Xuân Tân Mão

Xuân Tân Mão
Đảng và Chính phủ luôn trân trọng biểu dương, khen thưởng xứng đáng với tất cả hoạt động, việc làm của người dân vì mục tiêu yêu nước, bảo vệ chủ quyền quốc gia (TTg NT Dũng).

25 tháng 12 2010

CHÙM TIN VỀ TRUNG QUỐC--BIỂN ĐÔNG

China Plans More Patrols in Disputed Seas, Daily Says
December 24, 2010, 4:20 AM EST

By Hwee Ann Tan and Ben Richardson
(Adds size of fleet in fourth paragraph, details of clashes throughout.)
Dec. 24 (Bloomberg) -- China plans to increase patrols to protect fishing boats in disputed waters that sparked clashes with Japan, South Korea and Vietnam this year.
Patrols will be stepped up in the South China and Yellow Seas to prevent illegal fishing, the China Daily reported today, citing fisheries official Zhao Xingwu. The government has introduced bigger, faster protection vessels in the past five years, it said, citing Niu Dun, vice minister of agriculture.
China’s assertive maritime claims caused friction this year after clashes between Chinese trawlers and the South Korean and Japanese Coast Guards, and its detention of Vietnamese fishermen. The expanded policing will cover areas including the Nansha, or Spratly, islands, claimed in part by six countries, and the Diaoyu islands that Japan controls, China Daily said.
The Chinese fishery protection fleet has grown on average by more than 100 ships a year since 2005, China Daily said. Its boats are less well-armed than their rivals from Vietnam and Japan, the paper said, citing an analyst.
South Korea last week said four Coast Guard members were injured when they were attacked by Chinese crew from a fishing vessel that had illegally entered Korean waters. About 330 Chinese boats have been captured for illegal fishing in South Korean waters this year, the Coast Guard said Dec. 19.
About 50 boats were illegally fishing in South Korean waters when one of them rammed a patrol ship on Dec. 18 to help the others escape, the Korea Coast Guard said. One crew member died when the Chinese boat sank.
Compensation Demand
China urged South Korea to pay compensation and punish those responsible for the clash. Neither country’s law enforcement boats have the right to board one another’s fishing vessels, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu said last week, citing a bilateral fishery agreement.
Premier Wen Jiabao in October threatened Japan with retaliation without the “immediate and unconditional” release of a Chinese skipper arrested near the Diaoyu islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan. The row was sparked when the trawler collided with two Japanese patrol boats.
Vietnam in October urged China to release a fishing boat and crew detained on Sept. 11 close to islands in the South China Sea. China claims most of the maritime region, parts of which are also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
Unease over Chinese maritime and fishery claims has helped the U.S. cement security ties in Asia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew a terse response from the Chinese government in July when she called settling territorial disputes off China’s southern coast “a leading diplomatic priority.” The comments were “virtually an attack on China,” Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at the time.
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-12-24/china-plans-more-patrols-in-disputed-seas-daily-says.html

China Nears Launch of First Aircraft Carrier
By Jon E. Dougherty at 23 Dec 09:58
(Newsroom America) -- The Chinese navy could be ready to launch the country's first aircraft carrier in 2011, ahead of the expectations of some U.S. analysts, though it’s unclear what kind of actual capabilities the acquisition would give Beijing in the near term.
A news report Thursday said the carrier, purchased from Russia a decade ago, would most likely be deployed to help secure China’s oil routes and claims to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, a small chain also claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines that are believed to be rich in resources.
In addition to the refurbished Russian carrier, known as the Varyag when it was being built for the Soviet navy in the late 1980s, analysts believe China is well on its way to building its own version, though U.S. analysts say Beijing’s first domestically produced carrier wouldn’t be completed before 2015.
"The period around July 1 next year to celebrate the (Chinese Communist) Party's birthday is one window (for launch)," a source with ties to the Chinese leadership told Reuters, in comments published Thursday.
U.S. officials have said they estimated the Varyag would become operational by 2012.
China has spent billions of dollars over the past 15 years upgrading its military capabilities, but especially its navy. Once primarily a coastal defense force, Beijing has sought to create a blue-water navy capable of force projection well beyond its borders.
Still, analysts say, building carriers is one thing, while developing a capability with them is another. China is likely lacking the technology and training necessary to field a complex warship of that class, military experts have said. In its report, for example, Reuters said Chinese pilots have yet to master take-off and landing techniques on carriers, having far fewer flight hours than U.S. pilots.
China reportedly wants to purchase Russian-built Su-33s for its carrier, but is also looking to modify its own domestically produced J-10 fighters for use at sea.
The fact that China is even working to acquire carriers is making its neighbors, and the U.S., nervous.
Japanese defense officials, for instance, have said recently they have altered the country’s overall military posture to counter China’s power projection ambitions.
“Tokyo's new National Defense Program Guidelines feature modernizing its self-defense capabilities to reflect the geopolitical changes in recent years, including China's growing naval presence in the northern Pacific and North Korea's aggressive military provocations,” The Wall Street Journal reported last week. “To further boost the stability in the region, security cooperation with other allies of the U.S.—South Korea, Australia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and India—will also be strengthened.”
The paper said that while many of China’s neighbors are seeking to trade with Beijing, they are also “hedging their bets” in case China flexes newfound military muscle in the future.
http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/87789/china_nears_launch_of_first_aircraft_carrier.html


China to Strengthen Control of its Fishing Boats


The Chinese government is planning to better manage Chinese fishing vessels operating in disputed waters starting next year.
A Chinese news wire service reported on Thursday that the government will boost its control over fishing vessels in order to protect their rights and fishing operations in waters such as those near the inter-Korean maritime border in the West Sea and around Daoyutai in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japan.
The announcement comes in the wake of an agreement by Seoul and Beijing to settle a diplomatic row over the recent sinking of a Chinese fishing boat.
The Chinese trawler capsized in South Korean waters in the West Sea last Saturday after clashing with a Korean coast guard vessel leaving one Chinese sailor dead and another missing.
Beijing also plans to beef up its maritime patrol acitivities in the South China Sea around the Spratly Islands which it claims as its territory along with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
With more Chinese fishing vessels getting involved in conflicts at sea the Chinese government appears ready to step in to prevent isolated incidents from becoming full-blown diplomatic clashes.
Kim Na-ri, Arirang News.

DEC 24, 2010
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=110711&code=Ne2&category=2




China pledges regular patrols near disputed islands

(AFP) – 17 hours ago
BEIJING — China has said it will do more to protect its fishing grounds next year, with regular patrols near disputed islands in the East China Sea that sparked a huge row with Japan.
The collision of a Chinese fishing trawler and two Japanese coastguard ships near the uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, led to the worst breakdown in ties between Asia's top two economies in years.
"Normal patrols to safeguard fishing around the Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea will be organised in 2011," fisheries administration director Zhao Xingwu, was quoted Friday by the China Daily as saying.
Surveillance of fishing grounds in the South China Sea and Yellow Sea -- where one Chinese fisherman died and another remained missing after a clash with South Korean coastguards last week -- will also be stepped up, Zhao said.
Chinese fishermen ply the waters near the mainland, but also travel as far away as the Pacific islands of Fiji and Tonga, or the waters off east African nations such as Kenya and Tanzania, which have given them special concessions.
But in the East and South China Seas, they are treading on the competing territorial claims of more than a half-dozen Asian countries, most of which involve tiny island chains that are potentially resource-rich.
Japan has protested China's patrols near the islands in the East China Sea, which are claimed by both countries and Taiwan. Patrol boats from the two sides were involved in a brief standoff last month, Chinese state media said.
The two sides have worked to restore ties since the incident, which saw Beijing reduce political, cultural and economic exchanges with Tokyo.
http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=110711&code=Ne2&category=2


Fisheries to Get More Protection

    2010-12-24 07:53:55     China Daily      Web Editor: Zhangxu
China will intensify management of the fishing industry in its territory, an annual national fishery conference heard on Thursday.
"Normal patrols to safeguard fishing around the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea will be organized in 2011," said Zhao Xingwu, director of the Fishery Administration under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Protection of fisheries through accompanying patrols will be improved around the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea to crack down on illegal fishing, he said, and activities will be increased in the country's other waters such as the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.
At present, China has 2,287 fishery administration ships, among which 528 were built in the past five years, statistics from the ministry show.
"The country has highlighted its construction of fishery administration ships with higher tonnage to better safeguard its sea territory and fishermen over the past five years," Niu Dun, vice-minister of agriculture said at the conference, citing the country's fastest fishery administration vessel, China Yuzheng 310, had been put to sea in November.
Analysts said China is still far behind countries such as Japan and Vietnam, whose patrol ships are all equipped with modern weapons.
Current Chinese patrol ships are too small, and cannot guarantee long-distance escort trips, said Zhou Yongsheng, deputy chief of the Japan Studies Center at the Beijing-based China Foreign Affairs University.
"Sea patrols are different from on the ground, because if anything happens it takes much longer for backup forces to reach the scene, and if the vessels themselves aren't sufficiently prepared there's no other resources they can turn to, and that makes it difficult to deliver timely protection," he said.
The country's output of aquatic products will reach 53.5 million tons this year, according to a statement released after the conference.
Fishermen's per capita net income this year is expected to reach 8,963 yuan ($1,350), an average annual increase of 8.8 percent since 2006.
Niu praised achievements in the fishery industry over the past five years, especially as the country has been frequently hit by natural disasters and severely affected by the global financial crisis.
The minister said government's supportive policies are primary reasons for the achievements.
In the past five years, 37 billion yuan has been invested to support fishery development, seven times that invested from 2001 to 2005, he said.
http://english.cri.cn/6909/2010/12/24/2021s611787.htm



YEARENDER: Diplomats, patrol ships push China's maritime claims
By Bill Smith Dec 23, 2010, 2:06 GMT
Beijing - An increasingly assertive China is using a two- pronged strategy of careful diplomacy and more aggressive maritime patrols to defend its claims to the South China Sea as it faces perceived challenges from some of its South-east Asian neighbours and even from the United States.
Which option it eventually chooses to prefer depends largely on a secretive debate on the country's role in the world between its party leaders, the military and political reformers.
Despite calls from the Association of South-east Asian Nations and the United States for multilateral negotiations on the disputes, China sees bilateral talks as the mainstay of its regional diplomacy, military analyst Xu Guangyu told the German Press Agency dpa.
'We do not want to take the multilateral way to resolve them (regional disputes),' said Xu, a retired general who now works for the state-run China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.
'There are many ways to declare sovereignty. One is for the fisheries department to send patrol ships... And we also do that to cooperate with our diplomatic efforts,' he said.
China lays claim to most of the South China Sea, including small islands that are hundreds of kilometres from its southern coast.
In April, it sent two ships to patrol disputed areas amid friction with Vietnam over fishing rights close to the disputed Spratly Islands, which are known as the Nansha in Chinese.
Vietnam has accused China of repeatedly detaining Vietnamese fishing boats over the past year around the Spratlys and the nearby Paracels, or Xisha in Chinese.
China also contests nearby areas with Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, while the Philippines and Malaysia both have disputes with Vietnam over parts of the South China Sea.
Xu said China had adopted a 'tit-for-tat' approach to Vietnam.
'If they make an incursion in the Xisha area, we will take measures that are internationally accepted to stop or expel them,' he said.
Beijing sometimes uses tough rhetoric and assertive patrolling of disputed waters, but it still engages Vietnam in naval cooperation in the largely demarcated Beibu (Tonkin) Gulf.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sought to reassure South China Sea rivals in a December 1 speech at a forum on China's Asia-Pacific policy.
'We must foster a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination,' Yang said.
'We need to address disputes through dialogue and consultations,' he said.
Xu said a separate dispute between China and Japan over mineral- rich areas of the East China Sea is 'comparatively simple' compared with the conflicting South China Sea claims.
Like most Chinese officials, analysts and ordinary people, he blames Japan for the recent diplomatic spat after a Chinese fishing boat collided with Japanese coastguard vessels.
'Beijing wants to strengthen its maritime capability to safeguard its shipping channels and to conduct salvage and relief operations,' Zhang Tuosheng, a scholar from the China International Strategy Research Fund, wrote in the China Daily newspaper last month.
'But some countries are trying to confine China's navy to a chain of islets for groundless and impractical reasons,' Zhang said.
Zhang was partly referring to Japan, but his main target was the United States.
China sees the United States as an extra-regional power interfering in its disputes with neighbouring countries, especially Taiwan, the island that the ruling Communist Party claims as a breakaway Chinese province.
'The possibility of military intervention by the United States and Japan in the Taiwan Strait in the case of 'Taiwan independence' forces taking extreme action has long been China's top maritime concern,' Zhang said.
China is expected to announce the launch of its first aircraft carrier within the next decade, a move that is unlikely to be welcomed by its neighbours.
It insists it needs carriers to help protect its growing maritime trade, though some officials and analysts also publicly promote a more powerful navy to counteract US influence.
Xu argues that the US military, including its aircraft carriers, 'runs everywhere' in the South China Sea and that its planes and ships are 'always patrolling near Chinese territory.'
'But we suggest they change the habit. The situation has changed. They should respect us,' Xu said.
Within the next decade, China will have new leaders and its economy will undergo more rapid change.
Views of the increasingly powerful nation's global role are already more disparate than ever, even within the Communist Party and the military.
'Today, without Beijing's clear guidance, a great debate has arisen over the country's role in the world,' Elizabeth Economy, director for Asia Studies at the US-based Council for Foreign Relations wrote in the December issue of Foreign Policy magazine.
'How this debate will shape China's future remains an open question,' Economy said. 'But perhaps the most important point is that it is taking place at all.'
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1607487.php/YEARENDER-Diplomats-patrol-ships-push-China-s-maritime-claims




China has a lot of peacemaking to do
After the Nobel mess, a row with Japan and other diplomatic missteps, Beijing is trying to mend ties with its neighbors and the West.
December 23, 2010|By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Beijing — Now for the damage control.
After taking a pounding in the court of world opinion in recent months, the Chinese government hopes to repair an image tarnished by the public relations fiasco of the Nobel Peace Prize and a series of foreign policy gaffes.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is to be received by President Obama on Jan. 19, with an official state dinner and Oval Office meeting scheduled, the White House announced Thursday. China has toned down its blatant public support for North Korea, urging Pyongyang to accept nuclear inspections and to refrain from further threats to South Korea.
"At the end of the day, Hu needs a successful summit,'' said Michael Green, a former top Asia advisor to President George W. Bush and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He added, however, that "it might be tactical, rather than a forthright recognition that China needs to compromise."
For a leadership that sailed through the global financial crisis with nary a misstep, the Chinese have proved surprisingly inept at diplomacy. Beijing's assertive — critics say thuggish — behavior in the international arena has undermined an image it had long cultivated as a gentle giant whose prosperity would only enrich its neighbors.
Carefully nurtured relations with the United States, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and many European countries have seemed in danger of unraveling with alarming speed.
"We need to do some repair work," said Shen Dingli, an international relations specialist at Shanghai's Fudan University. "China has to be humble and courteous about appreciating America's help in its development and should not use rising power to make friends upset."
Among the many sore points are Beijing's manipulation of its currency to give its exports an edge over those of its trading partners', and its seemingly unconditional support of North Korea, particularly after the Nov. 23 shelling of a South Korean island in which four people died.
Favorable views of China among South Koreans have sunk from 66% in 2002 to 38%, according to a poll by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center. A few days after the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, 92% of South Koreans surveyed said they were upset with China's response, and nearly 60% said they would risk economic relations to lodge a protest.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/23/world/la-fg-china-damage-control-20101223
China's boycott diplomacy ugly but effective
A Chinese fisheries patrol boat, below, sails through waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands while being monitored by Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels on Nov. 20. (Photo taken from a Mainichi aircraft)
A Chinese fisheries patrol boat, below, sails through waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands while being monitored by Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels on Nov. 20. (Photo taken from a Mainichi aircraft)
Mainichi Shimbun staff writer Mayumi Otani, who covered the Nobel Prize award ceremony this year, angrily said, "The Chinese government's behavior was ugly." She refers to pressure China applied to its allies to boycott the ceremony because the Nobel Peace Prize would be awarded to Chinese anti-government activist Liu Xiaobo, and 17 countries refused to send representatives to the ceremony. (Mainichi Shimbun Dec. 20 morning edition -- from Norway)
Like Otani, I remember most Japanese journalists and newspapers criticized China's action as arrogant with the only exception being Bangkok-based journalist Makoto Suzuki. (The Sankei Shimbun Dec. 15 morning edition) He analyzed China's boycott diplomacy from the viewpoint of Southeast Asia.
Suzuki pointed out that of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand was the only country that sent a representative to the award ceremony as far as he confirmed. However, a minister at the Thai Embassy attended it on behalf of the ambassador, who the embassy said was staying in his home country.
The Indonesian ambassador was also absent from the ceremony for the same reason, while the Philippine ambassador also failed to be present because the ceremony did not fit his schedule. Even Vietnam, which is in dispute with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea, criticized presenting the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu on the grounds that the prize should not be used for political purposes. However, it is too naive to insist that Japan should join hands with ASEAN in an attempt to counter China.
Regardless of whether its behavior was ugly, China did score diplomatic points through its boycott diplomacy. This is the reality of Asia.
It raises the question why does China have such strong diplomatic power? This is apparently because the free trade agreement (FTA) between China and ASEAN came into effect on Jan. 1, 2010. China and ASEAN have been integrated into a single market and the amounts of goods and services traded in these areas sharply increased, improving the economic conditions of Southeast Asia.
As their economic relations have become closer, China and ASEAN tend to avoid political conflicts. Philippine news organizations criticized the ambassador's absence from the ceremony, but politicians in ASEAN member countries share the view that they will gain nothing if they anger China.
Shortly before the award ceremony, a high-ranking Philippine military officer visited China and held talks on the purchase of Chinese-made weapons. ASEAN member countries fear anti-government guerrillas within their respective territories more than the threat posed by China.
The United States is now pressing forward with a plan to form the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in a bid to counter the China-ASEAN FTA. Washington is now trying to increase its presence in the Asian market, but struggling to make up for its late start.
In the South China Sea where China is steadily increasing its military presence, the United States is soliciting ASEAN to build up a framework to counter the threat posed by China, but ASEAN is unlikely to comply. China's boycott diplomacy was certainly ugly. However, the brass-knuckles aggressiveness of its diplomacy should not be underestimated. (By Hidetoshi Kaneko, Expert Senior Writer)
In English: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20101224p2a00m0na001000c.html
In Japanese: http://mainichi.jp/select/opinion/kaneko/news/20101223ddm003070127000c.html


China wants to lead in resolving islands dispute
Envoy says US need not participate in process
  • By Barbara Mae Dacanay, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:00 December 24, 2010

Manila: China said it will lead in resolving the disputed claims on Spratly Islands off the South China Sea, adding that a third party like the United States should no longer participate in solving the problem, a local paper said.
The involvement of a third-party in the Spratlys issue will only "result [in the] complication of the issue," Liu Jianchao, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines told the Manila Times.
"This [Spratly Islands row] is an issue between China and relevant countries. We have the wisdom to face the issue... I believe it will be settled sooner or later. Involvement of a third party will only complicate the issue, and will [in] no way help the situation relax," Liu said.
He added that the "essence of the issue" is a bilateral one, and that all claimant countries must seek a "constructive settlement of the dispute". "If not handled properly, it may even result [in something] that neither countries would like to see," Liu warned.
A meeting of officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Xintang, China, which started on Wednesday and ends today, will help ease tension in the Spratly Archipelago, Liu said.
Enhanced measures
"We are working with the countries in Asean for enhanced measures in preserving peace and stability. That is the purpose of this meeting," said Liu.
The ambassador added that it will centre on a non-binding edict signed by Asean member countries, regarding the Spartly issue.
He referred to the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea, signed in 2002.
China, Taiwan, and Vietnam claim all of South China Sea while, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines claim parts of Spratly Archipelago, said to be rich in oil and gas deposits.
http://gulfnews.com/news/world/philippines/china-wants-to-lead-in-resolving-islands-dispute-1.735087

China warns anew vs US role in Spratlys dispute
(Note: am muu "dai ba" tham hiem cua TQ an hiep doi voi VN va cac nuoc nho hon !)

12/22/2010 | 06:07 PM

China will “take all the necessary measures" in maintaining peace and stability in the disputed Spratly islands but these do not include giving the United States (US) any role in the negotiations among claimants, a Chinese diplomat said.

“(The US should) have no involvement in the negotiations, as it would only complicate matters," said Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao in a press briefing on Wednesday at his residence in Makati City.

According to Liu, the Spratlys dispute does not concern the US because it is between China and other countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) claiming the islands.

“There should be no role given to the US in the negotiations (for a new agreement). (The) dispute in Spratly islands is an issue between China and the relevant countries with claims (to the islands)," the Chinese ambassador added.

The Spratly islands, a group of islets in the South China Sea, are believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

These islands are claimed in whole by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, while portions are claimed by Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Liu said China wants a legally binding treaty with the ASEAN as part of the negotiations for the disputed group of islands.

The Chinese government is thus hosting a three-day meeting from December 22 to 24 in Kunming, China, Liu said.

The meeting is aimed at formulating a more binding code of conduct in the South China Sea.

“China's position is to take all the necessary measures so that Nansha islands (Spratly islands) will remain a stable and peaceful place," Liu said.

He said China likewise agrees to drawing up a treaty to make the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DoC) “more specific and effective."

China and ASEAN senior officials met in Hanoi as a concluding meeting of Vietnam's chairmanship of ASEAN this year.

"We're looking at a follow-up of the DOC that will make it a more effective and specific (agreement)," Liu explained.

He added that China remains committed in pushing for “enhanced measures in preserving peace and security in the region." – with Jerrie Abella, VVP, GMANews.TV

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/philippines/china-wants-to-lead-in-resolving-islands-dispute-1.735087



China envoy to PH airs view on Spratlys
By ROY C. MABASA
December 23, 2010, 6:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — China will not accept the involvement of a third party in the settlement of the Spratly row.
This was the declaration made by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao as he stressed that the Spratly Island dispute should be settled between China and other claimant countries and that the involvement of a third party will only complicate the issue and will in no way help “relax the situation.”
Speaking with reporters at his residence in Makati, Liu reiterated that the essence of the disputes in the South China Sea “is a bilateral issue.”
“We are in the position to settle this dispute on a bilateral basis, in the spirit of cooperation, in seeking constructive settlement of the dispute,” the Chinese envoy pointed out.
He said the involvement of a third party, such as the United States, will result, if not handled properly, into “a situation that neither any country would like to see.”
The Spratlys are a group of islands in the South China Sea consisting of more than 100 small groups of islands, isles, shoals, banks, atolls, cays, coral reefs and sandbars.
The Spratly archipelago, including shallow territorial waters, covers an area of approximately 180,000 square kilometers.
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/294519/china-envoy-ph-airs-view-spratlys


China ready to hold military exercises with PH
By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 13:02:00 12/23/2010
MANILA, Philippines—China is open to having full-scale joint military exercises with the Philippines, and does not view the country's close ties to the United States as an impediment to closer Sino-Philippine cooperation.
"Both sides are very much inspired and encouraged in having even greater cooperation between the two militaries," said Chinese Ambassador to Manila Liu Jianchao.
At a roundtable meeting with the press at his residence in Dasmariñas Village in Makati on Wednesday, the ambassador said joint military exercises between the two countries could be conducted "even now" against drug and human trafficking.
Joint military exercises against terrorism were also possible.
"Why not? I mean when the confidence and trust are boosted, and we have a better understanding, confidence, and trust, we can do better, Liu said.
"Even now, we can do joint military exercises in the area of, for example, in maritime security, maritime rescue, possible exercises against drug trafficking, human trafficking, and again, possibly, terrorism."
Liu said the Philippines' strong alliance with the United States should not impede it from fostering greater military cooperation with other allies, like China, whose military influence in the region is growing.
"I don't see any reason for that. The Philippines is an independent country, and I think that the Philippine people and the Philippine government... have a right to have sustained and strategic cooperative relations with China," he said.
He said military exchange and cooperation was part of "good, neighborly, and strategic relations between China and the Philippines."
But at the same time, he said, "China is happy to see the developments and improvements of relations between the Philippines and the United States. And it hopes that such relationship will benefit the regional peace and stability."
The envoy said proof of the growing military cooperation between China and the Philippines was the recent logistics agreement the two countries signed during a recent visit of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ricardo David to China.
"We provided 24 million yuan (about P150 million) worth of engineering equipment to the (Philippine) military, mostly for construction, like diggers, pressers, trucks," Liu said.
The ambassador acknowledged that his country was expanding its military presence throughout the region, and the Philippines and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were a part of this.
"Together with our economic development, we have been able to strengthen our military capabilities for the purpose of a better and effective defense of the land and of the sovereignty of China," he said.
"We'd like to have more dialogues and cooperation with our neighboring countries, including the Asean countries, in making sure that this region is a region of peace and stability and free from conflict," Liu said.

http://globalnation.inquirer.net/news/breakingnews/view/20101223-310597/China-ready-to-hold-military-exercises-with-PH

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