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  1. #1276
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Overfishing Fuels South China Sea Tensions, Risks Armed Conflict, Researcher Says


    A collapse of fishery stocks in the South China Sea caused by overfishing and climate change could fuel serious tensions and even armed conflict, one of the authors of a new report on the topic has warned.


    “The simmering conflict that we see in the South China Sea is mostly because of fish even though countries don’t say it out loud,” Rashid Sumaila, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, told BenarNews on Wednesday.


    Sumaila, from the university’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and its School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, co-authored a report titled “Sink or Swim: The Future Of Fisheries In the East And South China Sea.” He and other fisheries scientists and economists examined the impacts of climate change and overfishing in the region’s oceans.


    The report said under a scenario in which global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, the South China Sea is “likely to experience significant declines in key commercial fish and invertebrate species, placing many regional fishing economies at risk of devastating failure.”


    Regional fisheries in the South China Sea are estimated to generate $100 billion annually, supporting the livelihoods of about 3.7 million people, which the report says will be at risk.


    China’s growing need for fish-based feed, not just fish for human consumption, is a key driver of overfishing in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, according to the report.


    “Fishery is one of the reasons China is entangled in disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea,” Sumaila said.


    The report’s researchers urged immediate action to reduce fishing. They called for increased international cooperation to prevent the catastrophic fisheries collapse they are predicting.


    Fighting over fish


    The link between overfishing and maritime conflicts has been witnessed all over the world. One of the more notable incidents was the “cod war” between the United Kingdom and Iceland that continued for nearly 20 years beginning in 1958.


    Navies from both countries were deployed to protect rival fishermen until government leaders reached an agreement in 1976 through diplomacy.


    More recently, increased attacks by pirates in the waters off the coast of the East African nation of Somalia were attributed to the depletion of seafood resources through illegal fishing.


    Some researchers including John Quiggin, professor of economics at the University of Queensland, have a different perspective – that it is disputes and lawlessness that put pressure on fish stocks.


    “Unresolved conflict increases risk of overfishing and collapse,” Quiggin said.


    “As the Iceland-U.K. cod war and the Somali episode both showed, the optimal solution is for states to regulate exclusive economic zones (EEZs) with catch quotas,” he said. “Best outcome in South China Sea would be for a negotiated agreement.”


    Sumaila, meanwhile, said “the best thing the countries sharing the South China Sea can do is to recognize the immense value of the fisheries of this sea and to cooperate to manage the fisheries sustainably.


    “They could learn from Norway and Russia, who have decided to manage Barents Sea cod fisheries cooperatively even during the Cold War between the then-Soviet Union and the West because they recognized how important this fishery is to their citizens.”


    “I believe this can be done for the South China Sea too,” Sumaila said.


    Illegal fishing


    Separately, the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Chinese think tank, has alleged that illegal fishing, in particular by Vietnamese fishermen, has “seriously undermined regional mutual trust-building and posed a huge threat and challenge to maritime cooperation, conservation of fishery resources and security of neighboring countries.”


    In a new report, the SCSPI said Vietnam operates about 9,000 fishing boats in the South China Sea and got into fishing conflicts with China, Indonesia and Malaysia.


    Vietnamese authorities were not available for comment but Vietnamese media have reported on the government’s efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, especially after the European Commission issued a “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s fishing violations in 2017.


    Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had ordered local governments to stamp out IUU fishing by the end of 2021 and leaders of Vietnam’s 28 coastal provinces committed to stop fishing boats from encroaching on foreign waters.


    China, however, is still ahead of other countries in terms of IUU fishing. A Global Illegal Fishing Index created by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime ranked China the worst offender in 2019.


    With up to 800,000 vessels, China’s fishing fleet is by far the largest in the world and Chinese fishermen, having exhausted domestic grounds, are known to have traveled to distant waters such as the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa or the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador for their catches.


    In the South China Sea, China has been accused of operating a fleet of armed fishing militia to enforce its sweeping sovereignty claims which are disputed by its neighbors, including Vietnam.


    The RAND Corp., a U.S. think tank, said China has been carrying out classic “gray zone” operations designed to “win without fighting” by overwhelming the adversary with swarms of fishing boats usually bolstered from the rear by coast guard and possibly naval ships.


    Overfishing Fuels South China Sea Tensions, Risks Armed Conflict, Researcher Says — BenarNews

  2. #1277
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    A close encounter with a Chinese aircraft carrier has become a badge of honor for a US Navy destroyer crew


    A close encounter with a Chinese aircraft carrier has become a point of pride for the crew of a US Navy destroyer, a top US admiral said Tuesday.

    In April, the USS Mustin sailed within visual range of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and then let the world know about it.

    The operation was a testament to the "boldness" and skill of US sailors, Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener said at the Surface Navy Association's national symposium. And those sailors have reveled in the condemnation it drew from China, added Kitchener, who serves as the commander of US Navy surface forces and of surface forces in the Pacific.

    The Mustin was assigned "to mark" the Liaoning as the carrier and its escorts conducted exercises in the South China Sea, Kitchener said, "so they went out there, and they approached the group, and the Chinese" cruiser and destroyer escorts "in the screen came out to meet them."

    The Mustin's crew "realized that at some point all the Chinese escorts sort of backed off, which told us, 'OK, there's some operating restrictions that they had around the carrier,'" Kitchener added.

    "Mustin didn't have those," he said. "They proceeded on in, found a good station, and sat alongside taking pictures and doing other things for quite a bit of time."

    China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'-0454f24a8edba7d64269237745f9e695d8147973c480e207008e0b95c72c2f5e_1-jpg


    One of those photos, showing the Mustin's commanding officer and executive officer casually observing the Liaoning, quickly spread around the world and was widely interpreted as a message to the Chinese navy.
    In the weeks that followed, Chinese officials condemned the Mustin, calling its actions "very vile" and accusing the destroyer of endangering Chinese ships and personnel, which US officials denied.

    "It was a good story in the end. At the time, we had to manage it a little bit," Kitchener said Tuesday, adding that the Mustin's crew had commemorated the encounter on a uniform patch.
    At the bottom of the patch, alongside the Mustin's initials and hull number, are the words "non grata," Kitchener said.

    "I said, 'Hey, what does that mean?' And they go, 'Well, sir, that is from the demarche the Chinese sent to our State Department that said, 'Hey, the USS Mustin is no longer welcome in the South China Sea because they're such a pain in the ass,'" he added.

    The incident was illustrative of "what our sailors are trained to do," Kitchener said, and the response of the Mustin's crew showed they were unified around their mission.

    Operating close to other forces is not a new experience for the US Navy, but run-ins with Russian and Chinese forces — whose conduct the US has at times deemed "unsafe and unprofessional" — have increased in recent years amid tensions with each of those countries.

    Kitchener and other Navy officials have said US forces should expect to encounter those forces more often and closer to US shores.

    "When we go out now on operations, whether it's East Coast or West Coast, Black Sea, South China Sea, we're there head-to-head with our adversaries," Kitchener said. "They're there. They're present. And we're managing the risk, and our sailors are getting really good at it."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/us-n...carrier-2022-1

    Got a laugh at this...

    China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'-uss-mustin-rebel-pepper-jpg

  3. #1278
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    the South China Sea Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Chinese think tank, has alleged that illegal fishing, in particular by Vietnamese fishermen, has “seriously undermined regional mutual trust-building"
    Obviously living on the same planet as hoohoo and sabang, and it isn't Earth.

  4. #1279
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Eye on China, Indonesia launches naval spending spree

    JAKARTA – Indonesia is embarking on a program to modernize its navy and build up a more effective deterrent to confront future incursions by Chinese ships into the 200-nautical-mile economic exclusion zone (EEZ) along its northern maritime border.


    Maritime Coordinating Minister Luhut Panjaitan has often stressed the need for what he calls “ocean-going” surface combatants to protect fishery resources from intruding Chinese and other foreign trawlers in the North Natuna Sea.


    But the brazen seven-week incursion by a Chinese survey ship and two armed coast guard cutters near a gas exploration rig 20 kilometers inside Indonesian waters last year has upped the stakes and left the Indonesians scratching their heads over what comes next.

    Indonesia’s two home-built Sigma-class and five 1960s-era Van Speijk-class frigates have a limited range of 6,000-9,000 kilometers, only slightly more than most of the navy’s core fleet of 24 corvettes, 14 of which were acquired from the former East German navy in 1993 and are nearing retirement.


    Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has concluded a deal for two British Arrowhead 140 frigates, which will be built at state-run PT PAL‘s Surabaya shipyard, and also signed a contract for six new Italian FREMM multi-role frigates and two upgraded Italian Navy Maestrale-class light frigates.


    Prabowo was a surprise inclusion in President Joko Widodo’s Cabinet after losing to the incumbent in the 2019 presidential race. But the former army general has impressed with his grasp of strategic issues and his prioritizing a stronger navy and air force.


    The minister is also considering the purchase of two or three squadrons of Boeing F-15EX Eagle II and Dassault Rafale fighter jets to augment a front-line fleet made up of three squadrons of Lockheed Martin F16s and 16 Russian Sukhoi Su-27/30s bought during an extended 15-year American arms embargo.

    Air force commander Air Chief Marshal Fadjar Prasetyo recently confirmed Indonesia had made the long-rumored decision to drop the planned acquisition of Su-35 multi-role fighters because of feared US economic sanctions.




    Leaked Defense Ministry documents suggest Indonesia will rely heavily on foreign loans to fund an ambitious US$125 billion modernization program over the next 25 years. “Many of our defense systems are aging, so replacing them is urgent,” Prabowo said last year, stressing the need to respond to what he called the “ever-changing environment.”


    Neither he nor other senior security officials have said much about China’s aggressive activities in the North Natuna Sea, which are at puzzling variance with an economic relationship that has propelled Indonesia into a new era of industrialization.


    Maritime watchers have seen little Chinese activity over the past two months, but further north the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and USS Essex amphibious assault ship last week raised Beijing’s ire once again by skirting Chinese installations in the disputed Spratly Islands.


    Based on the hull of the Danish-designed Iver Huitfeld-class frigate and manufactured under license from British defense contractor Babcock International, the 5,100-tonne Arrowhead 140 has a range of 17,000 kilometers and a top speed of 30 knots.


    It is armed with Sea Ceptor missiles, guided by an advanced air and surface surveillance system, and carries either an AugustaWestland Wildcat or Sikorsky Seahawk helicopter capable of delivering anti-ship missiles and lightweight torpedoes.




    The Royal Navy is buying five similar Type 31 frigates, but Babcock says the baseline Arrowhead 140 design can be configured to meet a broad range of operational requirements specifically tailored for Indonesian operations.


    The $720 million deal is a triumph for Jakarta as it looks to benefit from a transfer of technology, not only to build its own military hardware in the future, but to contribute to the economic benefits of developing the country’s shipbuilding industry.


    Founded during president Suharto’s rule in 1980, PAL has already built corvettes, missile-armed fast attack craft and amphibious warfare vessels, in addition to two strategic sealift vessels for the Philippines Navy.


    Earlier, Trieste-based Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri announced it will build six FREMM frigates for Indonesia for $4.5 billion, apart from meeting more than 50 orders for the same vessel from the US, France, Italy, Egypt and Morocco.

    The 6,000-tonne Bergamini-class variant, first introduced into service in 2012, has a range of 12,000 kilometers and is equipped with a 127 mm main gun and Otomat MK2 anti-ship missiles capable of engaging targets at a distance of 180 kilometers.




    Under the arrangement, Fincantieri will also acquire and modernize the two 3,000-tonne Maestrale-class frigates, which have a range of 11,000 kilometers and are primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare.


    The new frigates are destined to be built in Fincantieri shipyards, but there has been little progress on the deal in the past seven months with a lack of finance still appearing to be a major obstacle.


    The same applies to a separate deal with Japan, which had a sales team ensconced in Jakarta for much of last year seeking to sell the Indonesians eight stealthy Mogami-class multi-mission frigates at an overall cost of $3.6 billion.


    Under a provisional plan, Mitsubishi and Mitsui were to deliver four of the 5,000-tonne vessels, beginning in late 2023, and for the other four to be built by PAL in what would have been the biggest-ever arms deal between the two countries.


    Indonesia’s last naval acquisitions were three 1,700-tonne F2000 corvettes, originally built by Briain’s BAE Systems for the Royal Brunei Navy and sold to Indonesia in 2014 after the sultanate refused to take delivery because they did not meet specifications.


    Last December, Vancouver-based OSI Maritime Systems announced it had been contracted to provide a new integrated navigation and tactical system for the mid-life modernization of the KRI Usman Harun.


    The Usman Harun and its sister ship, the KRI John Lie, were among the navy ships that shadowed the Chinese flotilla during the nearly two months it spent inside Indonesia’s EEZ on an intensive seabed mapping exercise.

    The incursion was seen as an attempt by China to enforce its so-called nine-dash line of national sovereignty, which despite extending across most of the South China Sea has no legal basis under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS).


    In a sign Beijing may be starting to realize the counter-productive effect of its aggressive actions against Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a forum in Manila this week that China will not use its strength to “bully” its neighbors.


    “Stressing only one side’s claims and imposing one’s will on the other is not a proper way for neighbors to treat each other and it goes against the oriental philosophy of how people should get along with each other,” he said.

    Eye on China, Indonesia launches naval spending spree - Asia Times

  5. #1280
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    US Navy warship challenges Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea

    A United States Navy guided missile destroyer challenged Chinese claims of sovereignty in and around islands in the South China Sea on Thursday, with a Navy statement saying such claims violate international law and "pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas."The USS Benfold sailed around the Paracel Islands, known as the Xisha Islands in China, in what the Navy calls a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP), Lt. Mark Langford, spokesperson for the US 7th Fleet, said in the statement.

    The Paracels are a collection of 130 small coral islands and reefs in the northwestern part of the South China Sea. They have no indigenous population to speak of, only Chinese military garrisons amounting to 1,400 people, according to the CIA Factbook.

    The islands are also claimed by Vietnam and self-ruled Taiwan but in Chinese hands for more than 46 years. The islands have been fortified with People's Liberation Army (PLA) military installations.

    The US Navy statement said the Benfold also challenged the claims of Vietnam and Taiwan.

    "All three claimants require either permission or advance notification before a military vessel engages in 'innocent passage' through the territorial sea. Under international law ... the ships of all states -- including their warships -- enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea. The unilateral imposition of any authorization or advance-notification requirement for innocent passage is unlawful," the US Navy statement said.

    Asserting freedom of navigation rights involves sailing within the 12-mile territorial limit from a nation's coastline recognized by international law.

    But the Navy singled out China for making what it calls "straight baselines" enclosing all the waters within the island chain and said the Benfold was challenging those claims too.

    "International law does not permit continental States, like the PRC (People's Republic of China), to establish baselines around entire dispersed island groups," the US statement said.

    "With these baselines, the PRC has attempted to claim more internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and continental shelf than it is entitled to under international law," it said.

    China reacted angrily to the presence of the Benfold in what it claims are its territorial waters.

    "The PLA Southern Theater Command organized naval and air forces to track, monitor and drive away the destroyer with warnings," a statement from the Chinese military said.

    "What the US has done seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and security, and is yet another hard evidence that it is pursuing maritime hegemony and militarizing the South China Sea.

    Facts fully prove that the US is a 'risk-maker' in the South China Sea and the 'biggest destroyer' of peace and stability in the South China Sea," it said.

    China claims almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory.

    Langford said Thursday's FONOP was the second of this year against Chinese claims in the South China Sea -- the USS Benfold also sailed near the Spratly Islands on Tuesday -- but he stressed it continues a longstanding US military practice.

    "US forces operate in the South China Sea on a daily basis, as they have for more than a century," the US Navy statement said.

    South China Sea: US Navy warship USS Benfold challenges Chinese territorial claims - CNN
    Last edited by bsnub; 20-01-2022 at 07:17 PM.

  6. #1281
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Ah the ol chinkies will be whining again.

  7. #1282
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Ah the ol chinkies will be whining again.
    They already did. It is in the article...

    China reacted angrily to the presence of the Benfold in what it claims are its territorial waters.

    "The PLA Southern Theater Command organized naval and air forces to track, monitor and drive away the destroyer with warnings," a statement from the Chinese military said.

    "What the US has done seriously infringes on China's sovereignty and security, and is yet another hard evidence that it is pursuing maritime hegemony and militarizing the South China Sea.

    Facts fully prove that the US is a 'risk-maker' in the South China Sea and the 'biggest destroyer' of peace and stability in the South China Sea," it said.
    US: Come get some.

    China: We would rather whinge because we are little pinks.


  8. #1283
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    I didn't know this is happening:


    China ratchets up tension, declaring part of South China Sea closed

    Robert Besser 08 Mar 2022

    For over one week, China will conduct military drills in the South China Sea in an area between its southern province of Hainan and Vietnam, its government announced
    China claims a large part of the disputed waterway, which contains major shipping lanes, and has built airfields on islands and reefs, creating concern in the wider region and the U.S.
    In a statement late last week, the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration said the drills would run until 15th March

    HANOI, Vietnam: For over one week, China will conduct military drills in the South China Sea in an area between its southern province of Hainan and Vietnam, its government announced, warning shipping to avoid the area.

    China claims a large part of the disputed waterway, which contains major shipping lanes, and has built airfields on islands and reefs, creating concern in the wider region and the U.S.

    In a statement late last week, the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration said the drills would run until 15th March.

    China provided coordinates to avoid in an area roughly halfway between Hainan's Sanya and the Vietnamese city of Hue. Sanya is home to a major Chinese naval base.

    "Entering prohibited," it said in a Chinese and English language statement on its website.

    Vietnam has criticized China for infringing upon its sovereignty, as part of the area is well within its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

    Tensions between the two countries rose to their highest levels in decades in 2014 when a Chinese oil rig began drilling in Vietnamese waters, triggering boat rammings by both sides and anti-China riots in Vietnam.

    China routinely carries out military exercises in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei also have competing claims.

    China ratchets up tension, declaring part of South China Sea closed

  9. #1284
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Yes, it's chinky SOP to stir the shit when it's least needed.

  10. #1285
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Manila eyes broader ties with Indo-Pacific nations looking to counter Beijing

    The Philippines is broadening its relationship with countries that are trying to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the region, while it maintains friendly ties with China despite the Asian superpower’s incursions into Manila’s waters in the South China Sea.


    Nurtured by President Rodrigo Duterte to much criticism at home, Manila is keeping its relationship with Beijing on an even keel, ostensibly demonstrating, according to political analyst Rommel Banlaoi, a “pragmatic independent foreign policy” in a polarized world.


    For instance, the Filipino foreign secretary is in Tokyo this weekend to take part in the first ever bilateral two-plus-two talks involving the foreign and defense ministers of the Philippines and Japan.


    This visit follows a meeting between China’s Xi Jinping and Duterte on Friday, where they “committed to broaden the space for positive engagements” on the South China Sea issue. And on the same day, the Philippines concluded one of its largest military exercises with the United States, its longtime defense ally.


    Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS), said Manila is demonstrating its independence by maintaining its longstanding security alliance with the U.S, strengthening is strategic partnerships with Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the European Union, and maintaining friendly relations with China despite tensions over the waterway.


    Still, disputes to do with the South China Sea, part of which is called the West Philippine Sea by the Filipinos, are the main reason behind for broadened security cooperation between the Philippines and other countries in the region, analysts said. Celia Lamkin, Founder of the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea


    “The foreign and defense talks between Japan and the Philippines in Tokyo [on Saturday] are significant because of the non-stop aggression and militarization by China in our West Philippine Sea,” Celia Lamkin, Founder of the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea, told BenarNews, using the Philippine term for the South China Sea.


    On Thursday, the Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana met with his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi, in Tokyo to discuss “ways to further enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” according to the official Philippine News Agency.


    The two defense ministers agreed to bolster security cooperation and expand bilateral and multilateral exercises, according to a statement from the Japanese Ministry of National Defense.


    “They shared their intent that they will not tolerate any unilateral change of the status quo by force in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in East Asia and Southeast Asia,” the statement said.


    China is involved in maritime disputes with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.


    The inaugural two-plus-two meeting on Saturday will continue to “promote bilateral defense cooperation and exchanges to uphold and strengthen the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP),” Japan Defense Ministry said.


    “We need allies like Japan and the U.S. to show China to respect international law in our West Philippine Sea and the rest of the South China Sea,” said Lamkin from the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea.


    China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, including waters within the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. While Indonesia does not regard itself as party to the South China Sea dispute, Beijing claims historic rights to parts of that sea overlapping Indonesia's exclusive economic zone as well.


    ‘Open, warm, and positive’


    A day before this two-plus-two meeting, Duterte, who is due to leave office after the Philippine general election in May and who has consistently called China’s Xi a friend, had a telephone meeting with the Chinese leader.


    During the call, the two said they work towards maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea by exercising restraint, a statement from Duterte’s office said.


    A Chinese statement, meanwhile, said Xi had expressed his approval for how the two nations have dealt with the issue of the disputed South China Sea. Beijing, however, has consistently ignored a 2016 decision by an international arbitration court in The Hague that rejected China’s expansive claims in the contested waterway.


    Meanwhile, news emerged on Thursday that, for days, a Chinese coastguard ship had followed a research vessel deployed by Philippine and Taiwanese scientists in waters in off the northern Philippines, sparking concerns.


    Still, the statement from Duterte’s office described the hour-long telephone conversation as “open, warm and positive.”


    Then again, Manila surprised many a day earlier by voting against Beijing’s ally Moscow, and in favor of a resolution to suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was the only ASEAN Nation to vote in favor of the resolution, apart from the Myanmar government in exile.


    Also, last September, when Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S. announced the establishment of a trilateral security pact, AUKUS, the Philippines was the first country in Southeast Asia to endorse it despite concerns from regional players including Malaysia and Indonesia.


    With the Philippine presidential election looming in May, all eyes are on who will win the race, said Lamkin from the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea.


    She added: “Our struggle for sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea depend very much on who will be the next president.”


    Manila eyes broader ties with Indo-Pacific nations looking to counter Beijing — Radio Free Asia

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