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Philippines, China set to conduct second bilateral consultative mechanism next month

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

The Department of Foreign Affairs or DFA defended itself from allegations that it is not taking steps to stop China’s ongoing militarization of the West Philippine Sea.

Critics particularly refer to Beijing’s construction of military structures in the disputed territory, which they alleged, the DFA is not addressing.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said, “They are asking why there are many ships, whether coastguard or navy, near PAGASA, because the Chinese are just being sensitive that there should be no build up in the sandbars or in any features because there was an agreement that there should be no buildings.”

According to Cayetano, Philippines and China continue to discuss ways on how to resolve the dispute in a peaceful manner.

Manila and Beijing are set to tackle some sensitive information regarding the West Philippine Sea during their second bilateral consultation in February.

“All the issues, including the concerns of our fishermen, as well as how do we see the long-term: where we will be 5 years from now, 10 years, 15 years from now? If other countries are using militarization, how do you define militarization?” said Cayetano.

DFA noted the two countries may also discuss the possibility of joint exploration in the disputed waters.

“There are samples around the world where there were disputed areas and an agreement had been reached allowing both countries access. That was because they dealt with sovereignty rights or economic rights,” said the DFA secretary.  — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Palace on alleged Chinese weather stations in WPS: Diplomatic process will be taken

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of China occupied Subi Reef at Spratly Islands in disputed South China Sea April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Francis Malasig/Pool

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang is unfazed by reports that allegedly the Chinese government has already installed weather facilities in some of the artificial islands in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said such report needs to be verified first.

“We have to get the confirmation of that because that is merely a news report,” Panelo said.

Knowledge on the alleged weather stations were recently heard from Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang who said: “China has begun operating a maritime observation center, a meteorological observatory and a national environmental and air quality monitoring station on reefs of the Nansha Islands.”

“These projects are designed to observe the maritime, hydrological, meteorological conditions and air qualities and provide such services as maritime warning and forecast, tsunami alert, weather forecast, air quality forecast and disaster prevention and relief,” the Chinese official added.

In case the report is true, the Duterte administration will definitely act on the matter.

“Certainly, the DFA will do its work and make the necessary diplomatic process,” Panelo assured.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has no specific details yet on the three joint exploration agreement that is supposed to be signed between the Philippines and China during the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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China makes key breakthroughs in space station development

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

Animation on China’s Tiangong space station | REUTERS

China has made key technological breakthroughs in developing its Tiangong Space Station, as announced at the 5th Manned Space Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Xi’an, the capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The Tianhe core capsule of the space station will exhibit in full size at the upcoming 12th Zhuhai Airshow which runs from Nov 6-11.

The China-developed space station consists of a core capsule and two experiment modules. It can hold three astronauts and a maximum of six during change of the crew members.

China has long been making preparations for constructing and launching the space station. For example, it will launch the Long March-5B carrier rocket into space in 2019 to help carry the core module and experiment modules to the space station.

“Currently, we are making steady progress in the space station research and construction. Key technological breakthroughs have been made in producing the three modules including the core capsule and the Long March-5B carrier rocket. Selection of the third batch of reserve astronauts is also underway as scheduled,” said Hao Chun, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The space station will enable experiments in multiple areas, including space science, biological technologies, and microgravity fundamental physics and materials sciences in space.

“We will complete on-orbit construction of the space station around 2022 as planned. It will be a national orbital space lab in the long run after being completed,” Hao said. — Reuters

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DFA urges immediate repatriation of 21 Pinoy seafarers from India

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018

MV Evangelia M; abandoned seafarers at Kakinada port in India

PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is putting more pressure on Evic Human Resources Management for the immediate repatriation of 21 Filipino seafarers abandoned at Kakinada port in India.

Philippine Vice Consul to India JB Santos together with an Indian Honorary Consul visited the 21 Filipinos to check on their situation.

They were abandoned by a Greek International Company over bankruptcy.

Since then, they suffered months without salary, with nothing to send their families in the Philippines.

Santos and his team explained to them the process that they have to go through before their repatriation.

Though the process may take about a month, the abandoned crew members are relieved as their case is now being processed.

The DFA also provided them with financial assistance at least for their personal needs while waiting to be repatriated.

“Nag bigay din ang DFA ng cash assistance na $100 dollars bawat crew.  At least may pantawag na kami ulit at pang-internet. Humingi din kami ng legal assistance para makuha yung unpaid wages at nangako naman si Vice Consul JB Santos na magagawa nila yun, na kukuha sila ng magaling na lawyer,” the ship’s captain, Alexander Apao said.

They expressed gratitude to those who continue to extend a helping hand despite their situation.

“Natuwa pa rin ang crew kahit matagalan pa kami ng konti at least may maliwanag na makakauwi kami. Malaki ang pasalamat ng crew sa DFA at na-aksyunan agad ang aming kalagayan dito at sa UNTV na laging nakatutok at maipaalam itong aming kalagayan,” Apao concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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