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
Robots fly, dance, and make cocktails at China’s World Robot Conference
Robots on display in China | Reuters
China’s third annual World Robot Conference kicked off in Beijing on Wednesday (August 15), with robotic flying, dancing, and cocktail-making all on display.
German automation firm Festo showcased its bio-inspired semi-autonomous robotic bat. The robot flies on a fixed track using a motion-tracking camera. Images and flight patterns are fed into a central computer, where a virtual counterpart can improve the robot’s flight plans.
One of the most eye-catching exhibits was a bartending robot with automated arms that can handle all the shaking, stirring, muddling and garnishing necessary to make up a cocktail in just one minute. The robot, developed by a group from the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, will cost around US$300,000 once available.
Another popular highlight at the conference is a life-size replica of former Chinese NBA basketball star Yao Ming, which entertains visitors by shooting hoops.
China is still one of the largest markets for industrial robots with a growing demand for various kinds of products.
The World Robot Conference runs from August 15 to 19, with over 300 experts and entrepreneurs participating to showcase their works. — Reuters
Violent tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages
Amateur footage of Tornado | Reuters
A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China’s Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.
The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.
Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.
Fortunately, no one was severely injured except a man in Xiwuli Village who was slightly bruised, according to the emergency response team.
Xiwuli village was one of the most affected areas with a utility pole snapping in half then hitting a car. A cottage was flattened while damage to varying degrees has also been caused to some orchards.
The clear-up work and repairs to the broken power facilities are currently underway. — Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit PH in November
FILE PHOTO: (Left-Right) Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and China Pres. Xi Jinping (PCOO)
MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the Philippines by year-end is the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.
Malacañang said that President Xi’s visit will take place after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea in November.
But prior to his visit, a deal on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea may possibly be forged.
This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a group that will study the proposal.
The Palace also expects Xi to visit Davao City, the home town of President Duterte.
“He was looking forward to visiting the Philippines and I remember in China, the President even invited him not just to come to the Philippines but to come to his house and have dinner in his house in Davao,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue