The Philippines recorded 6 times Alarming invasion of China in the West Philippine Sea

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) shows the light Blue Dotted line as 200 Nautical Mile Economic Zone for the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, China and Indonesia. The Blue dotted line includes most part of the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratly) of the Philippines. UNCLOS did not show any territorial rights for China in the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea which is closer to the Kalayaan Island Group of the Philippines. The Philippines recorded already 6 invasion by china to the West Philippine Sea.

Philippines - Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Wednesday that he will raise the issue of intrusions by China at the West Philippines Sea islands in the disputed Spratlys before the 2011 Asian Security Forum.

The forum, which is also called the Shangrila Dialogue, will be held in Singapore this weekend and will be attended by defense chiefs in Asia.

Gazmin said the military has monitored fresh intrusions by China in the disputed Spratlys.

In a press briefing organized by the Philippine Information Agency, Gazmin said the first intrusion occurred last May 21 when Chinese Defense minister Liang Guanglie and his party arrived Manila for a goodwill visit.

The second intrusion occurred last May 24, or a day after Gazmin and Liang met in Camp Aguinaldo, where the two defense chiefs vowed to ensure affect stability in Spratlys, which are also known as the Kalayaan Island Group.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has filed a diplomatic protest against China, the second since last March when the DFA also protested the harassment by 2 Chinese vessels of Department of Energy oil exploration ship at Reed Bank.

Gazmin said a buoy and posts were set up by a Chinese transport ship and 2 missile boats at the Amy Douglas Bank, which is near the Philippine-occupied Likas and Patag islands. The bank is about 100 miles off Palawan.

"We were not able to get a closer look on what the ship was carrying but we were certain that it was a flatbed ship," he said.

The defense chief said that the Chinese put up the buoy and the posts as part of their strategy to claim the island. "This means that they are putting up (structures) in our areas where we have no guards. In other words, they want to hoist their flag so that they can say the area is theirs," he added.

"The report that came in to us states that the fishermen were responsible in removing all these materials and these were turned over to the military… What we found there are steel posts and buoy," the defense chief revealed.

Gazmin said President Benigno Aquino III has been already informed of the Chinese intrusions. "The President has given instructions to do some actions on this," he said.

"The options open to us is first, the diplomatic protest. We are in no position to confront the force that are intruding into our territory simply because we do not have the capability, that is why we are in the process of actively pursuing our modernization program and the capability upgrade of our maritime assets," he added.

Gazmin said they have recorded at least 6 intrusions by China, which he considers as "alarming."

When asked what happens if the intrusions continue, Gazmin said:  "We will continue to file diplomatic protests."

"The most we can do is file diplomatic protest, that is the most civilized thing to do at the moment," said Gazmin, adding he is somewhat "affected" by the latest Chinese intrusion, noting that these occurred during the visit of Liang in Manila.

"We talked to them properly and our agenda is that all problems can be resolved through dialogue. But while we were doing these (talks), something is happening in our area,: he said.

"Before making a judgment, we want to know if the (defense) leadership is aware of that incident or if the (Chinese defense) minister is not aware of this plan."

The Chinese defense minister is expected to attend the Asian Security Forum.

"I will be raising the issue if and when we will have the chance to go on a bilateral or meeting between ourselves. Given the chance, I will," said Gazmin.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Oban said he ordered the AFP Western Command to step up patrols in the area.

 

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