Skip to main content

China twits Philippines' 'historical, legal errors'


BEIJING, China (UPDATED) -  The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that China had rejected the Philippines' request to submit the two countries' territorial disputes in the South China Sea to international arbitration.

The ministry's spokesman Hong Lei said China's ambassador to the Philippines, Ma Keqing, met on Tuesday with officials from the Philippines' Foreign Ministry to reject the request.
Hong stressed that China has consistently advocated resolving territorial disputes bilaterally, a stance he said was supported by the ASEAN countries.

"The Philippines' actions not only violated this consensus, they also make numerous historical and legal errors, including false criticism of China. China absolutely cannot accept it," Hong told a regular news conference in Beijing.

"We hope the Philippine side can scrupulously abide by its promises, not take actions to expand and complicate the situation, and positively respond to proposals made by China on setting up a negotiation system to discuss maritime disputes, and restarting work of building a mutual-trust mechanism," he added.

China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan all claim territory in the South China Sea.

China's claim is the largest, forming a vast U-shape over most of the sea's 1.7 million square km (648,000 square miles), including the Spratly and Paracel archipelagos.

China has insisted on handling the disputes on a one-on-one basis rather than multilaterally, a strategy some critics have described as "divide and conquer."

DFA: Arbitration to proceed

In response to China's move, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said: “China’s action will not interfere with the process of Arbitration initiated by the Philippines on 22 January 2013. The Arbitration will proceed under Annex VII of [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea] and the 5-member arbitration panel will be formed with or without China.”
“The Philippines remains committed to Arbitration which is a friendly, peaceful and durable form of dispute settlement that should be welcomed by all,” the DFA said.

DFA also said the soon-to-be-formed tribunal will check the domestic laws of China, which should be in conformity with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario earlier said UNCLOS, which defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, will be the great “equalizer.”

Article 9 of Annex 7 provides that: “If one of the parties to the dispute does not appear before the arbitral tribunal or fails to defend its case, the other party may request the tribunal to continue the proceedings and to make its award. Absence of a party or failure of a party to defend its case shall not constitute a bar to the proceedings. Before making its award, the arbitral tribunal must satisfy itself not only that it has jurisdiction over the dispute but also that the claim is well founded in fact and law.”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters / ABS-CBNnews.com | February 20, 2013 | Article Link

Comments

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…