Archive for the ‘Spratlys’ Category

China Warship Rushes to Disputed Islands, Oil Beneath: Ace To Other Nations’ Claims?

March 16, 2009

One of China’s largest fisheries patrol ships has arrived in the disputed Paracel Islands.

The move comes after China protested to Manila over new legislation proclaiming Philippine sovereignty over parts of the disputed Spratly islands.

Both the Paracels – known in China as Xisha – and the Spratlys are subject to overlapping claims.

Separately, China and the US were involved in naval skirmishes last weekend off China’s island of Hainan.

The China Daily said that the patrol ship, a retired Chinese navy rescue vessel, the China Yuzheng 311, set sail from Guangzhou last week and reached the Paracel island group during the weekend.

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China, Japan Cancel Summit: Islands, Oil Remain Sticking Point

A file Philippine Air Force photo shows Chinese built structures ... 
A file Philippine Air Force photo shows Chinese built structures on the Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea. China on Monday defended its move to send a patrol ship to the disputed Spratly islands, saying it was not a violation of an agreement to maintain the peace in the area.(AFP/PAF/HO/File)


From China Daily

China’s largest fishery patrol ship has started its way to the Xisha Islands to enhance the fishery protection and maritime surveillance efforts in the South China Sea.

The ship, China Yuzheng 311, sailed at midday Tuesday from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

Yang Jian, a Ministry of Agriculture engineer, said given the country’s heavy task of maritime rights and interests protection, the vessel would reinforce the fishery administration in the South China Sea.

China Yuzheng 311 was converted from a rescue vessel of Chinese navy. It is 113.5 meters long and 15.5 meters wide and at 4,450 tonnes.

The patrol ship will be in charge of maritime patrol in China’s exclusive economic zones, navigation protection and fishery emergencies.

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.

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