News / Asia

    Philippines Summons Chinese Ambassador

    An aerial view of Pag-asa Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines, July 20, 2011
    An aerial view of Pag-asa Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines, July 20, 2011
    Simone Orendain
    MANILA — The Philippines has filed two more diplomatic protests with Beijing about territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The action marks the 12th time the Philippines has lodged a formal protest since this spring’s tense standoff at a shoal claimed by both countries.

    The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says it has formally protested China’s creation of an official district charged with governing three island groups including the Spratlys in the South China Sea. Some of the islands, which Beijing says fall under the authority of Sansha City, are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

    In its latest protests, filed Tuesday, the Philippines expressed opposition to a planned military outpost in Sansha and objected to the presence of at least 30 vessels on a fishing expedition among reefs it claims in the Spratlys.

    Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Raul Hernandez says the department is recording and documenting every reported intrusion by China into its waters. “We believe that these are provocative actions at this time, when we have already the DOC and people have been talking about implementing the DOC,” he said.

    The Declaration on the Code of Conduct of the parties in the South China Sea is a non-binding document signed by China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It emphasizes exercising self-restraint and seeking resolution through peaceful means - particularly in dealing with disputes in a region with busy shipping lanes, potentially huge oil and gas reserves and abundant fishing. Although the DOC is not enforceable, Hernandez says the ASEAN members have agreed to follow its guidelines.

    Earlier this month, at the ASEAN regional forum, many countries including the United States hoped for agreement on a more binding set of rules. U.S. State Department officials said China indicated it was amenable to start talks on the matter in September.

    China has maintained it prefers to deal with claimant countries one on one, not through a multinational venue like ASEAN. But some countries like the Philippines are airing their grievances via international means, calling for adherence to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Hernandez says Manila’s practice of filing multiple protests will help the Philippines be heard.

    “The protests are very important, even if they don’t immediately reap benefits for us, because that way we are able to tell the world that we don’t accept such activities done by the other side on our territory and on the maritime domain that we should be enjoying,” said Hernandez.

    Calls to the Chinese Embassy in Manila were not immediately answered Tuesday.

    The recent flurry of protests from Manila started in April, when Manila says Chinese fishing vessels poached endangered species near a shoal that is well within its territory. It says Scarborough Shoal just west of Zambales province, falls within the 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone designated by international law to be part of a country’s territory. China claims practically the entire sea, based on ancient maps.

    During his annual national address Monday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino emphasized the country will continue to push its claim for the shoal. He also highlighted increased military spending on more hardware and an additional Hamilton-class cutter, expected to arrive from the United States early next year.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora