Philippines calls for construction freeze in South China Sea

admin   •   June 16, 2014   •   2079

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario delivers a statement during a news conference in Manila March 30, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

(Reuters) – The Philippines said on Monday that China’s “expansion agenda” in the disputed South China Sea threatened security and stability in the region, calling on all claimant states to halt construction activities that may raise tensions.

Albert del Rosario, foreign affairs secretary, said he supported U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel’s proposal for China and Southeast Asian states to get together for dialogue.

“Let’s call for a moratorium in terms of activities that escalate tension,” del Rosario told ANC Television on Monday. “Now, let’s do that while we work on an expeditious conclusion of the code of conduct and effective implementation.”

Del Rosario said China and other claimant states have been rushing construction activities in their respective claimed territories to expand, citing works in Fiery Cross Reef, Johnson South Reef, Gaven Reef, and Cuarteron Reef.

“They’re accelerating their expansion agenda for the following reasons … one is they want to do this before the conclusion of the code of conduct. They’re also trying to do this very quickly in anticipation of the handing down of the tribunal award.”

Southeast Asian states have been pressing China to conclude a Code of Conduct – a set of rules governing naval actions – for the South China Sea. Last year, the Philippines filed a case at the U.N. Arbitral Court in The Hague to clarify its rights to explore and exploit resources under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea. China has refused to participate in the case.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had a right to do what it wanted on its islands in the South China Sea as they were Chinese territory, and criticized the Philippines for what it called Manila’s illegal occupation of some of the islands and construction work there.

“On the one hand, the Philippines keep making further provocative moves, and one the other hand make thoughtless remarks about China’s appropriate moves within the scope of our sovereignty,” she told a daily news briefing. “This is totally unreasonable.”

China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, believed to have huge oil-and-gas deposits and rich in fishery resources. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims over the sea where about $5 trillion of ship-borne trade passes every year.

Del Rosario said Chinese construction in the Spratlys was an attempt to alter the character of the features, converting reefs into islands to be able to increase maritime entitlements.

China and Vietnam are also involved in an increasingly bitter spat over the operations of a Chinese oil rig in another part of the South China Sea, around the Paracel Islands.

China has made Woody Island, which Beijing calls Sansha city, the hub of its operations on the Paracels, including building a port and airport facilities there.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; and Lara Murallos; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchardin BEIJING; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

2 Filipino sailors kidnapped in West Africa – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday said that two Filipino seafarers were abducted in West Africa.

In a statement, the DFA said it received a report of another piracy incident from the Philippine Embassy in Abuja that resulted in the kidnapping of two more Filipino sailors “somewhere in Togo.”

The department said the recent incident brings to 11 the total number of Filipino seafarers kidnapped in West Africa following a report on nine others who were captured in Benin last week.

“The Philippine Government is actively tracking the development of the case with the Embassy in Abuja continuing its coordination with relevant authorities to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino seafarers,” the DFA said.

The department added it is in close communication with the sailors’ manning agency and would provide updates as necessary on the incident.

China’s Singles Day sales surpass $1 billion in 1st minute

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

Workers sort packages at the Yuqiao mail processing center on Singles’ Day, in Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, 11 November 2019. Singles’ Day is the largest online shopping festival in the world and Chinese consumers are expected to spend billions on bargains during the one-day e-commerce shopping spree. EPA-EFE/MENG DELONG CHINA OUT

SHANGHAI, China — China’s golden day for e-commerce, Singles Day, began at midnight (16.00 GMT Sunday) with sales surpassing $1 billion in just one minute through the platforms of online retail giant Alibaba Group.

At 12 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, millions of Chinese began shopping and Alibaba began counting orders with the aim of breaking internet sales records for a single day.

In the first five minutes alone, products worth $4.3 billion were sold on platforms such as Taobao or T-Mall in this public shopping festival similar to Black Friday in the United States.

One hour after midnight, Alibaba Group said sales had reached over $12 billion.

The goal is to beat last year’s record of $30.8 billion in sales, a figure expected to be achieved through an increasing number of Chinese internet users and online shoppers.

According to Alibaba Group’s latest quarterly results published at the beginning of November, annual active consumers in China reached 693 million, 15.3 percent more than a year earlier.

Singles Day emerged in 2009 with the participation of only 27 stores and a collection of just 52 million yuan ($7.4 million).

Sales each year now reach 2.5 times higher than the total of Black Friday and Cyber Monday – large sales days in the US — combined.

Although most purchases are made in China, there are also international transactions since the company is present in other countries through its AliExpress platform.

And although other online sales platforms have joined the day, as well as thousands of physical stores, Alibaba is the main promoter.

It celebrates in style, such as with a televised gala in which artists and celebrities encourage people to buy.

Sunday’s show, which ended with a countdown to mark the beginning of shopping, was held in the city of Shanghai and featured performances by artists such as the US pop star Taylor Swift. EFE-EPA

DFA monitors abduction of Pinoy sailors off Benin, Africa

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 6, 2019

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is currently monitoring the status of the nine Filipino sailors who were abducted by suspected pirates off Benin in West Africa.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs is in close contact with the seafarers’ manning agency and joins the relatives’ primary call to ensure our nationals’ safety and security,” the DFA said in a statement.

Authorities in Benin have confirmed that nine Filipinos were abducted by suspected pirates while waiting at the harbor of the port of Cotonou in Benin.

“The Autonomous Port of Cotonou regrets to inform you that Saturday morning, November 2, 2019, an act of piracy took place in the harbor area,” the port authorities said in a statement.—AAC

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

(+632) 8920.8336 (Fax)

info@untvweb.com (General inquiries)

support@untvweb.com

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+632) 8396-8688

ADVERTISE WITH US

(+632) 8 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164

advertising@untvweb.com

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.