South China Sea to test Biden’s diplomatic skills

The belligerence of China in dealing with other countries appears to be an un-ending unilateral worldwide affair. Its foreign office may invoke “angles” to end the “unnecessary confrontation” with USA, but the harsh reality is that irrespective of which party rules America, the Chinese will not dilute their aggressive approach; whether it South China Sea or confrontation with India in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh. Maybe, being spokesperson of a Communist country Hua Chunying, she could not pray God for peace during regular press-briefing in Beijing. She invokes angels to…

Bayan Muna calls AEDC with US worse than 1991 treaty, eyes case in int’l body

Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares . INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna plans to take its fight against the return of American bases to the Philippines to the international court amid reports that a new agreement will be signed on Monday (Apr. 28) before US President Barack Obama’s arrival. “We will get the support of international lawyers to file a case against the US and President Aquino for crimes against humanity committed as a result of this new basing agreement,” said Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares in a…

China ‘threatens war’ with Philippines as US pledges support to Manila

China’s President Xi Jinping ‘threatened war’ with the Philippines this week. Photo / AP China is “threatening war” after it authorised its warships to open fire on fishers plying traditional waters, warns the Philippines. Now Washington says it has Manila’s back. Beijing has passed legislation calling upon its military-controlled coast guard to open fire upon “foreign” vessels and destroy “illegal” structures within the East and South China seas. Problem is, those territories don’t belong to it. Which means the law represents a significant escalation in international tensions. And that has…

US criticizes Chinese flights over South China Sea, but says they posed no threat

The US military on Friday said that Chinese military flights in the past week in the South China Sea fit a pattern of destabilizing and aggressive behavior by Beijing, but posed no threat to a US Navy aircraft carrier strike group in the region. “The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group closely monitored all People’s Liberation Army Navy and Air Force activity, and at no time did they pose a threat to US Navy ships, aircraft, or sailors,” the US military’s Pacific Command said in a statement. A US official, speaking…

War games in Zambales give respite to fisherfolk

MASINLOC fishermen are getting some respite from the hostility of Chinese coast guard personnel, who have been barring them from the disputed Panatag Shoal, with the Balikatan exercises near their area. RAFFY LERMA SAN ANTONIO, Zambales—Fishermen in Masinloc town in Zambales province said the joint military exercises of Philippine and American troops at Naval Education Training Center here could provide them some respite from the hostility of Chinese coast guard personnel who have been barring them from the disputed Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal, or Bajo de Masinloc to locals). Although…

New Biden era of confrontation in the South China Sea – Asia Times

All the pieces are falling into place for a new era of US-China confrontation in the South China Sea under the newly inaugurated Joe Biden administration. On Wednesday, Beijing said its deployment of a squadron of fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace last weekend was meant as a “somber warning” to “external powers”, a thinly veiled threat to the US. On the same day, the US State Department said in a statement that the US’ 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines “will apply to armed attacks against Philippine armed forces,…

AFP to start construction of new naval base in Subic, says mayor

Armed Forces of the Philippines. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO SUBIC, Philippines—The government will allot P1 billion from the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization fund for the construction of a new naval operating base in this town, according to Mayor Jefferson Khonghun. Khonghun said on Wednesday the construction of a pier, warehouses and housing facilities for the naval base has been set to start this month in a 500-hectare area in Barangay Cawag. The site of the proposed base is near the shipyard of the Korean-owned Hanjin Heavy Industries and…

China Builds New Housing on Key South China Sea Island to Support Growing Population — Radio Free Asia

China is set to construct new housing to accommodate nearly 400 people on Woody Island, a sign of its effort to support a growing population on this key outpost in the disputed South China Sea, Chinese government documents and satellite imagery show. Bidding documents acquired by Radio Free Asia show that local officials started planning the public housing facility in mid-2020. It is the fifth such facility to be built on Woody since 2012, when China established Sansha City on the island to administer the Paracels, Spratlys, and other contested…

Vietnamese Brewery Names Beers After Disputed South China Sea Islands

Two Vietnamese craft beers named after disputed islands in the South China Sea. Photo: Michael Tatarski A brewery in Vietnam has waded into one of the most contentious maritime disputes in the world by naming craft beers after islands claimed by China in a hops-flavored act of patriotism guaranteed to irritate Beijing. While several countries in Asia lay claim to various remote shoals, reefs and outcrops in the resource-rich South China Sea, Vietnam and China’s competing claims over the Spratly and Paracel Islands may be the most heated, leading to…

Aquino to fly to Palawan for Navy show of force

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III is set to fly to Palawan on Tuesday to witness a military show of force amid the country’s raging territorial dispute with Beijing, which is claiming around 80 percent of the South China Sea. The “capability demonstration” will be held by the Naval Forces West (NFW), described as the Philippine Navy’s “primary operational command securing the West Philippine Sea.” It will be part of the Navy’s 116th anniversary celebration, which will be held in the naval operating forces for the first time. It is meant…