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China’s naming of PH Rise’s features, wrong-timing — Cayetano

by admin   |   Posted on Monday, 19 February 2018 02:35 PM


The Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, is part of the Philippines’ continental shelf.

MANILA, Philippines —  Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano finds it inappropriate that China named some of the underwater features in the Philippine Rise.

He said it was wrong timing especially when there are existing territorial issues among some Asian countries on the territory issues in the West Philippine Sea.

But the secretary stood firm that the country will not use the names China has given to the underwater features.

“Protest means you’re complaining, you’re not agreeing. So we have to make that to International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). But regardless whatever IHO will say, we won’t recognize foreign names here, unless we agreed,” said the foreign affairs secretary.

But the secretary admitted that like other kinds of exploration, any country has the right to name what they discovered.

“In the scientific community when you discover something, it’s your pride to name it. So when French nationals discover it, they’ll put a French name. When Americans discover, they’ll put American name,” said the official.

Meanwhile, a formal communication with China is the action needed to be done by the Philippine government regarding the scientific exploration according to University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea expert Jay Batongbacal.

But he said this should have been done before it was discovered that China named our natural resources.

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has a scientific basis in approving a name of an underwater sea feature.

“I’m not sure that is going to be the proper communication since this is an international organization, and is engaged in scientific work. There was a process for naming that had been followed and the process has already been concluded so I’m not sure if there is an additional procedure for seeking the reversal of their decision,” said Cayetano.— Mai Bermudez | UNTV News and Rescue

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China commits in drafting South China Sea Code of Conduct – FM Wang

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, 21 March 2019 05:52 PM

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Pagasa (Hope) Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines July 20, 2011. REUTERS/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL

BEIJING, China – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin has met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday (March 20) where the two officials discussed matters pertaining to issues that concern both countries.

Wang assured the Philippines that China will cooperate with all member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in crafting the long-stalled Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in the next three years.

China also raised the possibility of discussing its flagship Belt and Road program.

“China will work together with the Philippines and other ASEAN countries, to remain determined, exclude interference, and strive to finish negotiations on the COC by the end of 2021, and make it a real stabilizer for the South China Sea situation,” Wang said.

In April, the Philippines and China will meet to discuss the China-Philippine Bilateral Consultation Mechanism.

Locsin confirmed, meanwhile, that President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the second Belt and Road Forum in China scheduled next month.

The official added that the Philippine government is working on strengthening its political trust with China to further boost the two countries’ bilateral cooperation which include programs on maritime cooperation and peace and navigational stability.

“Between the Philippines and China, which have always been friends and never enemies, resisting attempts by the great powers of the previous century to use our proximity against each other rather than for each other’s benefit,” Locsin said.

“Early on, I am proud to say that I was part of an effort to bring our countries close together,” the Foreign Affairs Secretary concluded. —  Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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DFA Sec. Locsin to visit China next week

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 15 March 2019 12:22 PM

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will embark on a four-day official visit to China next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday (March 16).

The official visit will take place from March 18 to 21, upon the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“Secretary Locsin and his Chinese counterpart will hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the strengthening of the friendly relations between the Philippines and China in the spirit of mutual respect and through enhanced functional cooperation,” the DFA said in a statement.

The two foreign ministers are also expected to tackle ways to advance the larger goal of “bringing peace and prosperity to the region.”

This will be Locsin’s first visit to China since assuming the post in October last year.

The Duterte administration has been vocal on its intent to forge stronger economic ties with China despite a maritime dispute over the South China Sea.

The incumbent government has opted to hold a bilateral consultation mechanism with China to settle the dispute, setting aside discussions on the permanent court of arbitration’s ruling on the contested waterways.

In 2016, the international tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China’s expansive nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. – Robie de Guzman

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PHL’s strong defense must remain in the West Philippine Sea, expert says

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 6 March 2019 09:09 PM

A Filipino soldier patrols at the shore of Pagasa island (Thitu Island) in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, May 11, 2015. REUTERS/RITCHIE B. TONGO/POOL

The government must maintain its strong defense surrounding the Pag-asa Island and some areas in the West Philippines Sea that are still part of the Philippine territory based on the 2016 arbitration resolution.

This is what the maritime law expert, Dir. Jay Batongbacal said after reports surfaced that Chinese coast guards are preventing Filipino fishermen from fishing in the disputed territory.

Batongbacal said, the presence of China’s naval vessels in the said area is a tactic that Philippine authorities should note as an indication of the need to strengthen its defenses in the country’s territory.

“In a way, it’s not new. But what makes it important is that, it is clearly being employed to monitor and to maybe make it difficult for the Philippines to carry out its repair works on the island,” Batongbacal said.

However, according to defense analyst, Jose Antonio Custodio, the government still has to take an action to protect the Filipino fishermen in the disputed territory.

Batongbacal also suggested that the government should carry out a protest against the harassment that Chinese vessels are inflicting on Filipino fishermen despite warming relations with China following the administration’s foreign policy rebalancing towards Asia.

“A protest is necessary, even a quiet one, just to make sure we will never be seen as having accepted the situation,” Batongbacal said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang is yet to confirm with the Department of National Defense reports about the alleged harassment of Filipino fishermen. — Freema Salonga- Gloria (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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