Philippines building up fleet in S. China Sea to counter Chinese

Philippines building up fleet in S. China Sea to counter Chinese

This aerial file photo taken on Jan 2, 2017 shows a Chinese Navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (centre), during military drills in the South China Sea. (AFP)
This aerial file photo taken on Jan 2, 2017 shows a Chinese Navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (centre), during military drills in the South China Sea. (AFP)

The Philippines is taking a page out of China’s book by building up its own fleet that includes fishing boats in the South China Sea, the Southeast Asian nation’s top diplomat said.

“We are swarming the areas because that’s the Chinese strategy-- to swarm the areas also with the fishing boats,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in an online discussion this week organised by Asia Society.

“The likelihood of an accident increases tremendously” by deploying vessels in disputed waters, Locsin said. He also said the Philippines’ defence treaty with the US will kick in if one of the country’s military vessels is hit, citing US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s assurance last year.

President Rodrigo Duterte has recently leaned back toward the US and toughened his stance against China. Last month in front of world leaders, he defended the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling in favour of the Philippines that said Beijing’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea breached international law.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (8)

Cambridge college hands back looted African sculpture

CAMBRIDGE (UNITED KINGDOM) - A Cambridge University college will hand over to Nigeria an African bronze looted over a century ago, in the first return of its kind by a British institution.

27 Oct 2021

SE Asian states announces new strategic pact with Australia

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) agreed at a summit on Wednesday to establish a "comprehensive strategic partnership", a sign of Canberra's ambition to play a bigger role in the region.

27 Oct 2021

US says Assange will not face supermax jail in renewed extradition bid

LONDON: The United States sought to assure a British court Wednesday that Julian Assange would not be held at a federal supermax prison, as it appealed a decision to block his extradition on the grounds he is a serious suicide threat.

27 Oct 2021