Thursday, April 03, 2014

Philippines angers China Seeks Arbitration at U.N. Over China’s Claims in South China Sea, sues China

Philippines Seeks Arbitration at U.N. Over China’s Claims in South China Sea:  The waters, which carry around half of the world’s trade, are also claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan and tensions have led to a series of confrontations in past decades. Any decision by the U.N. could bear on how the overlapping territorial claims are ultimately resolved and could stir tensions between China and the U.S.
     The Obama administration infuriated Beijing in 2010 when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the free navigation of the South China Sea as being in America’s “national interest.”China has since attempted to step up control, among other things dispatching nominally civilian coast guard vessels into disputed waters. Beijing argues each territorial dispute should be resolved on a bilateral basis.

A little History of the worsening situation:

China ratchets up control over South China sea coming closer to confrontation


China demands removal of Japan’s forces from Spratley Island Group
Philippines drops food to troops after China "blockade":  "We confirmed there was an air drop of food to our troops," Defence Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said. He said the air drop was "via airplane," but did not say when it occurred nor give further details. The incident took place at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly island group, which is around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan and which Manila insists is part of its continental shelf.

The shoal is more than 1,000 kilometres from Hainan island, the closest Chinese landmass, but China claims nearly all of the South China Sea based on what it says are historical records. A tiny unit of Filipino marines live on the BRP Sierra Madre, a decrepit, beached former World-War-II US navy transport ship that was transferred to the Philippine navy and run aground on the shoal in the 1990s.
China has long demanded the Philippines pull out the vessel and the marines.


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