Sunday, May 13, 2012
US Reaffirms Defense of Philippines in Standoff With China
US Reaffirms Defense of Philippines in Standoff With China: With a standoff between Philippine and Chinese ships under way in a disputed corner of the South China Sea, senior leaders from the United States and the Philippines have reaffirmed their longstanding commitment to mutual defense.
The meeting took place as the standoff in the South China Sea entered its fourth week. Since April 8, maritime vessels from China and the Philippines have been stationed at Scarborough Shoal, a disputed string of rock outcroppings about 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, west of Luzon Island in the northern Philippines. Both countries claim the area and have demanded that the other leave.
China reach in focus at US- Philippine security talks: China has maritime spats with several countries in the South China Sea, believed to be rich in oil and gas and crossed by important shipping lanes, and its neighbors fear its growing naval reach in staking claims. Those disputes are pushing the Philippines to seek closer cooperation with the United States, which in turn has prompted China to warn Washington against getting involved, denouncing last week's U.S.-Philippine military drills as bringing the risk of armed conflict closer.
There is nothing new about the U.S. exercising with the Philippines. We shouldn't refrain because the Chinese don't like it. In fact, I expect the (Washington meeting) will come up with some agreement on increasing the frequency and variety of exercises, ship visits. Also expect agreement on hardware, joint use of Philippines' training facilities and bases." "China urges the Philippines to earnestly respect China's sovereignty and do nothing to expand or complicate matters,"
Other nations must take stand on China: Philippines: The Philippine foreign secretary called on other nations to take a stand on China's new aggressiveness in a simmering territorial dispute over a shoal in the South China Sea. Albert del Rosario on Sunday warned in a statement that other nations would be affected by China's claim over the mineral-rich area if they did not speak up now, like the Philippines is doing.
He added that China's efforts to claim the entire South China Sea as its territory was "clearly baseless." The statement came amid increased tensions after China deployed ships near the Scarborough Shoal, an outcropping in the South China Sea just about 230 kilometres (140 miles) from the Philippines' main island of Luzon. The nearest Chinese land mass from Scarborough Shoal is Hainan province, 1,200 kilometres, (750 miles) to the northwest, according to Philippine naval maps given to the media.
a history of what got us here and what we must do