Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Peace Riser Peacefully Enhances Its Forces at Scarborough Shoal

Philippines media is reporting that Philippines navy ships have counted more than 30 Chinese vessels operating in the Scarborough Shoals area, denying access to the fishing grounds there...
Chinese maritime ships are denying Filipino fishermen access to their traditional fishing grounds in the lagoon of Panatag Shoal, a chain of reefs and rocks off Zambales province whose ownership is being disputed by China and the Philippines even as Chinese vessels were seen continuing to mass in Panatag, also known as Bajo de Masinloc and its international name, Scarborough Shoal—which China claims to own even if the shoal is 472 nautical miles from the nearest Chinese coast.

According to the local government of Masinloc, which is only 124 nautical miles from Panatag, the town’s fishermen have reported that Chinese government vessels had blocked their entry to the lagoon.

The military reported that the number of Chinese vessels in the Panatag Shoal has increased to 33, from 14 last week.

The Philippines has only two vessels in the area. These are the BRP Edsa II, a Coast Guard search-and-rescue vessel (SARV 002) and the MCS 3001, a vessel belonging to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

China currently has three big ships in the area. These are the Chinese Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC) 310 which is said to be its most powerful maritime ship, and the Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) ships 75 and 81.

According to the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), seven other Chinese fishing vessels and 23 utility boats have been seen inside the lagoon.

RJ Bautista, secretary to Masinloc Mayor Desiree Edora, said the Chinese maritime ships were preventing Filipino fishermen from fishing in the lagoon.
Manila is about to get taught a lesson. The Chinese are using their vastly superior power in a completely passive way, forcing Philippines into unpalatable choices. Where is the US? What's Washington's opinion of this mess? Washington's absurd position on Taiwan -- when Chen Shui-bian was admonished for 'provoking' China by holding referendums, but the State Department makes no similar move against Manila, instead offering to mediate. Hahaha.

Note the beginnings of this incident:
The Panatag Shoal incident started last April 8 when the Philippine Navy on a routine sovereignty patrol spotted eight Chinese fishing vessels moored inside the shoal. Navy personnel boarded the vessels and discovered on board illegally obtained endangered turtles, baby sharks, giant clams and a large amount of corals.

The Navy dispatched its only warship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, to the area on April 10 but before the ship could tow the poachers to the nearest police station, two Chinese maritime ships arrived and blocked their arrest.
What does this tell you about the Peaceful Riser?

The US and Manila have a mutual defense treaty.

What is augured here? A couple of years ago China passed an 'island protection law' that "protected" 16,000 islands in the South China Sea as Chinese. Multiply Scarborough by 16,000..... this is a test, it is only a test. Had it been a real conflict....

UPDATE: Manila DFA says the US will honor its promise to defend the Philippines under the 1951 Treaty.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

And this is just a rehearsal.

Diane Writes said...

Hi Michael! I'm from the Philippines but I'd prefer not to express my opinion in this issue.

Anyway, the reason why I visited your blog is because I noticed that a significant number of my hits came from your page. I have been to Taiwan late last year. I would like to ask if you have featured my Taiwan posts, pictures or something in your page. Thanks.

Have a great day!

Michael Turton said...

Diane, I have no idea what I might have picked up from your blog... sorry!


apple said...

Looks like China is also dominating the Panatag shoal through their huge amount of ships on the island. Our government must not allow China to this, especially now that there is no evidence that this island is really belong to them.