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Kang

China, Philippines locked in naval standoff

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Filed: Timeline

We have an interesting development in the Pacific region

Hong Kong (CNN) -- The Philippines said Wednesday that its largest naval vessel is engaged in a standoff with two Chinese maritime surveillance ships in a remote lagoon in the South China Sea.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said the country's navy had sent the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a 378-foot cutter, to the area of Scarborough Shoal on Sunday after surveillance aircraft spotted eight Chinese fishing boats anchored inside the lagoon.

China and the Philippines both claim that Scarborough Shoal, about 200 kilometers west of the Philippine mainland, is "an integral part" of their territory.

A boarding team from the Gregorio del Pilar went to inspect the Chinese fishing boats Tuesday morning and found "large amounts of illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks" inside one of the boats, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Later Tuesday, the Gregorio del Pilar reported that the two Chinese surveillance ships had arrived and taken up a position at the mouth of the lagoon, blocking the way to the fishing boats and "preventing the arrest" of the fishermen. The situation remained the same Wednesday morning, the Philippine statement said.

The Philippine foreign minister, Albert Del Rosario, is seeking a "diplomatic solution" to the situation with China, the statement said.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila has complained to the Philippine authorities about "the harassment of Chinese fishermen," China's official news agency reported Wednesday.

China has "urged the Philippine side to stop immediately their illegal activities and leave the area," Xinhua reported, saying that the fishermen were taking shelter in the lagoon "due to harsh weather conditions."

The embassy is "still engaged in discussions with the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs to seek a solution" and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, Xinhua said.

The South China Sea -- a 1.3 million square mile patch of the Pacific Ocean bracketed by China and several Southeast Asian nations -- is dotted with hundreds of largely uninhabited islands and coral atolls that are home to some of the world's most diverse marine life. Also under its waves lie potentially huge reserves of natural gas and oil.

That prospect has peppered the sea with competing claims from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. It has also resulted in frequent small-scale clashes. Last year, a spate of incidents took place between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.

Here is a map

_54145268__48951920_south_china-sea_1_466-1.gif

http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/11/world/asia/philippines-china-naval-standoff/index.html

Edited by Kang

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Filed: Timeline

They think they own the sea "based on historical claims". It is laughable, to be honest.

From what I gather, claimant countries want Multilateral talks, China wants bilateral talks. You can see the dirty game right now.

Also, this stand off is still presently on going because the Philippines wants to arrest the illegal Chinese fishermen but two Chinese maritime ships blockaded the island, therefore, a standoff.

Other than the Philippines, Vietnam also pretty much have the same complaints on Chinese harassment and intrusion

Edited by Kang

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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The chinese claim is so preposterous, I don't even see how they can take themselves seriously.

agreed


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: China
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IIRC, a helicopter can land on that cutter,

so at least the arrested fisherman can be choppered out, back to Manila, for incarceration whilst held over for trial.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
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PI can't afford to act without consulting US. I think Obama doesn't really want more poop hitting the fan right now. I say fisherman walk. We probably have a carrier headed in that direction now.

It could be interesting to see what the Chinese would do if the Philippines arrested the fishermen with a couple US ships hanging around.

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Would this be happening if the Philippines hadn't chose to shut down Subic Bay naval base?


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Yes. It's a continuation of an old territorial dispute.

I would think the Chinese might not be so belligerent if that base was still up and running.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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