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China warships intrude into PH shoal in Spratlys
« on: March 26, 2012, 03:04:43 PM »
THREE Chinese ships were monitored to have intruded at a shoal inside the country’s territory in disputed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea last month, Navy officials said yesterday.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Alexander Pama confirmed the Chinese intrusion shortly after the Department of Foreign Affairs announced it had filed a diplomatic protest against Beijing for the incident.

Two warships were spotted by patrolling units of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao last December 11 at the Sabina Shoal, about 113 km northwest of Palawan.

Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay, Navy spokesman, said another Chinese ship was seen in the same area though it was "not clear in the report" if it was a warship.

"As observed, the vessels were apparently surveying the area and appeared to be merely passing through. No other activities or untoward acts were reported as the vessels immediately departed the area and no further sightings were monitored in the days that followed," said Tonsay.

Pama said Navy units tried to "challenge" or chase the Chinese ships but they sped away. "What happened there was like a cat and mouse (act)," said Pama.

Pama said Sabina Shoal is near the Reed Bank where two Chinese ships harassed a Department of Energy ship involved in oil exploration in March last year. The DFA had also filed a diplomatic protest over that incident.

Pama likened Sabina Shoal to Scarborough Shoal – off Zambales which is disputed by China and the Philippines. He said the two shoals can hardly be seen during high tide but portions can be seen during low tide.

"It’s way inside our EEZ (exclusive economic zone)," said Pama of Sabina Shoal.

Asked how the Navy is taking the latest incursion by China, Pama said: "We expect those things to happen, that’s why our Navy units are vigilant…What usually happens three is cat and mouse (play)," he said.

In October last year, a Navy ship chased a Chinese fishing boat off Reed Bank. The Chinese boat scampered, leaving a number of small boats it was towing, one of them was accidentally rammed by the Navy ship.

Pama said the DFA filed the diplomatic protest against China, "being consistent that that’s (Sabina Shoal) part of our territory. They filed the protest so they (Chinese) won’t be used to it," he also said.

"I’m sure their (China) answer, their line, is that that is part of their territory…It seems," said Pama, adding that the Chinese ships involved in the incursion "appear to be patrolling, appear to be surveying."

Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are claiming in part or in whole the Spratlys, a chain of islands and islets believed to be rich in oil and minerals deposits. Of the claimant-countries, China is militarily the strongest.

The DFA said that it "conveyed to the Chinese Embassy’s charge d’affaires its serious concerns over recent actions of the People’s Republic of China in the West Philippine Sea."

According to Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Domingo, the intrusions are clearly against international laws and treaties. – With Antonio de los Reyes

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Lorenzo

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Re: China warships intrude into PH shoal in Spratlys
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 03:05:50 PM »
us-bid-sustain - China warships intrude into PH shoal in Spratlys - Asia | Middle East


Lorenzo

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Re: China warships intrude into PH shoal in Spratlys
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 03:06:42 PM »
Why do they need to send missile frigates for? Such unnecessary show of force. Are they trying to stir an arms race? C'mon China, be more diplomatic....and learn to compromise.



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