Skip to main content

Chinese warships enter West Philippine Sea

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Chinese naval vessels entered Philippine waters on February 1 amid efforts by the Philippines to peacefully resolve its territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea through arbitration in the United Nations.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday that a naval fleet of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) entered the West Philippine Sea "for patrol and training missions" this week.

Xinhua said the three ships from the PLA Navy's North China Sea fleet-the missile destroyer Qingdao and missile frigates Yantai and Yancheng-traveled through the Bashi Channel, an international sea route between Luzon and Taiwan, before entering the West Philippine Sea at 11:40 a.m. on Friday.

The report said the training exercises would be held within Chinese "territorial waters."
China claims almost all of the West Philippine Sea, including parts close to the shores of the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

UN arbitration

The Philippines has protested Chinese incursions into waters within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but China insists those waters are part of its territory.
Last month, the Philippines took its dispute with China to the United Nations for arbitration.

The Philippines asked the United Nations to declare invalid China's claim to parts of the sea that are within the Philippine EEZ.

Manila also asked the United Nations to stop Beijing's incursions into Philippine territory in the sea.

It is not clear whether the Philippine action can proceed without China's participation in the arbitration.

China refuses to bring its territorial disputes with its neighbors to any international forum, insisting on resolution through bilateral negotiations.

US support

A congressional delegation from the United States that recently visited Manila, however, expressed support for the Philippines' decision to go into arbitration in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it decided to take the dispute to the United Nations because the government had already exhausted all other options.


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…