Subic and the US Seventh Fleet



Aside from the bar girls of Olongapo who pine for the return of American sailors, there are many anxious souls who also wish the US Seventh Fleet were back in Subic in light of the Chinese bullying in the West Philippine Sea.
US naval power though is still very much present in its forward deployment strategy with its bases in Yokosuka, Japan and in Guam.
The Chinese claim the whole of the South China Sea as theirs on the basis of its historical records. But its historical claims were written by Chinese so it could well be a work of fiction.
The Philippine claim is based on the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of a country under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea. The People’s Republic of China is a member of the United Nations but brazenly it does not subscribe to UNCLOS as it is inimical to its interest and its sweeping South China Sea claim. Oil and other rich minerals lie beneath the disputed body of water. The West Philippine Sea is also a vast fishing area. The apprehension of eight Chinese fishing boats, just 150 nautical miles off Zambales, was just the latest incursion into Philippine waters. They had gotten bold because the Philippines, in trying to maintain good neighbor relations with Beijing, would just release poaching fishermen into the custody of the Chinese Embassy in Manila. Filipino hospitality was reciprocated with Chinese recidivism. They misconstrue our soft stand as a welcome mat for repeat offenders.
But in this latest incident, two Chinese surveillance vessels came to the rescue of its nationals and challenged the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and its crew which had boarded the Chinese fishing boats and found giant clams, endangered corals, and a huge fish catch.
We now have a dangerous standoff in the Scarborough Shoal. The Chinese ships won’t budge and the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, recently acquired from the US Navy and refitted as a warship, is also holding its position. As of yesterday, though, the Del Pilar had to leave for fuel and supplies replenishment and was replaced by a smaller Philippine Coast Guard vessel while another Chinese ship joined the two others that had challenged the Del Pilar.
President Aquino, in a statement, said the Philippines would assert its sovereignty. He has spoken and any change in our position, unless it is matched by a Chinese compromise and a meeting of minds to avoid an international incident, cannot be altered without the President looking bad. Mr. Aquino’s stance could make or break his presidency. Let’s all hope for a peaceful denouement to this dangerous impasse.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario is hopeful the tense situation would be eased through a diplomatic solution. He has summoned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing but the Chinese seem adamant in their position and insists that the West Philippine Sea is part of their territorial waters. One hundred fifty miles off the Philippine coast, Zambales in this case, and the Chinese claim it’s theirs. What gall!
I know I will come under fire from the militants and the flag wavers for wishing the US Seventh Fleet were still in Subic, Zambales to act as deterrent to Chinese expansion in the region. But alas, we have become vulnerable when we booted out the Americans from Subic and Clark Air Base.
So, no matter how sanguine the Department of Foreign Affairs is for a diplomatic solution, I doubt whether Beijing will back off as it would be a loss of face.  To the Chinese, loss of face in the international community is something akin to a slap in the face that they would never countenance.
The only problem in the standoff at Scarborough Shoal is that it would also mean a loss of face for Filipinos, not to mention a surrender of our sovereignty.
I hope Secretary Del Rosario’s optimistic view of the grave situation is right. Otherwise the world might see a potential powder keg explode that could see US involvement. The prospect of oil, gas and minerals in the disputed waters is immense. The US also will not allow the Chinese to control vital sea lanes in the South China Sea if its outlook is to remain a Pacific power, a presence needed for the region’s stability and continued prosperity

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Subic and the US Seventh Fleet


Aside from the bar girls of Olongapo who pine for the return of American sailors, there are many anxious souls who also wish the US Seventh Fleet were back in Subic in light of the Chinese bullying in the West Philippine Sea.
US naval power though is still very much present in its forward deployment strategy with its bases in Yokosuka, Japan and in Guam.
The Chinese claim the whole of the South China Sea as theirs on the basis of its historical records. But its historical claims were written by Chinese so it could well be a work of fiction.
The Philippine claim is based on the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of a country under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea. The People’s Republic of China is a member of the United Nations but brazenly it does not subscribe to UNCLOS as it is inimical to its interest and its sweeping South China Sea claim. Oil and other rich minerals lie beneath the disputed body of water. The West Philippine Sea is also a vast fishing area. The apprehension of eight Chinese fishing boats, just 150 nautical miles off Zambales, was just the latest incursion into Philippine waters. They had gotten bold because the Philippines, in trying to maintain good neighbor relations with Beijing, would just release poaching fishermen into the custody of the Chinese Embassy in Manila. Filipino hospitality was reciprocated with Chinese recidivism. They misconstrue our soft stand as a welcome mat for repeat offenders.
But in this latest incident, two Chinese surveillance vessels came to the rescue of its nationals and challenged the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and its crew which had boarded the Chinese fishing boats and found giant clams, endangered corals, and a huge fish catch.
We now have a dangerous standoff in the Scarborough Shoal. The Chinese ships won’t budge and the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, recently acquired from the US Navy and refitted as a warship, is also holding its position. As of yesterday, though, the Del Pilar had to leave for fuel and supplies replenishment and was replaced by a smaller Philippine Coast Guard vessel while another Chinese ship joined the two others that had challenged the Del Pilar.
President Aquino, in a statement, said the Philippines would assert its sovereignty. He has spoken and any change in our position, unless it is matched by a Chinese compromise and a meeting of minds to avoid an international incident, cannot be altered without the President looking bad. Mr. Aquino’s stance could make or break his presidency. Let’s all hope for a peaceful denouement to this dangerous impasse.
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario is hopeful the tense situation would be eased through a diplomatic solution. He has summoned Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing but the Chinese seem adamant in their position and insists that the West Philippine Sea is part of their territorial waters. One hundred fifty miles off the Philippine coast, Zambales in this case, and the Chinese claim it’s theirs. What gall!
I know I will come under fire from the militants and the flag wavers for wishing the US Seventh Fleet were still in Subic, Zambales to act as deterrent to Chinese expansion in the region. But alas, we have become vulnerable when we booted out the Americans from Subic and Clark Air Base.
So, no matter how sanguine the Department of Foreign Affairs is for a diplomatic solution, I doubt whether Beijing will back off as it would be a loss of face.  To the Chinese, loss of face in the international community is something akin to a slap in the face that they would never countenance.
The only problem in the standoff at Scarborough Shoal is that it would also mean a loss of face for Filipinos, not to mention a surrender of our sovereignty.
I hope Secretary Del Rosario’s optimistic view of the grave situation is right. Otherwise the world might see a potential powder keg explode that could see US involvement. The prospect of oil, gas and minerals in the disputed waters is immense. The US also will not allow the Chinese to control vital sea lanes in the South China Sea if its outlook is to remain a Pacific power, a presence needed for the region’s stability and continued prosperity

source:


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Finally I got a webpage from where I be capable of
    truly get valuable information concerning my study and knowledge.
    My web page: free porn

    ReplyDelete

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