Thursday 26 May 2011

Agree To Disagree

Chumps: General Liang Guanglie of China and Philippine President Benigno Aquino effortlessly pull off a famous comedy sketch. Pic: AFP

Note: Philippine Name of the Month
Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine Defence Secretary

From: Restraint urged in rows over South China Sea (SCMP; paywall)
Reuters in Manila and Bloomberg in Beijing
May 24, 2011

Defence ministers from the Philippines and China agreed yesterday to avoid unilateral action that may fuel tension in the South China Sea as Manila said the site of two recent incidents was unquestionably its territory.

Last week, two MiG fighter jets were reportedly seen intruding in Philippine air space by an air force patrol over Reed Bank near Palawan Island, two months after Manila said Chinese boats had harassed a survey ship there.

Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said his counterpart, General Liang Guanglie , told him that China had no MiG fighters. Liang did not say whether other fighter jets were on patrol over disputed areas of the South China Sea.

Gazmin said the Philippines was not accusing China of violating its air space because there was no clear identification of the aircraft.

"Both ministers acknowledge the need to ensure that the South China Sea remains stable," the ministers said in a statement after meeting at a main army base in Manila.

"Both ministers recognised that unilateral action which could cause alarm should be avoided."

Beijing, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territories in the South China Sea, which covers an important shipping route and is thought to hold untapped oil and gas reserves.

Last month, the Philippines protested to the UN over China's claim to disputed areas, saying Beijing's position had no basis under international law.

Manila said Reed Bank was not part of the Spratly Islands, known in the Philippines as the Kalayaans. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said: "It has always been an integral part of our national territory, and not subject to negotiation."

Meanwhile, Beijing rejected as "totally unreasonable" a protest by Vietnam over plans by the parent of China Mobile to expand mobile phone coverage in the Spratlys.


  1. aimlesswanderer27 May 2011 at 23:05

    Well, it's all a mess out there. The CCP is getting rather arrogant, all the attention, foreign leaders sucking up to them and the growing economy (and their personal bank accounts) is going to their head.

    What do you think about the soon to be mandatory indoctrination, erm, patriotic education classes they're reportedly going to have over in Hongkers?

  2. Thanks AW. Well, they already started playing the National Anthem every day on TV. All this indoctrination is dangerous but what is even more disingenuous is the CCP associating patriotism with communism, or communism with patriotism (same difference!).

  3. aimlesswanderer2 June 2011 at 22:19

    It's what happens when authoritarian governments are in power after a while: what is good for us gets equated with what is good for the country. This is sadly very rarely the case.

    Nothing like a bit of brain washing! Not that making lots of money has anything to do with real Communism... but never mind minor issues like that, there is money to be made!

  4. Yes, China has a unique blend of capitalism and communism. I smell Napoleon the Pig!

  5. aimlesswanderer5 June 2011 at 00:39

    So who's Snowball? The CCP seems to have an impressively long list of the Usual Suspects to Blame All China's Ills On.

    BTW, it's interesting, talking to some of my mainland friends who've escaped (err migrated) out here. Some won't even admit that the CCP isn't the best government ever, and it's only Evil Usual Suspects who are causing trouble, and that China is in all ways a great place - so great that they came out here, and want to get they parents PR too.

    And one even claimed that China (and the Chinese) have NEVER been the aggressor in any war, EVER. She had some difficulty with some of the maps of "China" from the Qin, Han, Song, etc. "Are these right?" she asked of the google image results.

    The more sensible recognise that China is often contradictory but that the crud is going to hit the fan at some stage due to the yawning wealth gap, repression, corruption and cruddy environmant. And so are trying to get their parents PR and to move money here just in case...