China warns Philippines over Huangyan Island as tension rise

Chinawill not allow anyone to take away sovereignty

Air Force Flag of the People's Republic of ChinaAir Force Flag of the People’s Republic of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia) >>

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) — The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, on Thursday warned the Philippines about the Huangyan Island incident, saying the country’s armed forces will not allow anyone to take the sovereignty of the island away from China.

“We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces,” the newspaper said in a signed article titled “Don’t Attempt to Take Away Half an Inch of China’s Territory.”

Instead, it is wise to give up such attempts and abide by international rules to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese people and the pardon of the international community.

China has exercised restraint on the Huangyan Island incident. “If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the article added.

China had suffered too much humiliation as its sovereignty was encroached and territory carved up when the country was poor and weak.

China now pursues an independent foreign policy of peace.

It will not bully the weak by being strong, nor blindly tolerate unreasonable tricks played by others, especially on matters concerning territorial integrity, national dignity and social stability.

It is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes, although one month has passed since the beginning of the incident, said the article.

Instead, the Philippine side is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions, has continued to send government vessels to the Huangyan Island lagoon and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations.

The situation is not optimistic, the article said.

China’s sovereignty over the island is based on both historical and legal grounds. No matter what tricks the Philippines may play, the fact that Huangyan Island belongs to China will never change, the article said.

Even Philippine maps published in 1981, 1984 and 2006, which indicate that Huangyan Island is outside of the Philippines’ territory, show how ridiculous the Philippine side is when it attempts to claim sovereignty over the island.

Moreover, the repeated tricks by the Philippines have failed to gain support from its own people, the international community and even its allies. It is quite likely the Philippine side will drink as it brewed, said the article.

China issues warnings as Philippines tensions rise

Return to frontpage By Ananth Krishnan

AP A placard with drawing of a Philippine warship is displayed during a protest at the Philippines Consulate in Hong Kong on Friday. The Philippine government used this second hand warship from the American aid, its naval personnel had boarded the Chinese fishing boats, inspected their equipment and catch last month.

China has issued a safety advisory to its citizens in the Philippines and suspended travel to the country a day ahead of a large planned demonstration against China over rising tensions in the South China Sea.

The Chinese embassy in Manila in a notice warned that “massive anti-China demonstrations” were scheduled to take place on Friday, advising Chinese nationals to avoid going out and to “keep a low profile”.

The warning came as vessels from both countries remained locked in a stand-off near the disputed Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, which both sides claim.

Chinese State-run media outlets on Thursday continued issuing stern warnings to the Philippines, not ruling out the use of force. The Foreign Ministry, however, appeared to strike a more moderate tone and suggested a way out through a diplomatic solution, saying it “approved” of recent remarks by officials in the Philippines “to resume diplomatic contact with the Chinese embassy”.

“China remains committed to solving the situation through diplomatic consultation and negotiation,” spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters on Thursday, calling on the Philippines to “come back to the right track of handling the matter”.

He did also hit out at the Philippines government for “encouraging people both home and abroad to launch demonstrations against China”. “We urge the Philippines side to respect China’s sovereignty on the issue of Huangyan Island and not to take actions that will complicate and amplify the situation,” Mr. Hong said.

Reflecting the rising tensions, Chinese travel agencies said on Thursday they had suspended planned trips to the Philippines following an order from central authorities. Ctrip, a popular travel portal, said it suspended travel because “trips to the Philippines have become potential safety risks”, the official China Daily reported.

The newspaper in an editorial warned that while China did not seek a military conflict, the use of arms was not off the table. “No matter how willing we are to discuss the issue, the current Philippine leadership is intent on pressing us into a corner where there is no other option left but the use of arms,” the editorial said.

“We are faithful to our commitment to being a responsible member of the international community, and we pursue peaceful co-existence. But no international law allows a country’s sovereignty to be infringed upon, and a responsible nation does not try to seize territory that does not belong to it.”

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) daily struck a harder tone, saying that “anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces”, in a commentary headlined “Don’t attempt to take away half an inch of China’s territory”.

“If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the newspaper said.

Suggesting the stand-off may yet be resolved peacefully, China on Thursday also appeared to respond positively to a Philippines-based mining company’s proposal for joint drilling with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Officials said Beijing was willing to talk with the Philippines government over joint development.

The South China Sea, which is disputed by China and at least ten other countries, is estimated to have as much as one-third of China’s oil and gas resources and key sea lanes run through its disputed waters.

China’s first deep-water drilling rig in the South China Sea started operations on Wednesday, with calls from officials to speed up drilling projects. Feng Fei, head of the industry department of the Development Research Centre, the official think-tank of the State Council or Cabinet, said more than thousand oil wells had already been sunk by other countries. “China drilling in the South China Sea is of deep significance, and ensures our energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil,” he said.

Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, added that joint development of resources could help address conflicts. “Against a backdrop of some countries not responding positively toward China’s proposal of joint development, it is of supreme importance to finally solving sovereignty disputes,” he said.

“Setting aside disputes and embarking on joint development is the most effective way to solve the issue.’’


China urges Philippines to stop further harming bilateral relations

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhuanet) — The spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei condemned Philippines for inciting its people going on to streets for demonstrations against China. Hong says the incident has triggered severe concerns among Chinese people.

He also says China hopes Philippines to stop further harming the bilateral relations. Hong reiterated China’s stance on the dispute and urged Philippines not to taken any actions that may harm the relations between the two countries.  Full story

Commentary: Never test China’s will to defend its own sovereignty

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) — For nearly a month, Manila has not only turned a deaf ear to Beijing’s position on resolving the dispute over China’s Huangyan Island through diplomacy, but made repeated provocative moves to heighten the tension, severely infringing China’s sovereignty in the process.

It is widely accepted Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China since ancient times, both on a historical and a legal basis. The surrounding waters are China’s traditional fishing grounds and Chinese fishmen have fished there for generations.  Full story

China is prepared for escalation of Huangyan Island incident

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) — China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is not optimistic about the situation concerning Huangyan Island, and the country is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does to escalate the situation.

Fu made the remarks when meeting with Alex Chua, Charge D’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China, on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a press release.  Full story

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Manila provocation blasted; Philippine Newspaper: Huangyan Island belongs to China

Manila provocation blasted

Photo taken on May 9, 2012 shows deep-water drilling rig CNOOC 981 in the South China Sea, south China, May 9, 2012. China’s first deep-water drilling rig CNOOC 981 started operations in the South China Sea at 9: 38 am on Wednesday, marking “a substantial step” made by the country’s deep-sea oil industry. The sixth-generation semi-submersible CNOOC 981 began drilling in a sea area 320 km southeast of Hong Kong at a water depth of 1,500 meters, according to China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country’s largest offshore oil producer. Photo: Xinhua

China Wednesday accused the Philippines of instigating demonstrations against Beijing, urging Manila not to further damage bilateral relations by provoking public sentiment over the two sides’ spat in the South China Sea.

“We have noted that the Philippine side has repeatedly made strongly worded remarks about the Huangyan Island standoff, which have provoked public feelings and severely undermined the atmosphere of bilateral relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

“The Philippine side also instigated demonstrations, both inside and outside the country, against China, which have aroused strong responses and concern among Chinese people living around the world,” Hong added.

The spokesman said there is no change in China’s position on resolving the current tensions through diplomatic efforts, urging Manila to seriously respond to Beijing’s concerns and return to the right track.

Loida Nicolas-Lewis, a Filipino-American businesswoman, has called on all Filipinos around the world to mount demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies and consulates at 12 pm on Friday.

According to Reuters, civil society and political groups with links to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s political allies plan to take to the streets on Friday to “protest the Chinese presence” in waters near Huangyan Island.

The Chinese embassy in Manila has issued a safety alert, advising Chinese nationals to enhance safety awareness, avoid going out and stay away from protesters. International Ltd, a leading online travel service provider in China, decided to suspend trips to the Philippines Wednesday, citing safety risks of tours as tensions over Huangyan Island escalate.

A Global Times correspondent in Manila said the Chinese communities there are calm despite Friday’s looming protest.

“Issues concerning sovereignty are non-negotiable for China. The Philippines took China’s restraint for granted and kept staging provocations,” a researcher surnamed Ma with the Southeast Asian Institute of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said.

“The planned global protest against Chinese embassies has shown Manila’s intention to internationalize and complicate the issue. Beijing will lose its patience if Manila doesn’t back off,” Ma said.

Shen Shishun, a director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Security and Cooperation under the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that stirring public emotions over Huangyan Island is a scheme by Aquino to shift domestic anger away from a gloomy economy.

“The standoff is caused by the Aquino administration. Further development of the matter depends on moves taken by the Philippine government,” Shen said.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine military reported that the number of Chinese vessels in the waters off Huangyan Island has increased to 33 from 14 last week, while the Philippines has two vessels in the area.

The paper said the Chinese vessels include three big ships, namely fishery law enforcement ship Yuzheng-310 and maritime surveillance ships Haijian-75 and Haijian-81. It said these ships are denying Filipino fishermen access to waters off Huangyan Island.

Also Wednesday, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he had received assurances during talks in Washington last week that the US would protect Manila from attacks in the South China Sea.

Gazmin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed they were not taking sides in the dispute, but assured him the US would honor a 1951 mutual defense treaty.

“The Philippines has always wanted Washington to help it in a conflict with China, but the US won’t do so due to its own national interests,” Shen said, adding that Manila’s attempts to bring Washington on board shows its anxiety and fears over the tensions.

Meanwhile, China’s quality watchdog Wednesday ordered intensified quarantines on fruit imports from the Philippines.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said harmful insects or bacteria have been found in pineapples, bananas and other fruit imported from Southeast Asia since last year, and Chinese authorities have asked the Philippine side to make improvements.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Stephen Antig, president of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, as saying that the tighter rules imposed by the biggest buyer of Philippine Cavendish bananas have sent jitters through the local industry.

“The Philippine economy will worsen if China, a major trade partner, reduces the import of agricultural products,” Shen said. “Such an import ban will not hurt China because the Philippine products are not irreplaceable.”

Xu Tianran and agencies contributed to this story

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Philippine Newspaper: “Huangyan Island belongs to China”

The Philippine Newspaper “Manila Standard Today” has released an article titled ” It belongs to China” written by author Victor N. Arches II.

The Filipino author looks at evidence and international documents, saying that Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times. Recounting his motive in writing the article, Arches says he aims to educate the Philippines on the reality of the situation, versus what the Philippines media is promoting. Let’s take a look.

In the article, the author says that Huangyan Island has been a part of China’s territory since ancient times. Chinese fishermen, from both the Mainland and Taiwan, have used the island for many years.

“The Scarborough Shoal, ( Huangyan Island) does belong to China which discovered it and drew it in a map as early as 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty.”

The old maps relied upon by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs were drawn up only in 1820, 541 years after China’s.

‘being relied upon by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in its spurious claim on the same territory were drawn up only in 1820, or 541 years after China’s.”

Arches said China organized many scientific expeditions around the island in the late 1970s. In 1980, a stone marker marks China’s scientific expedition was installed by China on the South Rock. However, the Philippines removed it without authority in 1997.

” In the late 1970s, China organized many scientific expeditions in the Shoal and around that area. In fact, in 1980, a stone marker reading “South China Sea Scientific Expedition” was installed by China on the South Rock.”

“This Chinese marker was removed, without authority, by the Philippines in 1997. ”

He adds that all official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990 excluded Huangyan Island from its territorial boundaries. But an act approved by the Philippine government in 1961 stopped the Philippines from the claim.

“All official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990s excluded both the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island) from its territorial boundaries.”

“Republic Act No. 3046, passed by our Congress and approved in 1961, stopped us from our claim.”

China holds three international treaties in support of its claim over the territories in question… all limiting Philippine territorial limits to the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich.

“1898 Treaty of Paris between the US and Spain, the 1900 Treaty of Washington between Spain and the US, and the 1930 Treaty between Great Britain and the US, all limiting Philippine territorial limits to the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich. ”

Arches say the basis of the Philippine claim is restricted to proximity, relying solely on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said that even if it were considered a “law”, it cannot be made to take effect retroactively.

“On the other hand, the basis of the Philippine claim is restricted to proximity, relying solely on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Arches believed there is no need to internationalize the Huangyan Island issue.

He said ASEAN is remaining neutral on the dispute and the US has also declared it will not take sides.

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