Philippines slams Chinese 'duplicity, intimidation'

The Philippines' foreign minister on Thursday denounced Chinese "duplicity" and "intimidation" in the South China Sea, souring the mood at a regional gathering designed to soothe tensions.

"If Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction can be denigrated by a powerful country through pressure, duplicity, intimidation and the threat of the use of force, the international community should be concerned about the behaviour," Albert del Rosario told the meeting, according to an official statement.

He was referring to a recent standoff between Chinese and Philippine boats at a rocky outcrop called the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by both sides.

Del Rosario said Beijing's increasingly assertive stance over disputed and non-disputed areas of the South China Sea posed a "threat to the peace and stability" in the Asia Pacific region.

"If left unchecked, the increasing tensions that is being generated in the process could further escalate into physical hostilities which no one wants," he said at the ASEAN Regional Forum, which was also attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The dispute over Scarborough Shoal began after Chinese government vessels blocked Philippine ships in an operation to arrest Chinese fishermen near the shoal on April 10.

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, even waters close to the coasts of neighbouring countries. The Philippines says the shoal is well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

A sharp disagreement over whether to mention the standoff over the shoal has held up a joint statement being prepared by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Manila wants the standoff mentioned while Cambodia, a staunch Chinese ally that currently holds the ASEAN chair, has rejected the proposal.

The Philippines is also leading a push for ASEAN to unite to propose to China a code of conduct aimed at governing behaviour and preventing conflicts in the South China Sea.

Progress on the code, strongly encouraged by the United States, was seen by analysts as a way of dissipating anger in the region and smoothing tensions after a string of recent confrontations.

Vietnam has accused China of aggressive behaviour and on Wednesday Japan lodged a formal complaint over Chinese boats approaching islands in the East China Sea which are controlled by Tokyo.

ASEAN has already agreed the key elements it will propose in any negotiations with China, including using international law such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as the basis for any dispute.

But analysts said Beijing was likely to reject any use of international law to settle disputes because its position is to deal bilaterally with each claimant.

Yang has told his fellow ASEAN ministers in Cambodia that China will consider the proposal but stressed that negotiations for a code of conduct will only be launched when "conditions are ripe".

Clinton said earlier Thursday that nations should settle their territorial disputes "without coercion, without intimidation, without threats, and without use of force".

She also urged progress on the long-stalled code of conduct for the South China Sea to avoid "confusion and even confrontation" over shipping and fishing rights in the resource-rich waterway which is home to key shipping lanes.

The Scarborough Shoal sits about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the Philippines' main island of Luzon. The nearest major Chinese landmass is 1,200 kilometres northwest of the shoal, according to Philippine navy maps.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

  • Metro sizzles at 35º Celsius
    Metro sizzles at 35º Celsius

    While the start of the summer season has yet to be declared by the state weather bureau, Metro Manila experienced its hottest temperature so far this year at 35.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), yesterday said the highest temperature was recorded around 3 p.m. at the Science Garden in Quezon City. Meanwhile, PAGASA recorded yesterday the hottest temperature in …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options