The Philippines may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, President Benigno Aquino told Reuters on Monday, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbor China. The United States has stressed it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute, despite offering to help boost the Philippines' decrepit military forces. China has warned that "external forces" should not get involved. "We might be requesting overflights on that," Aquino told Reuters in an interview, referring to US P3C Orion spy planes. "We don't have aircraft with those capabilities." There was no immediate comment from Washington. Last month, Aquino pulled out a lightly armed coast guard ship and a fisheries boat due to bad weather around the Scarborough Shoal, a group of rock formations about 140 miles west of the main Philippine island of Luzon. The South China Sea is potentially the biggest military flashpoint in Asia, and tensions … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Philippines may ask for US spy planes over South China Sea
A handout file photo shows two Chinese surveillance ships which sailed between a Philippines warship and eight Chinese fishing boats to prevent the arrest of any fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal, a small group of rocky formations whose sovereignty is contested by the Philippines and China, in the South China Sea, about 124 nautical miles off the main island of Luzon April 10, 2012. In a month-long standoff between China and the Philippines over a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, Beijing has so far refrained from sending warships from its increasingly powerful and modern navy to enforce its territorial claims. Instead, China has deployed patrol vessels from its expanding fleet of paramilitary ships to Scarborough Shoal, known in Chinese as Huangyan Island. Naval experts say the intent is to minimize the risk of conflict and contain any regional backlash. After alarming some of its neighbors in recent years with assertive behavior in the South China Sea, China has turned to … [Read more...] about China’s ‘small stick’ approach to South China Sea
ASEAN should forge a common position on a proposed code of conduct aimed at easing tensions in the South China Sea before talking with China, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Tuesday. "It is important that we maintain ASEAN centrality," Aquino said at the annual ASEAN summit in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. "After the CoC (code of conduct) has been finalised by ASEAN, then ASEAN member states will meet with China." Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said there was a "big disagreement" at a session earlier when ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan announced that China might be invited to take part in the drafting of the code. "We are saying that we're happy to invite China but this should be done after the approval of the CoC (by ASEAN). I think that we should be masters of our own destiny as far as the CoC is concerned," del Rosario told reporters, adding that Vietnam expressed a similar sentiment. He said that it would be difficult for ASEAN -- … [Read more...] about Philippines urges united ASEAN stand on South China Sea
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?
The South China Sea (East Sea) sovereignty issue consists of a number of separate disputes. The Paracels are claimed by Vietnam and China (for purposes of this article, Taiwan-Republic of China and the People's Republic of China are treated as a single entity under the name of "China"). Scarborough Shoals are contested by China and the Philippines. The Spratlys are claimed wholly or partly by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. There are also disputes over maritime zones, such as the exclusive economic zones and the extended continental shelves. China's U-shaped line in the East Sea (red line). Added to this already complex situation is China's mysterious "U-shaped line," which arbitrarily encircles most of the South China Sea, creating disputes over maritime space and rights between it and Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and potentially all states in the world, which have rights in the South China Sea as prescribed by the United Nations … [Read more...] about South China Sea disputes: China, other claimants and the US