MANILA- Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will visit Vietnam next week, his first as top diplomat, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday. Locsin will be in Vietnam from July 8 to 9 on the invitation of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, the DFA said. “The visit is seen to build on the positive momentum stemming from the 9th Meeting of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) held in Manila in March this year, which also saw the adoption of the Philippines-Vietnam Plan of Action for 2019-2024,” the DFA said. During his visit, Locsin will hold a bilateral meeting with Pham, pay a courtesy call on Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and visit the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi. The visit was set exactly a month after a Vietnamese fishing vessel rescued 22 Filipino fishermen who were abandoned by a Chinese crew that sank their ship near the Recto (Reed) Bank in the West … [Read more...] about Foreign affairs chief Locsin to visit Vietnam
Military bank vietnam
Maraming salamat, Vietnam! One of my ASEAN colleagues who made an extra effort to attend our Philippine Independence Day diplomatic reception held at the Kennedy Center (see photos in This Week on PeopleAsia at the Allure section of the Philippine STAR today) was Vietnamese Ambassador to Washington Ha Kim Ngoc, who stayed long enough to greet me and listen to my speech. He had to leave shortly because his foreign minister was due to arrive in Washington. I expressed our country’s sincere gratitude to Ambassador Ngoc for what his countrymen did – rescuing 22 Filipino fishermen whose boat was rammed from behind by a Chinese vessel near Recto Bank well within our economic zone in the West Philippine Sea. Ambassador Ngoc responded by firmly telling me: “We are brothers – ASEAN brothers. We should help each other.” In fact, the charismatic Vietnamese ambassador is literally my neighbor. The Vietnam ambassador’s … [Read more...] about Maraming salamat, Vietnam!
MANILA - The sinking of a Filipino fishing boat at Reed Bank has raised fears it might be the handiwork of Beijing’s maritime militia, a crucial component of its sea force asserting its sweeping claims over the South China Sea. The Philippines is no stranger to this flotilla of ordinary-looking but military-trained fishing vessels swarming strategic areas in the vital waterway. Such boats helped Beijing seize control of Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in 2012 following a tense standoff with Manila’s navy, which had accosted Chinese poachers there. More recently, hundreds of these vessels were deployed near Pag-asa, reportedly to spy on the ongoing repair of structures on the Philippine-occupied island. Because “nothing distinguishes” China’s maritime militia from its ordinary fishermen, Manila-based defense analyst Jose Antonio Custodio said this paranaval force was likely behind the Reed Bank incident last June 9. The Philippine boat was anchored … [Read more...] about China’s sea militia fingerprint seen in Reed Bank sinking
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte did not echo China’s position on the ramming of a Chinese vessel of a Filipino fishing boat in Reed Bank (Recto Bank) last week, his spokesperson said Wednesday, as the chief executive drew flak for downplaying the incident. Duterte on Monday called for calm in his first public comments about the June 9 incident. He described the sinking as a “maritime incident” and should not be blown out of proportion. His critics pointed out that his words were similar to that of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, who described the ramming as an "ordinary maritime accident.” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte and the Chinese government did not discuss what would be their initial statements on the issue. “Not really echoed. Kung nagkataon man na similar ang kanilang initial finding, it doesn’t mean na may usapan sila na ganon,” Panelo told ANC. (Not really echoed. If their initial … [Read more...] about Palace: Duterte not echoing China on Reed Bank incident
Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio believes that it was not a collision of fishing vessels that happened on June 9 in Reed Bank (Philippine name: Recto Bank; Chinese name: Liyue Tan), 80 nautical miles off Palawan and within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone. It was a Chinese militia ship ramming a Philippine fishing vessel. “China’s maritime militia vessels have reinforced steel hulls purposely for ramming fishing vessels of other coastal states. No other coastal state has fishing vessels purposely designed for ramming other fishing vessels. Captains of ordinary Chinese fishing vessels do not engage in ramming for fear of inflicting damage to their own vessels. It is thus highly likely that a Chinese maritime militia vessel rammed the Filipino fishing vessel F/B Gimver 1,” Carpio said in a statement. The statement from Chinese Embassy in Manila insisted that it was "a Chinese fishing boat from Guangdong Province, China” and identified it as … [Read more...] about OPINION: Why is there a Chinese military vessel in Reed Bank?