Expert sees slow, steady increase of Chinese activities against PH

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 14) — Following the laser incident in Ayungin Shoal, an expert on Tuesday said he is seeing an increase in Chinese activities that prevent Philippine authorities from freely moving around its waters.카지노사이트

“I think we are seeing a slow and steady escalation of Chinese activities, all of it intended to blockade basically Ayungin Shoal and prevent us from resupplying our troops there,” maritime affairs expert Jay Batongbacal told CNN Philippines’ The Source. “I think this is all heading in the direction of China eventually taking Ayungin Shoal away by preventing us from maintaining our outpost there.”

On Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that a Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) ship with bow No. 5205 reached around 18 kilometers (10 nautical miles) off Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

It crossed the bow of BRP Malapascua at a distance of 7.4 km (4 nautical miles), as if to warn the PCG ship to stop or alter course. The Philippine vessel was en route to deliver supplies to Filipino troops aboard BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal.

The CCG’s move was followed by “dangerous maneuvers,” with a close distance of about 150 yards from the starboard quarter of the Philippine vessel before the Chinese ship shone its military-grade laser, causing temporary blindness to the PCG crew.

Batongbacal said the use of such equipment can be already considered as a threat of the use of force.

“This is no longer a mere attempt to enforce maritime law. This is already an act by one state against another state through their respective government vessels,” he added.

He also pointed out that there was no need to use a laser given the close distance between the two vessels. Chinese and Philippine authorities also have a hotline of their own that they can use to communicate concerns, he added.

Batongbacal emphasized that the Ayungin Shoal is part of Manila’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Therefore, the Philippines does not need to ask for permission from China to access the area.바카라사이트

“It cannot be subjected to claims of appropriation that would create territorial or sovereignty claims over any feature. The South China Sea arbitration clearly ruled that Second Thomas Shoal, or Ayungin Shoal, is not subject to any kind of appropriation by China,” he said.

For China, the Philippines was the one intruding into its waters, claiming that the Ayungin Shoal is part of the its Nansha Islands.

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Wang Wenbin said they only “upheld China’s sovereignty and maritime order,” calling the act “professional and restrained.”

Batongbacal said Beijing’s action does not reflect its statement that it wants cooperation, peace, and consultations to settle maritime issues.

The East Asian super power may be held liable for its actions, since under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a state undertaking legitimate maritime law enforcement activities should not conduct this in a manner that may lead to a harmful incident.

“It’s supposed to restrain itself from such actions and make sure that such actions are really the last resort already,” Batongbacal said.

What the Philippine government can do now is to demand from China that “friendship in words be matched by friendship in deeds.”

“We should demand that China stop all of these activities and withdraw its forces from the area around Ayungin Shoal and the Kalayaan Island group because if they are true to their word, if they were really sincere in seeking a negotiated settlement and finding ways to cooperate, they wouldn’t be doing this kinds of coercive and threatening activities against us,” Batongbacal said.온라인카지노

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