China says Philippines stirring tensions after Aquino supports Japan

admin   •   June 26, 2014   •   2119

Philippines’ President Benigno Aquino and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (R) attend a joint news conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo June 24, 2014. Aquino is in Japan for a one-day visit.
CREDIT: REUTERS/YUYA SHINO

(Reuters) – China on Wednesday accused the Philippines of creating tension in the region and urged Manila to show “sincerity” in upholding stability after President Benigno Aquino welcomed Japan’s more assertive military policy.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made it clear on Tuesday he wanted an early agreement with his ruling party’s dovish junior partner to ease constitutional curbs that have kept Japan’s military from fighting abroad since World War Two.

Aquino said after meeting Abe that “nations of goodwill can only benefit if the Japanese government is empowered to assist others”.

China’s foreign ministry said Aquino’s statement had complicated an already difficult situation.

“We think that the relevant country should earnestly show its sincerity, meet China halfway, rather than creating tensions and rivalry and adding new, complicating factors to the situation in the region,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

Hua urged Manila to “play a positive and constructive role” for peace and stability, “rather than the reverse”.

Japan and the Philippines are locked in disputes with China over territorial claims, respectively, in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Sino-Japanese ties have also long been plagued by what Beijing sees as Japan’s failure to atone for its often brutal occupation of parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s. “Because of historical reasons, China has maintained a high degree of concern about Japan’s policy movements in the military and security fields,” Hua said.

China, she said, hoped Japan would “understand and respect the legitimate concerns” of neighboring countries.

State media earlier said China had unveiled a new official map of the country giving greater play to its claims on the South China Sea, making the disputed waters and its numerous islets and reefs more clearly seem like national territory.

Previous maps included China’s claims to most of the South China Sea, but in a little box normally in a bottom corner to enable the rest of the country to fit easily onto a single leaf.

It was not clear, however, to what extent the map was new. Reuters was able to buy a very similar one, first printed last year, in one of Beijing’s main book stores.

ALL ON ONE MAP

The map described by media reports is longer and dispenses with the box. It shows continental China and its self-declared boundary in the South China Sea – stretching to the coasts of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines – on one complete map.

“The islands of the South China Sea on the traditional map of China are shown in a cut-away box, and readers cannot fully, directly know the full map of China,” the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said on its website.

The new map “has important meaning for promoting citizens’ better understanding of … maintaining (our) maritime rights and territorial integrity,” an unnamed official with its publishers told the newspaper.

Hua told reporters people should not read too much into the issuing of the new map. “The goal is to serve the Chinese public. As for the intentions, I think there is no need to make too much of any association here,” she said.

Philippine Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose said the publication of the map showed China’s “unreasonably expansive claims” that he said contravened international law.

“And it is precisely such ambitious expansionism that is causing tension in the South China Sea,” he told reporters.

Beijing claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea. Parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Tensions have risen sharply in the region in recent months, especially between China and both Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s positioning of an oil rig in waters claimed by both Beijing and Hanoi last month has led to rammings at sea between ships from both countries and anti-Chinese violence in Vietnam.

(Additional reporting by Manuel Mogato in MANILA; Editing by Ron Popeski)

11 Pinoy seafarers na ilang buwang stranded sa barko sa China, nakabalik na sa bansa

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Matapos ang halos pitong buwan ay nakauwi na sa bansa ang 11 Pilipinong marinong stranded sa sinasakyang barko sa China dahil sa pagsasara ng mga border sa iba’t ibang bansa sa gitna ng pandemiya.

Martes ng madaling araw nang dumating sa bansa ang grupo at pansamantalang mamamalagi sa isang quarantine facility sa Pasay City upang hintayin ang resulta ng swab test na isinagawa sa paliparan.

Ayon kay Anthony Medina, labis ang kagalakan niya at ng kanyang mga kasamahan dahil sa wakas ay nakauwi na sila at muli nang makakapiling ang kani-kanilang pamilya.

“Sobrang saya po namin talagang halos gusto namin na mauna pa kami sa eroplano makalapag eh. Makikita na po namin ang mga mahal namin sa buhay,” ang wika ni Medina.

Nagpasalamat din ang kapatid ni Anthony na si Analiza Medina sa lahat ng mga tumulong upang makauwi ang mga tripulante.

“Para po kaming nanghihina na parang wala ng mag rerescue sa kanila. Kaya po talagang sobrang saya namin na nakauwi na sila. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa lahat ng tumulong at sa mga hindi po nagsawa na tulungan sila,” ang pahayag ni Analiza.

Bago umuwi sa kani-kanilang pamilya, kailangan munang asikasuhan ng mga marino ang ilang mga bagay sa kanilang agency.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration na bibigyan ng ayuda ang mga umuwing seafarer. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

DFA finalizes repatriation for 11 stranded Filipino seafarers onboard Ocean Star 86

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 25, 2020

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is finalizing the repatriation of the remaining 11 Filipino seafarers stranded in Chinese waters onboard Ocean Star 86 since March 24.

The DFA and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) are already coordinating with the Philippine Embassy in China. OWWA said the seafarers will be able to return home by next week.

“Mayroon na po napipintong repatriation either this coming week or first week of October ng ating mga mahal na stranded seafarers sa China (Our stranded seafarers in China will be repatriated either this coming week or first week of October). We are now providing assistance to the seafarers,” according to OWWA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac.

Based on the information received by OWWA, the Ocean Star 86 is docked in the mainland and the Philippine Embassy in China has been providing assistance to the seafarers. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Japan Coast Guard stops search ops for crew of missing cargo vessel

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese Coast Guard has ended its full-time search operations for the missing crew of a cargo vessel that sank off southwestern Japan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In a statement, the DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard has transitioned to its usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship since Sept. 5.

“The DFA joins the families and loved ones in continued prayers for the missing seafarers,” it said.

Reports said the 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 ship was carrying 5,800 cows west of the western coast of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture when it made a distress call on September 2. The cause of the distress is still unknown but the weather and seas were rough in the area due to Typhoon Maysak.

The vessel was carrying 43 crew members, 39 of whom are Filipinos.

The Japanese Coast Guard earlier found the remains of a Filipino sailor, while two were rescued.

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