Philippines: Amid South China Sea Dispute, Palawan Besieged By Political Divide – Analysis

 By Criselda Yabes and Leilani Chavez* Palawan is an outlier in the Philippine archipelago, its topography and habitat closer to that of Borneo than the rest of the country’s major islands. This so-called last ecological frontier is under siege on two fronts: internally, politicians want the island carved up into smaller administrative regions; externally, it stands as a buffer against threats from a superpower across the sea. On March 13, half a million of Palawan’s population will vote in a plebiscite calling to split up the island into three provinces…

Duterte sees Philippines’ new aircraft, says he can’t be brave vs. China

President Rodrigo Duterte said he could ill-afford to confront China lest the Philippines faced consequences it wouldn’t be able to handle. Duterte made the remarks at the Clark Air Base where he inspected the Air Force’s new aircraft and drones from the US, Poland, and Brazil on Friday night. “I cannot be brave in the mouth against China because we are avoiding any confrontation that would lead to something that we can hardly afford, at least, at this time,” Duterte said. Duterte repeated the lines he had been saying since…

Philippines to beef up naval presence in disputed South China Sea, SE Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA (REUTERS) – The Philippines will beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea to protect its fishermen, its new military chief said, as concerns grow about the operations of China’s coastguard in disputed waters. The move comes after the Philippines protested a new law in China that allows its coastguard to board or open fire on foreign vessels in waters it regards as its territory, which officials said could heighten risks of a miscalculation. “We will increase our visibility through the deployment of more naval assets, but…

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…

Philippines files protest over China’s new coastguard laws in South China Sea

The Philippines Foreign Minister said a diplomatic protest had been filed over China’s passing of a law allowing its coastguard to open fire on foreign vessels, describing it as a “threat of war”. Key points: The Phillipines said the law was “a verbal threat of war” The law permits China’s coastguard to use “all necessary means” against foreign ships China has competing territorial claims with its neighbours in the South China Sea China passed legislation on Friday allowing its coastguard to use “all necessary means” to stop or prevent threats…

Quake info: Mag. 4.8 earthquake – South China Sea, 10.9 km south of Calaca, Province of Batangas, Calabarzon, Philippines, on Saturday, 16 Jan 2021 6:48 am (GMT +8)

Light magnitude 4.8 earthquake at 185 km depth 15 Jan 23:00 UTC: First to report: GFZ after 11 minutes. Update Fri, 15 Jan 2021, 23:06 Light magnitude 4.8 earthquake 11 km southwest of Calaca, Philippines 4.8 quake 16 Jan 6:48 am (GMT +8) An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 occurred early morning on Saturday 16 January 2021 at 6:48 am local time near Calaca, Province of Batangas, Calabarzon, Philippines, as reported by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).According to preliminary data, the quake was located at an intermediate to considerable…

‘They’re taking him for a ride’: Has Philippines gained from Duterte’s China pivot?

MANILA: Teeming with marine life, the waters of Scarborough Shoal are a haven for valuable fish, such as yellowfin tuna, grouper and red snapper. A fishing expedition there can earn fisherman Federico Josol three times more money than fishing in the waters of his hometown Masinloc, the closest point in the Philippines to the shoal. Advertisement Advertisement But every trip to the shoal, located about 225 kilometres off the Philippine coast, carries a risk. And recently, he had a bruising encounter with the Chinese Coast Guard. “They said it was…

South China Sea: Major US boost for furious Philippines amid ‘unlawful’ Beijing move | World | News

South China Sea: Military exercises ‘must continue’ says expert Countries including the Philippines and Brunei, have seen their fishing industries decimated as a result of restrictions placed on the highly valuable South China Sea. China lays claim to around 80 percent of the seas, and puts pressure on neighbouring countries on the areas they are allowed to fish in, while simultaneously threatening others that enter their territory. This had led to dwindling numbers of fish being caught, as well as fierce competition between rival nations, leading to unrest. US Secretary…

Philippines set to be first buyer of India-Russia cruise missile

NEW DELHI/MANILA — India and Russia are looking to export to the Philippines their jointly developed BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, a move that may unnerve Beijing, given its border standoff with New Delhi and territorial disputes with other neighbors in the South China Sea. The BrahMos takes its name from two rivers — the Brahmaputra in India and the Moskva in Russia. The missile is manufactured by an Indo-Russian joint venture, BrahMos Aerospace, which was set up in India in 1998 and is responsible for designing, developing and marketing the…

Amid China Tensions, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam Pin Hopes on Biden | Voice of America

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Projected U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will energize Southeast Asian countries that spar with the more powerful China over the disputed South China Sea by siding with them without inviting armed conflict, analysts believe. These analysts are looking to the record of former U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration – in which Biden served as vice president – for clues to what Biden might do in the region. Obama pursued what his government described as a “pivot to Asia” from 2011 as the region became more vital to U.S. economic interests.…