Skip to main content

Manila tack on China row wins Asean nod

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have agreed that the regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea should integrate provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), a treaty that the Philippines cites in its claim to disputed Scarborough Shoal and other islands.

Unclos virtually scraps China’s historical claim over majority of the islands in the South China Sea using its “nine dashed line” argument that covers 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea on Chinese maps.

The Asean working group on the Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea has concluded discussions on the key elements of the draft Code of Conduct in the South China Sea for the Asean side.

Nong Sakal, deputy director general of the General Department of Asean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, chaired the 7th Meeting of the Asean Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) working group on the regional Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea.

Cambodia chairs the Asean meetings this year. Members include the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Burma or Myanmar.

The inputs of the working group would be submitted for the consideration of the Asean SOM then forwarded to the foreign ministers meeting in middle of July and for consideration of the Asean and Chinese leaders meeting in November this year.

“The meeting agreed to submit the draft Asean proposed key elements of the regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea to the Asean SOM for consideration,” said an Asean statement after the meeting. It included recommendations of the Asean Foreign Ministers in January that the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea must be based on the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.”

The Asean officials drafting the code said, “the UN Charter and universally recognized international laws are aimed at promoting confidence building and cooperation between Asean and China for the sake of peace, stability and security in the South China Sea.”

The code of conduct aims to demilitarize the disputed islands in the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal, that are being claimed by the Philippines and China. Other claimants to the disputed islands in the South China Sea include Asean members such as Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. 

The Philippines is seeking to engage international and regional platforms such as the United Nations and Asean to address the increasing tensions with China over the incidents in the Scarborough Shoal since April and previous Chinese military presence in disputed islands in the South China Sea based on Unclos.

But China insists on pushing for bilateral negotiations with other claimant countries to settle the disputes.

The Philippines had earlier opposed the inclusion of China in the drafting of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, saying the code should be a product of negotiations solely of the 10-member Asean that will have to be signed as a final document by China. 

Estrella Torres | Business Mirror | June 13, 2012 | Article Link


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…