Spratlys island

Reports on current military activity
krzepice1976
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:42 pm

The Philippines will continue to carry out its construction work on Pagasa Island (Thitu) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) despite reports of the presence of Chinese paramilitary forces nearby, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Citing satellite images, Washington-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative reported that Chinese vessels were deployed near Pagasa Island as a response to the ongoing rehabilitation of the Philippine-controlled island.
Lorenzana did not find this new: “The presence of militia on the Chinese man-made structures is no surprise to us as they have been there since 2012.”

“We expect other countries to respect Philippine sovereignty, and to conduct themselves in a civilized manner befitting members of the global community,” he said in a statement.



https://globalnation.inquirer.net/17301 ... z5f8hoHc2p

krzepice1976
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:44 pm

ASIA & PACIFIC
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Defense chief unfazed by China’s moves near Pag-asa
By: Jaymee T. Gamil - Reporter / @jgamilINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:16 AM February 09, 2019
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday remained unfazed about reports that China has deployed maritime militia around the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa or Thitu Island in the West Philippine Sea.

“The presence of militia… is no surprise to us as they have been there since 2012. We expect other countries to respect Philippine sovereignty, and to conduct themselves in a civilized manner befitting members of the global community,” Lorenzana said in a statement
US-based think tank Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Amti) released a statement claiming that China, in response to Philippine constructions on Pag-asa Island since May 2018, appeared to try to put “pressure” by deploying a large fleet of ships including fishing, Navy and Coast Guard vessels between Pag-asa and the Chinese-held Subi Reef 12 nautical miles away since July 2018.

“Their numbers increased to at least 24 on Dec. 3, just before the current construction operations began. In five subsequent satellite images captured from mid-December to late January, their numbers fluctuate, reaching a high of 95 on Dec. 20 before dropping to 42 by January,” Amti said.



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krzepice1976
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:47 pm

A review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States may be needed to make it relevant to current times.
hilippine and US officials – Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo, Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna and US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim – held a think tank conference on Thursday on the future of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

In his remarks at the meeting, Luna called for a review of the treaty to make it relevant to modern geopolitical issues, including the country’s dispute with China in the South China Sea.


NILA, Philippines – A review of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States may be needed to make it relevant to current times.



Philippine and US officials – Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo, Defense Undersecretary Cardozo Luna and US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim – held a think tank conference on Thursday on the future of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

In his remarks at the meeting, Luna called for a review of the treaty to make it relevant to modern geopolitical issues, including the country’s dispute with China in the South China Sea.

Vague commitment

Luna did not say what provisions in the treaty should be modified.

Duterte administration officials have said that the treaty was vague on the US commitment to defend the Philippines in case a third country attacks its territories in the South China Sea.

Kim said Washington was amenable to “taking a close look” at the treaty, but pointed out that both sides already had other cooperation mechanisms, two of them the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

“We would welcome taking a close look at the treaty to see whether we can make any adjustments to make it even better than what it is now,” Kim told reporters in an interview.

“[There are] various mechanisms and frameworks, so I think we will just continue to stay closely engaged and talk to each other. And if there are any adjustments that would be useful, certainly, we would welcome an opportunity to make adjustments,” he added.

Continuing discussions



Manalo said the Philippines was “continuing discussions to strengthen [its] alliance with the US” and that even US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had affirmed the US commitments under the MDT.

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. met with Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton when he visited the United States in December, Manalo said.

Asked if the United States would soon be sending officials to talk about the review of the MDT, Kim said that “a series of visitors [was expected] throughout this year,” but it was still to be decided whether any particular visit would focus on it.

American and Filipino officials, he said, are ready “to move forward any discussions about any aspect of the relationship, including the MDT.”



https://globalnation.inquirer.net/17300 ... z5f8j3TU5S

krzepice1976
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:48 pm

Chinese workers coming to the Philippines are not taking jobs from Filipinos, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Chill out. New Chinese get in via ‘visas upon arrival’ strictly administered by Immigration (not DFA) and do not take jobs from Filipinos,” Locsin said in a tweet.



https://globalnation.inquirer.net/17296 ... z5f8jKKlq3


krzepice1976
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Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:42 pm

The U.S. sent two warships close by islands claimed by Beijing in the disputed South China Sea on Monday, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said, as American negotiators arrived in the Chinese capital for talks aimed at resolving a trade spat between the two powers.

A spokesman for the 7th Fleet told The Japan Times that the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble had “conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the South China Sea,” with the two vessels sailing “within 12 nautical miles” (22 km) of the Spratly Islands
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/ ... ns-simmer/

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