World

July 24, 2012

Philippines to boost defense, won’t yield to China

by Jim Gomez
Associated Press

President Benigno Aquino III said July 23 that the Philippines won’t back down from a South China Sea dispute with China and that his country’s military would soon get dozens of new aircraft and ships for maritime defense.

Aquino announced during his annual state of the nation address that more than 40 military aircraft – from two newly refurbished C-130 cargo planes to attack helicopters – along with other weapons would be delivered in the next two years to bolster Philippine military muscle amid renewed territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.

A second U.S. Coast Guard cutter would arrive soon from longtime ally, the United States. A refurbished Coast Guard cutter from the U.S. was relaunched by the Philippine navy last year as its largest and most modern warship.

Washington has also provided $30 million to strengthen the Philippine military aside from U.S. help in establishing a national coast watch center that would help protect the archipelago’s 22,370-mile coastline, according to Aquino.

But he stressed that the Philippines was aiming to forge a peaceful solution that would be acceptable to China.

A standoff erupted in April between Chinese and Philippine ships at the Scarborough Shoal, which both countries claim. China calls the shoal Huangyan Island while Manila identifies it as Bajo de Masinloc. Aquino withdrew his country’s ships from the contested area last month as tensions with Beijing escalated, but Chinese government ships have stayed.

Some lawmakers have suggested that the Aquino administration tone down its rhetoric and quietly negotiate a compromise with China. A Philippine senator has described the lopsided feud as a clash between a “mosquito” and “a dragon.”

“There are those who say that we should let Bajo de Masinloc go. We should avoid the trouble,: Aquino said in his nationally televised speech before Congress. “But if someone entered your yard and told you he owned it, would you agree? Would it be right to give away that which is rightfully ours?”

“I do not think it excessive to ask that our rights be respected, just as we respect their rights as a fellow nation in a world we need to share,” Aquino said, referring to China.

Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei also have conflicting claims in the South China Sea. Many fear the resource-rich and busy waters could spark Asia’s next major armed conflict.

About 6,000 police officers were deployed to secure the House of Representatives, where Aquino spoke, and nearby roads. Several people were injured when riot police clashed with thousands of left-wing and trade union protesters, who were seeking higher wages, land reform and a stop to alleged human rights violations.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 23, 2015

News: Two Marines identified in deadly California helo crash - Two Marine Corps officers killed when their helicopter crashed during a training exercise in the Southern California desert were remembered Jan. 25 as talented pilots. Greek F-16 crashes in Spain during NATO exercise - Ten people died Jan. 26 after a Greek air force F-16 jet crashed...
 
 

News Briefs January 26, 2015

Navy wants to increase use of sonar-emitting buoys The U.S. Navy is seeking permits to expand sonar and other training exercises off the Pacific Coast, a proposal raising concerns from animal advocates who say that more sonar-emitting buoys would harm whales. The Navy now wants to deploy up to 720 sonobuoys about 12 miles off...
 
 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 
 

VA announces single regional framework under MyVA initiative

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Jan. 26 that it is taking the first steps under the MyVA initiative to realign its many organizational maps into one map with five regions to better serve Veterans. The new regions under the MyVA alignment will allow VA to begin the process of integrating disparate organizational boundaries into...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>