For the few dozen Filipinos living on a remote speck of land in the South China Sea, each day is a battle against loneliness but also a love affair with nature. Contact with the outside world is limited and comforts are few for the residents of "Freedom" town, which exists mainly to raise the Philippine flag and fend off the other claimants to the Spratly islands. "People here just play billiards, ping-pong. We have no markets and no malls. You need a special mindset to stay here," said Eugenio Bito-onon, 55, mayor of the town of Kalayaan, the Filipino word for freedom. Bito-onon, who initially went to Kalayaan in 1997 to work as a town planner, said he learned to cope by playing guitar, watching videos and simply walking around the small islands surrounded by the purest blue ocean waters. "I love the beauty of the place. It is so peaceful," said the deeply suntanned Bito-onon while on a visit recently back to Puerto Princesa, the nearest major Philippine city on Palawan island. … [Read more...] about Filipinos fly flag in South China Sea
China sea map
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, July 24, 2011 (AFP) - The United States on Sunday condemned acts of "intimidation" in the South China Sea and called for greater international attention to resolve maritime disputes that threaten trade. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a deal between China and Southeast Asian nations on guidelines for future negotiations over the South China Sea was just a "first step" towards a binding code of conduct. "We think it was an important first step but only a first step in adopting the declaration of conduct," Clinton told reporters in Indonesia after attending Asia's main security forum. More detailed negotiations are needed to unpick a tangle of maritime stakes in the South China Sea, which China claims in its entirety despite rival assertions by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, Clinton said. "There needs to be a lot of dialogue between (Southeast Asian nations) and China... and the rest of the world needs to weigh in because all of us … [Read more...] about US says South China Sea is global problem
New developments of rising China in the South China Sea have posed serious threat looming over the sovereignty of Vietnam, driving the political elites of this small country into devising appropriate strategies to cope with. Apart from those strategies of common knowledge there emerges a new food for thought of exercising people-to-people diplomacy, a kind of Vietnam's "soft power", as offset against the new great power of China with its redoubtable military clout in the struggle for sovereignty over the South China Sea. Some pros and cons of several strategies shall be explored in the article with an ending open for further thinking about a new kind of "soft power" - people-to-people diplomacy. The capacity of such nongovernmental diplomacy strategy Vietnam could employ shall also be juxtaposed by other household ones such as internationalization and balancing. South China Sea or East Vietnam Sea or whatever it may be called all refer to a part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s foreign policy in territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned China for releasing a map and announcing its so-called 12th Five-Year-Plan of National Oceanic Development, in which it claims sovereignty over Vietnam's Truong Sa (Paracel) and Hoang Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said Wednesday the map and the plan are totally valueless. "Vietnam affirms its indisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, sovereignty and jurisdiction rights over the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea as is laid out in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," Nghi said. He told the press the release of the map and the announcement of the plan seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty. He added that such actions breach international law and an agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China, and are not in line with the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of … [Read more...] about Vietnam denounces China over map, oceanic development plan
The follow-up article by researcher Nguyen Dinh Dau explains why the East Sea, from the name Giao Chi (Jiaozhi) Sea in the 14th century, was mistakenly noted by Western people as the South China Sea. From the Giao Chi sea to the U-shape line The East Sea disputes The world map (continents) as drawn by Henricus Matellus Germanus in 1498 In the article "From the East Sea to the U-shape Line", researcher Nguyen Dinh Dau clarified that in ancient maps of Chinese people; the East Sea was named Giao Chi Sea, Great East Sea or Southeastern Sea. From this aspect, a question emerges. Why the Giao Chi Sea (14th century) was mistakenly called by Western people as the South China Sea as today? We would like to introduce the follow-up article by researcher Nguyen Dinh Dau to answer this question. From the utmost antiquity to the 14th century, ancient people thought that the globe had only three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Perhaps the pioneer for this is Greek geographer Ptolemeo … [Read more...] about Why the East Sea became the South China Sea?