Archive for the ‘Spratly’ Category

Beijing sends patrol ship to South China Sea

March 15, 2009

China has dispatched its most modern patrol ship to the South China Sea, state press said Sunday, after an incident with a US naval vessel and a fresh claim by the Philippines to the disputed territory.

The Beijing News said the vessel would conduct patrols of what it called China’s exclusive maritime zone in the disputed waters surrounding the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

It said the converted naval rescue ship would aid Chinese fishing boats and transport vessels.

The Philippines passed a law last week which lays claim to disputed islands in the Spratlys chain that are also claimed by China. Beijing has called the law “illegal and invalid.”

Tensions in the area rose further when the United States sent destroyers to international waters off southern China to protect a naval surveillance patrol that was involved in a stand off with Chinese vessels.

China says the US patrol vessels were within its 200-kilometre (125-mile) economic exclusive zone, but the United States has insisted they were in international waters.

Beijing sends patrol ship to South China Sea
AFP/File – File photo shows a sailor of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

The Spratly and Paracel island chains have been flashpoints for years.

The Spratlys are claimed in full or part by China and Vietnam as well as the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and the Paracels are claimed by China, which now occupies them, as well as by Vietnam and Taiwan.

–AFP


Above: Missile Destroyer Haikou 171 of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet.

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Philippines Enacts Law Claiming Islands also Claimed by China, Others

March 11, 2009

The Philippine president has signed a law affirming sovereignty over islands also claimed by China and Vietnam, an official said Wednesday, sparking protests over the control of strategic South China Sea islands.

Associated Press

The legislation, signed Tuesday by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, reaffirms Philippine sovereignty over the more than 7,100 islands in its archipelago, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. It also claims outlying islands in the Spratly chain and Scarborough Shoal – two regions in the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over both chains. Vietnam and others have long laid claim to the Spratlys.

“We are sending the message to the whole world that we are affirming our national sovereignty … our national interest,” Ermita told a news conference.

The Chinese Embassy issued a statement expressing its “strong opposition and solemn protest” over the signing of the law, and insisted China “has indisputable sovereignty over these islands and their adjacent waters.”

Earlier, China’s Foreign Ministry summoned a Philippine Embassy official to protest the passage of the bill in the Philippine Congress.

Vietnam also urged the Philippines to refrain from taking action that might complicate the dispute.

Foreign Affairs official Henry Bensurto said the Philippines passed the law not to reiterate its claims over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal but to define the baseline used to determine its extended continental shelf.

The U.N. has asked the Philippines and other countries that signed the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to submit the dimensions of their claimed continental shelf by May 13. The convention, which came into force in 1994, defines the maritime limits of its signatories.

The Spratlys, believed to be rich in oil, gas and fish, consist of about 100 barren islets, reefs and atolls dotting the world’s busiest shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each claim all or part of the low-lying islands.

Read the rest:
http://apnews.myway.com/article
/20090311/D96RQ50G0.html

Japan urges Chinese ships to leave disputed waters

December 8, 2008

Japan’s coast guard urged Chinese survey ships to leave waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea on Monday, and the government lodged a protest with Beijing, officials said.

The two maritime survey ships entered waters surrounding the Japan-held islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, earlier in the day, the coast guard said.

“Despite repeated warnings issued by radio from our patrol boat, the Chinese ships are still within our waters,” said coast guard official Kazuya Ono.

Japan also lodged a protest with China over the entry, but Beijing responded by saying it was checking facts, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

The islands are held by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan, and the territorial dispute is one of many that have strained ties between Tokyo and Beijing.

It was unclear what the Chinese ships were doing in the waters, which Japan watches closely for intrusions by outside ships.

In June, a Taiwanese fishing boat sank near the islands after a collision with a Japanese coast guard ship. Taiwan accused the Japanese of ramming the boat; Japan contended the Taiwanese captain was responsible for the collision.

Japanese authorities recently agreed to give the sunken ship‘s owner 10 million New Taiwan dollars ($300,000) in compensation.

Japan annexed the island chain in 1895, saying no nation exercised a formal claim over them. The islands, lying roughly midway between Okinawa and Taiwan, were administered by the United States after World War II until they were returned to Tokyo in 1972.

China says the islands have been part of its territory since ancient times.

By SHINO YUASA, Associated Press Writer

China has been aggressively researching the world’s oceans for exploitable oil.  Vietnam routinely protests China’s
presence near the Spratly Islands.