China bucks joint drills of Phl, Vietnam




In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's patrol ship "Haijian 50" cruises in waters near the offshore oil and gas fields in East China Sea, March 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALE

China has issued a warning against joint military exercises and patrols between the Philippines and Vietnam in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), saying such acts undermine China’s sovereignty.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Thursday that China is firmly opposed to the agreement between the Philippines and Vietnam, among the six Spratlys claimant-countries, to stage joint military exercises in the West Philippine Sea and carry out joint patrol on their maritime borders.
Hong said, “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters.”
“China is firmly opposed to other countries’ acts that undermine China’s sovereignty. Maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea is in line with the common and fundamental interests of all countries in this region,” Hong said in a press conference in Beijing.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the holding of joint military exercises was discussed in a meeting between him and Vietnam’s Navy chief Nguyen Van Hien recently.
Pama visited Vietnam from March 14 to 17 to boost cooperation between the two nations.
Pama and Hien also tackled proposals aimed at establishing a communication hotline for the operation centers of the two navies.
“We hope relevant countries will earnestly abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed between China and ASEAN countries and refrain from taking actions that will complicate and amplify the South China Sea issue or impair peace and stability of the South China Sea,” Hong said.
Changing of guards
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has assigned a new tactical wing commander in the Western Command (Wescom), a key military outfit that has operational jurisdiction over the hotly contested West Philippine Sea.
Col. Escueto Manalo, a fighter pilot, assumed command Friday of the Palawan-based 570th Tactical Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), vice Brig. Gen. Esteban Castro, who has reached the mandatory military retirement age of 56.
Aside from being a fighter pilot, Manalo is an operations man whose post at the AFP operations center at Camp Aguinaldo was taken over by Col. Andrie Tanyag.
“Gen. Castro handed over to Col. Manalo command of the 570th Tactical Wing in simple turnover rites last Friday,” said Wescom spokesman Maj. Niel Estrella.
Wescom is a composite military force mostly from the Philippine Navy, Marines, and the PAF and is under the command of Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban of the Marines.
The main mission of this key military outfit based in Puerto Princesa City is to protect, secure and guard the country’s territorial domain in the region of the Spratlys.
Aside from the 570th Tactical Wing, whose planes are tasked to conduct sovereignty air patrols over the West Philippine Sea on a daily basis, Wescom also has operational jurisdiction over the Naval Forces West whose fleet is tasked to guard the country’s maritime domain.
“So far, it’s relatively calm now in our front,” Estrella said, referring to a sharp of decline in sea and air activities that were previously committed by foreign aircraft and vessels within the country’s territorial waters.

SOURCE:PHILSTAR

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

China bucks joint drills of Phl, Vietnam



In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's patrol ship "Haijian 50" cruises in waters near the offshore oil and gas fields in East China Sea, March 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Zhang Jiansong) NO SALE

China has issued a warning against joint military exercises and patrols between the Philippines and Vietnam in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), saying such acts undermine China’s sovereignty.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Thursday that China is firmly opposed to the agreement between the Philippines and Vietnam, among the six Spratlys claimant-countries, to stage joint military exercises in the West Philippine Sea and carry out joint patrol on their maritime borders.
Hong said, “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters.”
“China is firmly opposed to other countries’ acts that undermine China’s sovereignty. Maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea is in line with the common and fundamental interests of all countries in this region,” Hong said in a press conference in Beijing.
Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the holding of joint military exercises was discussed in a meeting between him and Vietnam’s Navy chief Nguyen Van Hien recently.
Pama visited Vietnam from March 14 to 17 to boost cooperation between the two nations.
Pama and Hien also tackled proposals aimed at establishing a communication hotline for the operation centers of the two navies.
“We hope relevant countries will earnestly abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed between China and ASEAN countries and refrain from taking actions that will complicate and amplify the South China Sea issue or impair peace and stability of the South China Sea,” Hong said.
Changing of guards
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has assigned a new tactical wing commander in the Western Command (Wescom), a key military outfit that has operational jurisdiction over the hotly contested West Philippine Sea.
Col. Escueto Manalo, a fighter pilot, assumed command Friday of the Palawan-based 570th Tactical Wing of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), vice Brig. Gen. Esteban Castro, who has reached the mandatory military retirement age of 56.
Aside from being a fighter pilot, Manalo is an operations man whose post at the AFP operations center at Camp Aguinaldo was taken over by Col. Andrie Tanyag.
“Gen. Castro handed over to Col. Manalo command of the 570th Tactical Wing in simple turnover rites last Friday,” said Wescom spokesman Maj. Niel Estrella.
Wescom is a composite military force mostly from the Philippine Navy, Marines, and the PAF and is under the command of Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban of the Marines.
The main mission of this key military outfit based in Puerto Princesa City is to protect, secure and guard the country’s territorial domain in the region of the Spratlys.
Aside from the 570th Tactical Wing, whose planes are tasked to conduct sovereignty air patrols over the West Philippine Sea on a daily basis, Wescom also has operational jurisdiction over the Naval Forces West whose fleet is tasked to guard the country’s maritime domain.
“So far, it’s relatively calm now in our front,” Estrella said, referring to a sharp of decline in sea and air activities that were previously committed by foreign aircraft and vessels within the country’s territorial waters.

SOURCE:PHILSTAR

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