish caught in our waters spawn in the Spratlys. The oil, gas and mineral reserve, estimated to be vast, have yet to be measured. However, we do not have the power to enforce our rights to these resources.

What are we to do? We are small and weak, but we have a voice and the capacity to be heard globally. Justice Carpio suggests that we must help make ASEAN formidable and united to counter China’s claims. We are not the only complainants; so are ASEAN members Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well.

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China has at least seven military bases in the South China Sea near the Philippines

We must urge other countries to understand the implications of China’s disregard for international law and of its aggression in the South China Sea. What for instance if India claims possession of the Indian ocean? Or if Italy as the heir of the Roman Empire claims the Mediterranean which that empire dominated? It is important for the world to recognize that the West Philippine Sea is open to international navigation.

Even the smallest and weakest animals are capable of defending themselves. The porcupine has its quills and the skunk its awful smell. As I have said before, we should have built a fleet of patrol boats to defend our territory. We must now hasten to build that capability, taking a cue from the Vietnamese who have, through the centuries, fought Chinese recalcitrance.

To the Chinese, saving “face” is almost everything; it is the very core of their foreign policy. We can dent that face. We have thousands of overseas workers in the world’s capitals. We can harness them to demonstrate in front of Chinese consulates and embassies in furtherance of our national interest.

Justice Carpio urges us to educate our own people, to be united and steadfast in the face of Chinese incursion on our sovereignty. This government has collaborated shamelessly, willingly, with China. It should be rejected in the next election. The Duterte aberration is just a tiny wrinkle in our history and it will fade. The Philippines will endure.

As much as we would like to be free from strangling American influence, what China is doing is forcing us to seek even more close ties with the United States, knowing that it is the only power that can challenge China’s hegemony. This is perhaps inevitable. Filipinos trust the United States. As recent surveys have shown, Filipinos do not trust China.

For all its bellicose posturing and armed might, China does not really want war. Steeped in Sun Tzu’s precepts on war, it wants victory on its own terms with an aggressive aid program and slow, piecemeal territorial expansion. Its occupation of Panatag Shoal off the coast of Zambales is an example. We should have sent our Navy and Armed Forces there at the very start, come what may.

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A Chinese bomber passes near Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines (Xinhua photo)

But let us not look at China as the implacable enemy that cannot be appeased. We must broaden and deepen our dialogue with the Chinese and hope for China to become a China that is respected not feared. There is much in the Chinese Confucian tradition to support this expectation. The Confucian precepts of hierarchy and harmony should enable the Chinese leadership to look at countries like ours not as meek tributaries of an empire but as minor partners in the building of a harmonious world.

This nation owes Justice Carpio enduring gratitude. Almost single-handedly, with courage and a magnificent intellect, he has built a formidable bastion for this nation’s sovereignty which China’s mendacious fiction cannot destroy.

In speaking as he does, Justice Antonio Carpio is the shining, unswerving conscience of the Filipino people. By his singular example, he has exposed the cowardice and hypocrisy of our highest elected officials who have not protected or defended our sovereignty. May his patriotism motivate all public servants who feel helpless in the face of the inaction and apathy of our leaders, and give life and direction to the idealism of the new generation of Filipinos who are eager to serve this nation

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/opinion/2018/12/01/1873116/china-does-not-own-west-philippine-sea#qsV2LeSrHRuMVIH0.99

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The international arbitration court in the Hague said on July 12, 2016, that China’s “nine dash line” was not recognized under international law — making the Vietnamese and Philippine claims on South China Sea islands valid and lawful.

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Philippines: Filing protests against China like ‘throwing paper at a brick wall’ — China is in possession of Philippine lands

November 28, 2018

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. prefers not to protest Beijing’s aggression in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) as it is “basically throwing pieces of paper at a brick wall.”

The DFA chief made this statement when asked if he would file a note verbale against China following an incident between a GMA News team and Chinese Coast Guard personnel in the Scarborough Shoal.

In this Oct. 19, 2018 photo, Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. speaks at a press conference during the Asia-Europe Meeting summit at the European Council in Brussels. The Commission on Appointment has confirmed the appointment of Locsin as Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

AFP/Ben Stansall

“I was in the United Nations and I refused to do it. I said the filing of notes verbale basically throwing pieces of paper at a brick wall, essentially the ‘Great Wall of China,'” Locsin told the Commission on Appointments.

Locsin acknowledged that his predecessor Alan Peter Cayetano did file notes verbale against Beijing’s aggression in the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

“The accumulation of papers rejected with total indifference by China is simply proof not law, but it is evidence that the fact in case is China is in possession and this is something I do not wish to happen,” he said.

Asked what he would do after reports that Chinese Coast Guard personnel drove away a GMA News team away from Scarborough Shoal, Locsin said he would first examine proposals on the matter.

Locsin revealed that he had to bet 33 agreements, including one proposing for an even “tighter coordination” between the coast guards of China and the Philippines.

“Maybe you need a coast guard presses, a tighter coordination to avoid provocations that may escalate what is in a conflicted zone into an actual conflict,” Locsin said.

The commission has approved the appointment of Locsin as secretary of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday morning. His confirmation will be submitted to the Senate plenary for approval.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Locsin after the DFA top post was vacated when Cayetano filed his certificate of candidacy for Taguig representative in the 2019 midterm elections.

Locsin was Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations prior to his stint at the DFA.

CHINA, DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, NOTE VERBALE, PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES, SOUTH CHINA SEA, TEODORO LOCSIN JR., WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/28/1872460/filing-protests-against-china-throwing-paper-brick-wall-locsin#ovUmT5yJ3BuKg3Ms.99

Philippines Supreme Court Judge: Philippine Claims on Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal Pre-Date China’s Claims By More Than 200 Years

November 26, 2018

The Philippines was way ahead of China in claiming the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said Monday.

During a forum at the House of Representatives, Carpio said the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal were already included in the Philippine national territory as early as 1734.

Speaking before members of the Association of Congressional Chiefs of Staff in the House of Representatives, Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio discussed that the Philippines first named the Spratly Islands, as well as the Scarborough Shoal, as early as 1734.

Philstar.com/File
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“In this (Murillo-Velarde) map, he included in Philippine national territory Scarborough Shoal but called it ‘Panakot’ because before 1734, that shoal was never given a name in any map,” Carpio said.

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He was referring to the “mother map” that Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde made upon the order of Spanish King Phillip, through Governor-General Fernando Tamon, to make an official map of the Philippine territory at the time.

The acting chief justice added that the traditional fishing ground off the coast of Zambales was only given an English name when a British ship called “Scarborough” ran aground on the rocks of the shoal.

European cartographers renamed the feature Scarborough Shoal, which is now called Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc, but the Filipinos were the first ones to give it a Tagalog name.

“There is no older map from China or from Vietnam showing that Scarborough Shoal was their territory. Nothing at all, they don’t have any document,” Carpio said.

China, on the other hand, first claimed the Spratlys in 1947, more than 200 years later than the Philippines.

Before that, old Chinese maps indicated that the southernmost part of their territory is Hainan, the province the now maintains jurisdiction over the South China Sea.

“So 1947, China claimed the Spratlys but acknowledged that it is also claimed by the Philippines and by the French Indochina. They did not claim indisputable sovereignty,” Carpio said.

For Scarborough Shoal, China just copied the British maps and gave them transliterations of English names, the acting Chief Justice added.

“Scarborough is here. They did not have a name, they didn’t know Scarborough Shoal. They just copied the maps of the British and they gave names,” he said.

Carpio also noted that the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal were included in Philippine territory under the 1900 Treaty of Washington. It was a treaty between Spain and the United States for the cession of outlying islands of the Philippines.

Beijing has refused to acknowledge the July 2016 ruling of a United Nations-backed tribunal that invalidated its nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. The country insists that it has indisputable sovereignty over the region.

In recent months, China has installed surface-to-air missiles and electronic jamming equipment on its artificial islands in the Spratlys. A recent report from GMA News’ “Reporter’s Notebook” also showed that Chinese Coast Guard personnel drove the news team away and required them to seek China’s permission before conducting interviews in the area.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/26/1871892/philippines-named-spratlys-scarborough-centuries-ahead-china-carpio#XbAXAD5GTtjYbTk4.99

South China Sea: Expect China One Day To Use Its Navy To Enforce Sea Claims

November 24, 2018

China's Liaoning aircraft carrier (imago/Xinhua)

China aircraft carrier Liaoning

Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio on Saturday warned that China could one day order its Navy to enforce its sweeping claim to most of the disputed South China Sea, which is widely seen by experts as a potential regional flash point.

The Philippines claims parts of the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone and calls it the West Philippine Sea.

A staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte and was one of the lawyers who represented Manila in closed court hearings in The Hague, Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Carpio qualified that China’s maritime encroachment is “the biggest external threat to the Philippines since World War II.”

The STAR/Miguel de Guzman

Ties between the Philippines and China have significantly improved under President Rodrigo Duterte, who has set aside a landmark ruling from a United Nations-backed tribunal that struck down Beijing’s “Nine Dash line” claim that encompasses most of the resource-rich sea.

Duterte’s management of the maritime dispute has frustrated nationalists, who criticized his seeming inaction towards China’s military buildup in the strategic waterway.

At a forum in Taguig City, Carpio said there’s a possibility that the Chinese politburo — a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party — would send warships to the South China Sea to police the widely contested waters.

“We must prepare for the day the Politburo of China will instruct the powerful navy of China to enforce the nine-dash line as a national boundary of China,” Carpio said.

‘Biggest threat since World War II’

In 2016, Duterte secured a pledge for $9-billion official development assistance during his trip to Beijing — which highlighted his “separation” from the Philippines’ only treaty ally, the United States.

Although it is not a party to the maritime row, Washington has been infuriating China for repeatedly sending warships close to Chinese-controlled reefs in recent years.

Last April, US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Manila for a port visit just days after China conducted a naval muscle flexing in the South China Sea.

A staunch critic of Duterte and was one of the lawyers who represented Manila in closed court hearings in The Hague, Carpio qualified that China’s maritime encroachment is “the biggest external threat to the Philippines since World War II.”

The Supreme Court magistrate also slammed China for being a “squatter” inside the Philippines’ 376,350-square kilometer EEZ.

“We are going to lose a huge maritime space, we lose all the fish, oil and gas resources here because under UNCLOS [and] the ruling of the tribunal, we have exclusive sovereign rights to all the natural resources in this area but China is claiming all of that,” Carpio said. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/24/1871372/carpio-warns-chinese-politburo-could-one-day-send-its-navy-police-south-china-sea#sKQjDRxvD8OpTxYP.99

Philippines: Lawmakers Want “Full Transparency” on Deal With China For Joint Oil and Gas Exploration

November 22, 2018

The Duterte administration has the obligation to fully disclose the government’s agreements with China for a joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), progressive lawmakers from the House Makabayan bloc asserted Thursday.

ACTS Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Rep. Emmie de Jesus, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago called for a “full transparency” on the 29 agreements. 

President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of said deals during the latter’s two-day visit in the Philippines on Monday to Tuesday.

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Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte wave to the media before their one on one meeting at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, November 20, 2018.Erik De Castro, Reuters

READ: PH, China sign MOU on oil and gas development, 28 other deals

“Pinananawagan ng Makabayan na obligasyon ng Malacañang na ipaalam sa publiko ano ba talaga ang pinirmahan nyo?” Tinio said in a press briefing.

(The Makabayan is urging Malacañang that it’s the obligation of the government to inform the public whatever they have signed.)

De Jesus meanwhile said a full copy of the joint oil exploration deal should be divulged to ensure that not only a few people would benefit from the agreement.

“We care kasi alam natin na ‘yan ay hindi sa kagustuhan ng pinakamaraming mamamayan kundi sa kagustuhan lang ng iilan,” she said.

(We care because we know that this is not the liking of many but the liking of the few.)

Tinio also said that the deals, especially the one involving the WPS, should be scrutinized and its constitutionality should be questioned before the Supreme Court.

Philippines and China are locked in a territorial dispute in the WPS but Duterte has chosen to set aside this and the historic Hague ruling favoring the Philippines during the bilateral talks.

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled Beijing’s claim to almost the entire WPS as invalid. /jpv

READ: Duterte optimistic of even warmer China-PH ties

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Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/171581/house-makabayan-bloc-demands-full-transparency-on-ph-china-deal#ixzz5XZResL3M
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Philippines Does Not Have China’s Permission To Release Oil and Gas Memorandum of Understanding to the Public

November 22, 2018

Philippine Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Thursday clarified that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on oil and gas development with China was just an agreement on how to cooperate in exploring resources in the West Philippine Sea.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Manila earlier this week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the agreement.

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Neither the Department of Foreign Affairs nor the Department of Energy has released a copy of the memorandum of understanding with China.

Cusi clarified that there is no agreement yet on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea, where the two countries have overlapping claims.

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A Chinese coast-guard vessel passes near the Chinese oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam on June 13, 2014. Reuters photo

“If you are referring to the MOU that was signed, that was memorandum of cooperation to explore ways on how we can harness the resources, indigenous resources at the West Philippine Sea,” Cusi said in a press conference Thursday.

The Energy secretary added that there is no agreement yet on the proposed 60-40 sharing between the two countries.

The DFA and the DOE would have to talk with its Chinese counterparts first to further discuss on how to move forward in exploring resources in the contested area.

Locsin bares MOU in television interview

Locsin, on the other hand, has revealed the copy of the MOU in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source Thursday morning.

The DFA chief agreed on Cusi’s description of the agreement as a “memorandum of understanding to agree to arrive at an agreement.”

Locsin also clarified that the supposed Chinese draft which the camp of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV released was not the signed agreement.

He said he would have to ask permission from Beijing first before releasing the copy of the agreement to the public but he read the content of the deal in the interview.

“The two governments will endeavour to agree on cooperation arrangements, endeavor within 12 months of this memorandum of agreement,” Locsin said.

“This memorandum of understanding, in all discussions, negotiations and activities of the two governments, other authorized enterprises under or pursuant to this memorandum of understanding will be without prejudice to the respective legal positions of both governments. This memorandum of understanding does not create rights or obligations under international or domestic law,” he added.

Malacañang earlier promised that all documents in relation to Xi’s visit would be released as soon as they are complete.

“We assure everyone that the government would release all pertinent information for public consumption once President Xi’s visit has culminated, and as soon as the complete, proper, and correct documents become certified and available,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/22/1870805/mou-oil-development-china-agreement-agree-cusi#Wg4ELfKXQykCCHUp.99

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Del Rosario calls for ‘full transparency’ in Philippine-China oil deal

November 21, 2018

‘It behooves our negotiators to ensure that our Constitution is not violated,’ former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario tells Rappler

 Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario called on Filipinos to seek “full transparency” after the Philippines and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea.

Despite requests from reporters, Malacañang and the Department of Foreign Affairs have not released a copy of the MOU as of Wednesday morning, November 21. The MOU was signed Tuesday, November 20, during the historic state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Philippines.

FULL TRANSPARENCY. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario calls on Filipinos to seek 'full transparency' about possible oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

FULL TRANSPARENCY. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario calls on Filipinos to seek ‘full transparency’ about possible oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

“I have not seen what was signed, but I am told it is tantamount to an understanding to negotiate a possible cooperation for oil and gas development. I am not a lawyer but, if that is so, it would not be viewed as being objectionable,” Del Rosario told Rappler on Tuesday evening.

“In moving it forward with what has been signed, it behooves our negotiators to ensure that our Constitution is not violated and our tribunal outcome is not undermined,” he said.

The tribunal outcome is the Philippines’ victory against China in the case it filed in a Hague tribunal over the South China Sea, under Del Rosario’s watch as foreign secretary. Invalidating China’s expansive claim over these waters, the ruling upholds the Philippines’ rights over the West Philippine Sea.

China refuses to acknowledge this ruling while the Duterte administration has decided to shelve it. Former Philippine foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said there is now an aggressive push for joint exploration of the West Philippine Sea between the two countries.

Referring to the possible cooperation for oil and gas development, Del Rosario added, “Moreover, our people should be seeking full transparency throughout the whole process.

JMSU part two?

Critics already fear that the joint exploration agreement is a repeat of a controversial agreement signed during the Arroyo administration.

The Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) was an agreement signed by the Philippines and China through their national oil corporations on September 1, 2004, to jointly explore the South China Sea for oil and natural gas.

Vietnam, a claimant country in the South China Sea, later complained about this Philippines-China deal, prompting the two parties to include Hanoi in a tripartite JMSU on March 14, 2005.

The JMSU lapsed on July 1, 2008, but a case on the JMSU’s constitutionality is pending at the Supreme Court.

In a Senate resolution on Monday, November 19, opposition senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis Pangilinan pointed out that a “non-transparent process” led to the signing of the JMSU in 2004.

The senators said this “should remind us to exercise extraordinary vigilance in any potential deal with China involving Philippine waters, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, other submarine areas, and their natural resources.”

The draft Senate resolution states that the executive branch should “release the definitive draft of the oil and gas agreement with China” before any such agreement is signed.

The opposition senators urged the executive branch “not to sign any agreement with China or any other State which diminishes the Philippines’ exclusive right under domestic and international law to explore, develop, and utilize its natural resources.” – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/nation/217209-del-rosario-philippines-china-oil-deal-transparency-xi-jinping-visit

Philippines: Red-carpet welcome for Xi Jinping amid protests

November 20, 2018

Filipino-Chinese families gather outside President Xi Jinping’s hotel to catch a glimpse of the visiting leader as cops in riot gear guard the streets to deter protests

What happens when Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to the Philippines for a state visit?

On Tuesday, November 20, the day of Xi’s arrival, the Philippine government rolled out the red carpet for the state guest and deployed over 6,000 cops to ensure he’s fully secured during his two-day visit.

PH-CHINA FRIENDSHIP. Two men who are part of the group of Filipino Chinese awaiting Xi Jinping's arrival outside a Taguig City hotel hold the Chinese and Philippine flags to symbolize the two countries' friendship. All photos by Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler

PH-CHINA FRIENDSHIP. Two men who are part of the group of Filipino Chinese awaiting Xi Jinping’s arrival outside a Taguig City hotel hold the Chinese and Philippine flags to symbolize the two countries’ friendship. All photos by Sofia Tomacruz/Rappler

The city governments of Manila and Taguig suspended classes, while outside the Chinese embassy in Makati City, groups protested the visit of the Chinese leader. (IN PHOTOS: Groups to Xi Jinping: ‘Stay out of West PH Sea)

While a 5-star hotel prepared its best as Xi’s choice accomodation in the country, authorities stationed near the Shangri-La at the Fort hotel in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), directed traffic and secured the perimeter of nearby blocks. Cops in riot gear guarded streets around the hotel and every few meters you would be greeted by yet another policeman.

“Our relations have now seen a rainbow after the rain,” Xi said in a statement on the eve of his Philippine trip – the first state visit of a Chinese president in 13 years.

Outside Xi’s hotel, Philippine and Chinese flags fluttered by the roadside, held by two Filipino Chinese men who came with their children to get a glimpse of Xi. (READ: Why Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit matters to Filipinos)

Near the two men was a young girl who was in an apparent dispute with her mother, who held her hand as they walked by. The mother had just explained to her daughter that Xi was a very big, important person.

“No way he’s (Xi) as big as the world,” the girl told her mother. “If he’s a person, he’s tiny just like us!”

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‘China helps us’

As early as 10:30 am, several Filipino-Chinese mothers stood outside the hotel, carrying their babies. Others who also wanted to greet Xi awaited his arrival in the hotel.

WAITING. Mothers bring their children to wait outside the Shangri-La hotel.

WAITING. Mothers bring their children to wait outside the Shangri-La hotel.

“Of course…masayang-masaya kami. Gusto lang namin siyang makita (we’re so happy. We just want to see him),” said a Filipino Chinese who asked not to be named.

He told Rappler he’s Chinese “but born in the Philippines” and that during Xi’s visit, he wanted the Chinese president to help businesses here.

He said China “really helps” the Philippines through assistance to the poor and infrastructure like “bridges and roads” unlike the United States which, he added, gave the country weapons “to fight China.”

As it enjoyed warmer ties with China, the Philippines had obtained about 100 bilateral agreements, grants, and projects from the regional giant since President Rodrigo Duterte took office. (READ: ‘A friend in need’: China’s promises to PH)

The expected highlight of Xi’s state visit is the signing of a joint exploration deal in the West Philippine Sea, which critics allege is unconstitutional.

GUARDED. Police in riot gear surround nearby streets during Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit.

GUARDED. Police in riot gear surround nearby streets during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit.

Waiting for a show

Inside the hotel, guests surprised by Xi’s visit waited for the show.

Security filled the lobby as hotel staff – some flew in from China or were transferred from other hotels for the event – positioned themselves to greet the Chinese delegation.

Dutch national Herman, 73, who’s lived in the Philippines since 2016, said that he was there to have lunch but got excited when heard of Xi’s arrival.

“I live in BGC and came here for some lunch, then I get a bloody show,” he said.

Herman said he was interested to see a deal made between the two countries to drill for oil in “the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea” – a name, he claimed, had nothing to do with ownership.

“I think it’s smart of Duterte to make strong ties with China because they’re closer by and have interests here…. He’s (Xi) a lot saner than the president of the United States right now,” he added.

Just as quickly, delegates and journalists rushed in as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi led Xi’s advance party in the hotel.

Herman, not expecting to see Wang Yi said: “Will Xi be coming soon? I’d like to see but if not, I’ll have my lunch now.”

Xi did not arrive in the hotel that afternoon. After his arrival at the airport around noon, he was next seen hours later at the Rizal Shrine in Luneta Park for a wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a string of engagements in Malacañang Palace where the walkways were fitted with red carpet for the state guest. – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/nation/217134-red-carpet-philippine-welcome-xi-jinping-amid-protests

Chinese president arrives in Manila for first state visit to the Philippines

November 20, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping has landed at the Ninoy Aquino Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 on mid-day of Tuesday to kick-off his first state visit in the country.

Xi arrived at the airport at around 11:50 a.m. aboard Air China.

He was greeted by a welcoming body that includes Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jinhua, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, among others.

Xi, named by the Forbes magazine as this year’s most powerful man in the planet, is the second head of state to conduct a state visit to Duterte. This is also the first state visit of a Chinese president in 13 years.

Xi is expected to begin his two-day state visit in the country with a wreath-laying ceremony at Rizal Park late this afternoon followed by the anticipated expanded bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet members at the Malacañan.

The two leaders, however, met several times in international events including the recently concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation World Leaders’ Summit in Papua New Guinea.

Duterte, known for his pivot to China as he veers away from longtime ally the United States, had a state visit to Beijing in October 2016. He also attended the Belt and Road Forum in China last May 2017 and went to the Boao Forum in April this year.

In 2016, Duterte sealed an estimated $24 billion investment and loan pledges from China.

Presidential spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the two leaders may talk about the loan and investment pledges during the state visit of Xi.

Xi last visited Manila in November 2015 when he attended the APEC under then-President Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III.

The Chinese leader is also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China and the chair of the Central Military Commission.

XI JINPINGXI JINPING PHILIPPINE VISIT

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 20, 2018 – 2:36pm

Former Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada calls on Filipinos to “help the administration be alert and protect the national interest” ahead of the scheduled visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

“This is an ‘All Hands on Deck’ situation, because our sovereignty is on the line. There are issues on Filipino jobs, public debt, and national territory to be agreed on that will affect us all for generations to come,” Tañada says in a statement.

Xi is set to visit from Tuesday, November 20, to Wednesday, November 21. His visit signals 13 years since the last state visit of a Chinese president during the Arroyo administration.

“We know that the Chinese heads of state are shrewd negotiators and they will not waste this visit without closing key agreements. The last time we had a visit from China—President Hu Jintao in 2005—they were able to extract the highly questionable Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) from President Arroyo. We do not want a repeat of that or give up more of our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea,” the Liberal Party senatorial candidate says.

Tañada, who is a senatorial aspirant, says he himself will be watching for any agreements relating to loans and the protection of Filipino jobs, “in view of information that while 6 million Filipinos are unemployed, the government also permitted the entry of more than 3 million Chinese workers in the last two years.”

November 20, 2018 – 2:36pm

China’s draft of the framework for the joint oil exploration deal with the Philippines has been released to media.

The draft says that the two countries have agreed to conduct joint explorations for oil and gas in the South China Sea “[in] accordance with the principles of mutual respect, fairness and mutual benefit, flexibility and pragmatism and consensus.”

The draft also states that the joint deal “shall not affect” the position on sovereignty and maritime rights and interests of the two countries in the disputed sea.

China claims it has historic rights over virtually the entire resource-rich South China Sea based on the “nine-dash line,” which was invalidated in 2016 in the winning case of the Philippines against the Asian giant before an international tribunal in the Hague.

This proposed framework, however, is likely to face a legal hurdle in the Philippines due to questions on sovereignty and its implications on the Hague ruling.

Under Article XII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution, the “exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the [Philippine] State.”

November 20, 2018 – 12:07pm

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMIAAGovPh%2Fvideos%2F2117291141647054%2F&show_text=0&width=560

November 20, 2018 – 9:10am

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay says President Rodrigo Duterte has rolled out the red carpet for China’s rule over the West Philippine Sea with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines.

He adds that the proposed joint exploration deal between the Philippines and China is illegal and unconstitutional. The terms for a joint exploration deal with China and the proposed lifting of the oil exploration ban in the disputed waters are expected to be discussed during Xi’s visit.

“Our victory meant we could uphold our economic sovereignty and have full control over the resources in that area which, according to the 2016 Hague ruling, is not shared with China. Under our Constitution, it constitutes part of our national territory.  But a joint agreement with China is essentially a waiver of the decision in Philippines v. China. For Duterte to bargain this away and let China have their own way over our natural resources is a complete betrayal of the trust that the Filipino people gave him in May 2016,” the former solicitor general added. ##

As the main agent in the 2013 case against China’s claim over virtually the entire South China Sea, it was Hilbay’s task to convince the tribunal that it has jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to hear the sea dispute.

The Philippines won the case against China in 2016.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/20/1870214/xis-here-chinese-president-arrives-manila-first-state-visit#sbMVD4Zo6JqxY78S.99

Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines — Questions about 3 Million Chinese workers while Filipinos are unemployed

November 19, 2018

3 million Chinese workers entered the Philippines in the last two years while workers in the Philippines are unemployed….

Former Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada calls on Filipinos to “help the administration be alert and protect the national interest” ahead of the scheduled visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.

“This is an ‘All Hands on Deck’ situation, because our sovereignty is on the line. There are issues on Filipino jobs, public debt, and national territory to be agreed on that will affect us all for generations to come,” Tañada says in a statement.

Xi is set to visit from Tuesday, November 20, to Wednesday, November 21. His visit signals 13 years since the last visit of a Chinese president during the Arroyo administration.

“We know that the Chinese heads of state are shrewd negotiators and they will not waste this visit without closing key agreements. The last time we had a visit from China—President Hu Jintao in 2005—they were able to extract the highly questionable Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) from President Arroyo. We do not want a repeat of that or give up more of our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea,” the Liberal Party senatorial candidate says.

Tañada, who is a senatorial aspirant, says he himself will be watching for any agreements relating to loans and the protection of Filipino jobs, “in view of information that while 6 million Filipinos are unemployed, the government also permitted the entry of more than 3 million Chinese workers in the last two years.”

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/happens/540#uUs7o8q873VkPjSf.99

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