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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>