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Politics & Law

Philippines supply ship evades Chinese vessels


The Chinese crew instructed the Filipinos to turn away

The Chinese crew instructed the Filipinos to turn away

A Philippine government ship slipped past a Chinese coast guard vessel Saturday and brought food and fresh troops to a marooned navy ship used as a base by Filipino troops to bolster the country’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.

The incident was witnessed by journalists who were invited by the Philippines military to accompany the resupply mission.

It was a rare close-up look at the tensions in the waters and the determination of all sides to press their claims. China‘s growing assertiveness is alarming smaller nations that have competing territorial claims and worrying the United States, which is neutral in the disputes but jockeying for influence with Beijing in the region.

About one hour away from Second Thomas Shoal, where the detachment is based, a Chinese coast guard ship marked “1141” twice crossed the bow of the smaller Philippine vessel in an attempt to stop it from proceeding. Another tailed the Filipino boat.

The Chinese radioed the Filipinos, telling them to stop. “You will take full responsibility for the consequences of your action,” the voice said in English.

“This is the Republic of the Philippines,” replied Philippine navy Lt. Ferdinand Gato, who was in charge of the supply mission. “We are here to provision the troops.”

The marines on board the supply boat waved the “V” for peace sign toward the Chinese vessel.

The Filipino captain manoeuvred his vessel to shallow waters where the Chinese ships couldn’t sail to reach the marooned vessel, BRP Sierra Madre, which has become an awkward symbol of Philippine sovereignty in the remote offshore territory.

Philippine crew members flashed peace signs at the Chinese vessel

Philippine crew members flashed peace signs at the Chinese vessel

On March 9, Chinese vessels blocked a resupply mission to the shoal, called Ayungin by the Philippines.

Philippine air force planes have airdropped life-sustaining food and water at least twice since then.

The confrontation at sea was witnessed by Associated Press journalists and more than a dozen other media members who were invited by the Philippine military to board the government vessel to show what Manila has described as “China’s bullying” in the disputed waters.

As they approached the shoal, one of the marines raised the Philippine flag on the supply ship. Once inside the shoal, the marines and the crew applauded and exchanged high-fives.

Gato said he was determined to complete his supply mission despite the Chinese presence. “I will not let them stop us because our marines will starve,” he said.

The supply ship carried about 10 tons of food, including rice and canned goods, and water, Gato said. The provisions were placed in sacks and transferred to the marooned ship using ropes pulled with pulleys. The two vessels were surrounded by the calm turquoise waters of the shoal.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea. The two countries were in a two-month standoff at the Scarborough Shoal to the north, which the Chinese eventually occupied after Philippine ships left the area because of a storm in 2012.

The Philippines has questioned China’s claims before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims over the territory, which is believe to be rich in oil and gas and is also a major shipping lane.

The Philippine boat slipped past the Chinese and reached their troops on a rusty beached vessel

The Philippine boat slipped past the Chinese and reached their troops on a rusty beached vessel

These Philippine marines have been stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre for the last five months

These Philippine marines have been stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre for the last five months

Source: ABC News – “Philippine Supply Ship Evades Chinese Vessel” (Jim Gomez, Associated Press) 
 

 

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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