Skip to main content

Philippines protests China stopping troop resupply

The Chinese coast guard prevented delivery of supplies to Filipino soldiers guarding a disputed shoal in the South China Sea and an envoy rejected a Philippine protest over the interference, officials said Tuesday.

Chinese ships prevented two Filipino civilian vessels hired by the Philippine navy from reaching Second Thomas Shoal on Sunday, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The shoal is called Ayungin Shoal by Manila and Ren'ai Reef by the Chinese.

"Ayungin Shoal is part of the continental shelf of the Philippines and therefore, the Philippines is entitled to exercise sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in the area without the permission of other states," the statement said.

China's actions "constitute a clear and urgent threat to the rights and interests of the Philippines" under the Law of the Sea, it added.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the resupply was a routine activity that hasn't been interrupted by the Chinese in the past.

"For 15 years we have conducted regular resupply missions and personnel rotation without interference from China," he said.

He said the Chinese ships used digital signs, sirens and megaphones in ordering the Filipino vessels to leave. The Filipinos returned to Palawan, the nearest Philippine province east of the Shoal.
China's charge d'affaires was summoned and handed the protest note. Hernandez said that as in the past, Beijing rejected the protest.

Less than a month ago, Manila also protested a Chinese water cannon attack on Filipino fisherman near another disputed shoal. No one was injured in the Jan. 27 incident at the Scarborough Shoal off the country's main island of Luzon in the north.

The Filipino troops awaiting fresh supplies are stationed on a decrepit military hospital ship that ran aground in 1999 on the shallow coral outcrop of the Second Thomas Shoal. The rusty ship has since become the symbol of the country's sovereignty over the area.

China has been demanding the removal of the ship, claiming that the area is part of Chinese territory.
Department of National Defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said "the Chinese coast guard ships blocked our two vessels which were en route to Ayungin to reprovision" the troops. He did not give other details.

The Chinese did not block Philippine marines and supplies to the station last June, a month after the deployment of Chinese ships to the area that also prompted diplomatic protests from Manila.

China's official Xinhua news agency on Monday quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying that the two Philippine ships were loaded with construction materials and were driven away by Chinese coast guard vessels as they approached the shoal.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters including the Ren'ai Reef," Qin said.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea. Nansha is the Chinese name for the Spratlys, a chain of resource-rich islands, islets and reefs claimed partly or wholly by China, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Article Source: Yahoo News

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…