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Chinese bomber flies round contested Spratlys in show of force: U.S. official

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

A Chinese H-6 strategic bomber flew around the Spratly Islands at the weekend in a new show of force in the contested South China Sea, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

It was the second such flight by a Chinese bomber in the South China Sea this year. The first was on Jan. 1, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The flight could be seen as a show of “strategic force” by the Chinese, the official said.

It comes after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has signaled a tougher approach to China when he takes office on Jan. 20, with tweets criticizing Beijing for its trade practices and accusing it of failing to help rein in nuclear-armed North Korea.

Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman, said he had no specific comment on China’s recent bomber activities, but added: “we continue to observe a range of ongoing Chinese military activity in the region‎.”

In December, China flew an H-6 bomber along the “nine-dash line” it uses to map its claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, a strategic global trade route. That flight also went around Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province.

In August, China conducted “combat patrols” near contested islands in the South China Sea.

Trump has enraged Beijing by breaking with decades of U.S. policy and speaking to the Taiwanese president by telephone.

A state-run Chinese newspaper warned Donald Trump on Sunday that China would “take revenge” if he reneged on the U.S. one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan’s president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Last week China said that a group of Chinese warships led by its sole aircraft carrier was testing weapons and equipment in exercises this week in the South China Sea, where territory is claimed by several regional states.

U.S. warships conducted what they call “freedom of navigation” patrols through the South China Sea over the past year amid growing concern about Chinese construction of air strips and docks on disputed reefs and islands. — Reuters

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Malacañang: China bombers in South China Sea ‘a serious concern’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2018

 

 

West Philippine Sea

 

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed “serious concern” over reports that Chinese H-6K bomber aircraft are now stationed in the disputed islands in the South China Sea although it admitted that it has no verified information yet on the matter.

Despite this, Malacañang insists the ASEAN’s call to claimant countries in the South China Sea to stop their respective activities in the disputed territory to avoid further escalation of tension and maintain regional peace.

“We take note of the reports that appeared and we express our serious concerns anew on its impact on constructive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region,” announced Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday, May 21.

Last weekend, President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech said he considers having a joint exploration and development in the disputed islands rather than waging war with China.

“We don’t have to fight. We can divide this in a joint development, a joint exploration. Then we’ll give you a bigger share rather than fight,” the President said in Cebuano.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano recently had a meeting with members of the U.S. Asia Pacific Command. Roque said such move was to show that the Philippines is giving high importance to its alliance with the US while opening doors to other countries like China, Russia, Australia, and Japan.

For its part, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assures the Filipino citizens that it is doing its best to constantly monitor the situation and to protect the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

In fact, the Philippine government is planning to raise the issue of militarization in the area in the upcoming Bilateral Consultative Mechanism consultations with China.

Amid reports, Magdalo Party List Rep Gary Alejano sees a diplomatic protest against China as a way to make known to the global community the growing concern over China’s militarization in the South China Sea.

“If we allow militarization there, na tayo di nagre-raise ng (and we do not raise our) concern, then we are a part of the aggressive militarization of China. The Philippines should file a diplomatic protest because when you file a diplomatic protest, it’s saying to the whole world that we are concerned about the militarization, “ Alejano said. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo

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Trump seeks to placate NoKor’s Kim after threat to scrap June 12 summit

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) photo release of Kim Jong Un on May 10, 2016 and US President Donald Trump posing for a photo on May 17, 2016 in New York City, USA. Reuters / KCNA / Lucas Jackson

 

US President Donald Trump seeks to placate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday.

This, after Pyongyang, threatened to scrap the summit between the two leaders if Washington continues to insist on the North to end its nuclear program.

Trump says the US would guarantee Kim’s security in any deal, and that he would not suffer the fate of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. It can be noted a senior US official suggested the North should follow the nuclear disarmament model of Libya.

The US president also criticized China, saying the North Korean leader has been possibly influenced by Beijing after the two recent visits Kim made there. — Reuters

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Duterte says waging war with China a ‘winless’ battle

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2018

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte talked tough about South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) during a media interview in Malacañang, Wednesday, May 16.

The President said it is pointless to question China’s military buildup in the disputed territory because infrastructures and defense equipment are already in place.

“There is an airport. There are businesses installed. There are military equipment already in place so what’s the point of questioning whether the planes there land or not? There’s an airstrip. Hindi naman mag-landing iyan doon sa bato. Maganda ang airstrip nila,” the President said.

Mr. Duterte said that even though he can declare war with China, he is not willing to risk his men in a “winless” battle.

“I can declare war on China tonight. At sino ang magpunta? Sundalo ko? Pulis ko? Mamatay lang lahat iyan. Why will I go to war for a battle that I cannot win? Para akong g***,” he said.

President Duterte said he is willing to discuss why he allow ”things to just stay there” but not at this time. Still, he reiterated that it is useless to fight China when it is impossible to dismantle the structures in the area.

“We have to take into account, but it would take a longer time to do that. Pero kung… Busy ako ngayon. I will discuss with you geopolitics and why I allow things to just stay there. Hindi mo na rin mapaalis. Bakit mo awayin?” the President said.

Mr. Duterte blamed the Aquino administration for not taking action despite filing and winning the Arbitration case against China.

“There was sufficient time for him to stop. Siya iyong nag-demanda. Bakit hindi sila pumunta doon?” he said.

The UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines’s claim to exclusive sovereign rights over the South China Sea. The decision was announced on July 12, 2016, days after President Duterte assumed presidency.

Despite justifying diplomacy with China, President Duterte vowed to insist the arbitral ruling during his term.

“In front of my entire Cabinet, I said that during my term I will insist and mention arbitral ruling,” the President assured. – Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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