Phnom Penh: Ten Southeast Asian nations have agreed on a code of conduct to prevent armed clashes over the South China Sea but still seek to get China to agree to it, a Cambodian official said on Monday. The agreement was reached at a meeting of foreign ministers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, to which China does not belong. The issue of contending maritime claims is the major topic of the talks held in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, in large part because tensions over the sea have escalated in recent months. http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/asean-agrees-on-rules-for-south-china-sea-conduct_786521.html
President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday urged the Chinese government to balance their statements with what is happening on the ground, saying the Philippines never issued a provocative statement against China. Aquino further said that it has been three weeks since he ordered the pullout of government ships in Panatag Shoal due to bad weather. The Chinese authorities withdrew their ships as well but they returned after a few days. http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/264255/news/nation/pnoy-urges-china-to-weigh-remarks-over-panatag-shoal-with-reality
Vietnam’s state-run oil explorer warned China to halt efforts to develop disputed areas of the South China Sea that Hanoi’s leaders have already awarded to companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and OAO Gazprom. Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, also known as PetroVietnam, will ask China National Offshore Oil Corp., the government-owned parent of Cnooc Ltd. (883), to cancel an invitation for foreign companies to explore nine blocks, Chief Executive Officer Do Van Hau told reporters in Hanoi yesterday. PetroVietnam and its partners will continue exploring in the area and asked foreign companies not to bid for the nine blocks, he said. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-27/vietnam-warns-china-to-halt-oil-bids-in-area-awarded-to-exxon.html
MANILA, Philippines — China has withdrawn its boats from the lagoon of a tiny South China Sea shoal following an agreement with the Philippines that at least temporarily eases the countries’ territorial dispute, officials in Manila said Monday. The Philippine government pulled out its two vessels from Scarborough Shoal on June 15, and President Benigno Aquino III last week threatened to send them back unless China also withdrew. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47946992/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/#.T-lifBce764
MANILA, Philippines – A kindergarten school built by the Philippines on Pag-asa Island will only aggravate the situation in the Spratlys, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official claimed on Monday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, in a press briefing, said the Philippines should “refrain from taking any measures that will complicate and exacerbate the current situation and affect peace and stability in the South China Sea.” http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/-depth/06/25/12/china-frowns-philippine-school-pag-asa
China said it summoned Vietnam‘s ambassador Thursday and strongly protested a law adopted by the Vietnamese parliament that places the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands under Hanoi‘s sovereignty.
China and Vietnam, as well as other neighbouring nations, are locked in long-standing territorial disputes over the South China Sea, including the mineral-rich Spratly and Paracel islands. http://ph.news.yahoo.com/china-strongly-protests-vietnam-claim-islands-001842205.html;_ylt=Arv2RXT1xWBwTBsng5pMHxnmV8d_;_ylu=X3oDMTQxYjRub2xoBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBQaGlsaXBwaW5lc1NGBHBrZwMwMzVjNjIzYS1kZjMyLTM4NjAtOTgyMy0zYmMyMjYzMGY0YWYEcG9zAzExBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzJiOTk5MmQwLWJiOWQtMTFlMS1hZGI3LTNmYzE2MzE3NTg3Ng–;_ylg=X3oDMTFwNTA1dXQzBGludGwDcGgEbGFuZwNlbi1waARwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANwaGlsaXBwaW5lcwRwdANzZWN0aW9ucw–;_ylv=3
The military on Friday said it has deployed planes to conduct a reconnaissance mission over the disputed Scarborough Shoal. ”We are doing that…We are flying over there, that’s ours,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed Friday. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/06/22/12/ph-sends-planes-scan-scarborough
PAGASA issued a gale warning over the western and eastern seaboards of Luzon as Talim crosses the northernmost point of the Philippines. It said rough to very rough conditions are expected over all the seaboards of Luzon.
China’s Response to American focus in the Pacific http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3516190.ece
The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Second Artillery Corps, its most secretive division in charge of nuclear and conventional missiles, has described its assets as a trump card as China faces a growing number of security challenges in the region.
Officers from the Second Artillery Corps provided a rare insight into the functioning of the famously mysterious division by inviting journalists from Chinese State-run media outlets to visits its headquarters near Beijing.
The officers’ comments were expectedly guarded, but reflected a rising sense of confidence only days after a PLA Lieutenant-General responded to the announcement of an increased deployment by the United States of 60 per cent of its naval forces in the Pacific, up from around half, by stressing that China had the capabilities “to strike back”.
“Conventional missiles are a trump card in modern warfare,” Tan Weihong, the brigade’s commander, told the official China Daily. “So we must be ready at any time. We must be able to deliver a quick response to attacks, hit the targets with high accuracy, and destroy them totally.”
He added that of the 114 missiles the brigade had launched so far, “all have accurately hit the target”.
The officers revealed that the brigade spent one-third of every year outside its bases, testing its missile-launching vehicles in different terrains, from the forests of south China — most of the deployments, according to many analysts, are thought to be directed towards Taiwan, still awarded utmost importance by the PLA — to the “windy plateaus of the nation’s northwest”, in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), where the disputed border with India is the presumed focus.
Brigade commander Tan said the brigade had developed a new commanding system “to replace the old one that was based on vocal orders” to enhance its capabilities for multiple launches. “The new system can handle multiple launches at the same time, which was impossible in the past,” he said.
On Saturday, PLA Lieutenant-General Ren Haiquan, who represented the Chinese delegation at the Shangri-La security dialogue in Singapore where the U.S. announced its new commitments to the Pacific, said China would improve the capabilities of its forces to “strike back” against any threat to its fundamental interests.
While he stressed that China “will not attack unless we are attacked”, he cautioned that China had “the measures to strike back when fundamental national interests are under threat.” His comments drew attention against the backdrop of on-going disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea, where their ships have been involved in a stand-off, and increasing concern in Beijing over new
American moves, including strengthening its naval presence, deploying 2,500 marines in Australia and boosting ties with the Philippines.
“We still face a very complex, sometimes severe, situation,” said Lieutenant-General Ren. “We will be prepared for all complexities. There’s a saying: Work for the best and prepare for the worst.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Philippines President Benigno Aquino is in the United States for a visit that will highlight the Southeast Asian archipelago’s growing importance in U.S. strategic thinking, as the White House “pivots” to Asia and both countries worry about China‘s intentions. Aquino, well-regarded by the U.S. government, not least for fighting corruption, arrived on Wednesday and will be accorded a White House meeting on Friday with President Barack Obama. That meeting comes as Washington has begun helping Manila beef up its modest military capacities in the face of a confrontation with China over contested South China Sea reefs. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47728633/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/#.T9G-LbAtj64