Monthly Archives: December 2013

Chinese vessels beef up patrols in West Phl Sea

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese surveillance ships and missile cruisers have increased the frequency of their maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a senior maritime security official said yesterday. This came after a Chinese naval vessel came dangerously close to a US warship during a tense incident in the area last week. […]

Coast Guard to get 10 more vessels with Japan loan

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon have 10 more vessels in its fleet in order to fulfill its mandate to protect the country’s territorial waters in the wake of a maritime row with China, President Aquino said yesterday. Aquino made the disclosure when he arrived yesterday morning from a visit to […]

Phl adopts action plan vs illegal fishing

MANILA, Philippines – The government has adopted a national action plan seeking to prevent and eliminate illegal fishing in Philippine waters amid recent high-profile poaching incidents by foreign vessels. The plan is contained in Executive Order 154 signed by President Aquino last Dec. 6 and published in a national daily yesterday. In the order, Aquino […]

After Typhoon Haiyan, a Dispatch From the South China Sea

Shortly after we published our article in the Oct. 27 issue about the Filipino marines stationed on a forsaken boat in the South China Sea, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the central Philippines. In the wake of the storm it became clear that thousands of Filipinos had died. The photographer Ashley Gilberston and I were naturally concerned about the […]

PH lawyer on China: Being ‘int’l outlaw’ has its price

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ lawyer in its historic case against China said on Tuesday, December 3, that Manila needs an “impeccable” judgment against Beijing to pressure it to take a “more flexible position” on maritime disputes. Paul Reichler, the Philippines’ lead counsel before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), hinted […]

West Phl Sea issue up in Japan meet

TOKYO – The West Philippine Sea issue will be up for discussion as President Aquino embarks on a visit here starting today to attend the 40th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) commemorative summit and meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez said Japan was committed to assisting the ASEAN […]

China and Philippines: The reasons why a battle for Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island seems unavoidable

Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island, the second largest in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, has an area of 0.33 square km, and is of great strategic significance for China if it wants to control a vast part of the South China Sea that it claims to be its territorial waters. As the Island is located roughly […]

China’s air zone announcement was just the beginning

WHEN CHINA announced its decision to claim a wider air zone that encompassed the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Island territories, the East China Sea erupted into conflict reminiscent of the Cold War era. In response, the United States and Japan declared the zone illegitimate and flew military aircraft through it, while China deployed fighter jets to identify […]

Will Beijing Declare a Special Air Defense Zone Over the South China Sea?

Beijing may replicate the controversial special air defense zone it unilaterally declared over the East China Sea in another disputed region — the vast South China Sea — in a bid to shore up its military strategy that could escalate tensions and intensify U.S.-China rivalry, experts say. The controversial East China Sea air defense identification […]

China’s geopolitical weight is emboldening its territorial creep

China’s growing geopolitical heft is emboldening its territorial creep in Asia. After laying claim to 80 percent of the South China Sea, it has just established a so-called air defense identification zone in the East China Sea, raising the odds of armed conflict with Japan and threatening the principle of freedom of navigation of the […]