China claims it forced Philippine ships away from disputed shoal

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang

China said on Monday that coast guard ships had driven away two Philippine vessels which had tried to approach a shoal in the South China Sea in the latest flare-up of a long-running territorial dispute.

The Chinese ships were patrolling waters around Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren’ai reef, when they spotted the Philippine boats, carrying construction materials and Philippine flags, which left the area after being warned off, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

The incident happened on Sunday, he added.

Qin said that China had repeatedly demanded the Philippines remove a ship which had been grounded on the shoal in 1999, but that Manila had cited technical reasons for being unable to do so.

“This time, the Philippine side has again attempted to start construction on the reef,” he told a daily news briefing. “The moves infringed China’s sovereignty.”

China had no choice but to respond to the Philippines’ moves, Qin added.

Manila ran aground an old transport ship on the reef in 1999 to mark its territory, and has stationed marines in abject conditions on the rusting ship.

China’s claims over islands, reefs and atolls in resource-rich waters off its south coast and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia have set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to parts.

The Second Thomas Shoal, a strategic gateway to Reed Bank, believed to be rich in oil and natural gas, is one of several possible flashpoints in the South China Sea that could force the United States to intervene in defence of its Southeast Asian allies.

In 2010, Manila awarded an Anglo-Filipino consortium a license to explore for gas on Reed Bank, but drilling stalled in 2012, because of the presence of Chinese ships.

Manila says Reed Bank, about 80 nautical miles west of Palawan island at the southwestern end of the Philippine archipelago, is within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Beijing says it is part of the Spratlys, a group of 250 uninhabitable islets spread over 165,000 square miles, claimed entirely by China, Taiwan and Vietnam and in part by Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.

Source: Reuters “China says expels Philippine from disputed shoal”

Categories: Politics & Law

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. 80 nautical miles east of Palawan, 200nauticl miles West of China. Why doesn’t China just claim Palawan?
    They can do it. They are strong. They are they leaders. They are the boss. They are the world. They are everything, and everyone else MUST do as the boss says – “modern leadership”.


    • You notice China acted very civilize in ALL disputes, whether with Japan, Philippines or Vietnam. Basically China REACT to intrusions to her claimed territory. Since the other party refuse to settle and act like a pack of hyenas, China just bid her time and RESPOND to intrusions with ‘soft power’ like Coast Guard ships to chase enemies away with Navy backup. Think of China as swatting pesky flies. I guess this is reality. Ever see an animal like a cow without flies disturbing her? So it is like that. China will just treat these small countries like flies without actually squishing them. Just not worth it.

      I suggest Philippines bring some crazy glue to fix the broken ship. Maybe harder for Chinese navy to detect material sent for construction work!

      Editor’s Note: China refuses to abide by the conventions of UNCLOS, to which it is a signatory, in this matter. UNCLOS would exclude China’s claims. China refuses to allow the matter to be resolved by either the UN or international tribune. China’s claims are not recognised by the majority of countries in earth.

      China have repeatedly threatened war against countries with which it has disputes, and has previously had wars with Russia, India and others over territorial claims. China has territorial disputes with 23 countries, but only has borders with 14.

      Editor’s Note: In response to the many emails about this poster, we do suspect he’s a paid Chinese internet commentator. However, we believe that all people should be allowed to voice their opinions, not just the ones that agree with our agenda. Therefore, at this stage we will not ban him, but will continue to censor his profanity and racial vilification.



  1. China claims it forced Philippine ships away from disputed shoal | Institute for Maritime and Ocean Affairs
  2. Philippines air-drops supplies to troops on disputed reef after ships blocked by China | China Daily Mail
  3. China warns Philippines: Will never tolerate ‘occupation’ of disputed shoal | China Daily Mail
  4. Prelude to Conflict: Asia, March 23 | China Daily Mail
  5. Philippines supply ship evades Chinese vessels | China Daily Mail
  6. China laying a trap for the Philippines in South China Sea, say experts | China Daily Mail
  7. Philippines defies China: Will drill two new oil wells in South China Sea | China Daily Mail

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