Scarborough Shoal

Scarborough Shoal ‘concrete’ looks just like rocks

Recent pictures of the disputed Scarborough Shoal. Photo: SCMP

A Philippine minister said they were concrete blocks and a "prelude to construction", but photos taken recently at the disputed Scarborough Shoal show only natural rocks and coral jutting above the surface.

Saturday, 14 September, 2013, 4:55am 6 comments

More Chinese blocks found on reef, says Philippines

A Filipino holds up a poster of  Scarborough Shoal during a protest in Los Angeles, California, in May, as part of a global protest over an escalating territorial row in the South China Sea. Photo: AFP

The Philippines said on Wednesday it had spotted more concrete blocks allegedly installed by China on a small group of reefs and rocky outcrops within Filipino territory in the South China Sea.

4 Sep 2013 - 6:02pm

Filipinos issue China 'hands off' warning at consulate rally

Protesters in cut-out fish costumes carry anti-China placards during a protest in front of the building housing the Chinese consular office in the financial district of Manila on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

Hundreds joined a protest outside the Chinese consulate in Manila yesterday against Beijing's moves to stake its claims in the South China Sea. Among them was Philippine businessman Rafael Alunan, who called out to Chinese diplomats he assumed were listening from inside the visa section, which had shut for the day.

25 Jul 2013 - 7:05pm 15 comments

Filipino fishermen pay price as China ropes off disputed Scarborough Shoal

Fish trader Joey Legazpi tends to his store in Infanta. Photo: AP

Along the northwestern Philippine coast, poor children with claw hammers clamber aboard an abandoned fishing vessel to pry loose and steal rusty nails from its deck. It has become a familiar sight in villages where some fishermen have been forced to give up their livelihoods since China took control of their fishing haven last year.

23 May 2013 - 5:40am 8 comments

Philippines expects to get Japanese patrol boats

The Philippines said on Tuesday it expected to get 10 new Japanese patrol boats within 18 months, as it seeks to boost its maritime defence capabilities amid a deepening territorial row with China.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the boats were 40-metre vessels to be used by the Philippine coast guard.

12 Feb 2013 - 7:20pm

Japan to give patrol boats to Manila amid China tensions

A Japan Coast Guard patrol ship (left) shoots water at a fishing boat carrying Taiwanese activists near the Diaoyu Islands last month. Photo: Reuters

Japan plans to donate patrol boats costing US$11 million each to the Philippines, ramping up regional efforts to monitor China’s maritime activity in disputed waters, a newspaper said on Monday.

The Japanese government plans to finance the deal in its fiscal this year budget starting in April and hopes to officially sign it early next year, the Nikkei business daily reported.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Philippines takes China to UN over territorial dispute

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario speaks in Manila. Photo: AFP

Manila has taken China to a UN tribunal to challenge its claim to most of the South China Sea including Philippine territory, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

22 Jan 2013 - 9:27pm 6 comments

Philippines to get five French patrol boats

The Philippines will buy five patrol boats from France for about 90 million euros (US$116 million), partly to guard disputed areas in the South China Sea, the coastguard said on Tuesday.

Rear Admiral Luis Tuason, the chief of the poorly-equipped coastguard, said one 82-metre ship and four 24-metre patrol craft would be delivered by 2014.

30 Oct 2012 - 8:13pm

Chinese minister to start talks with Philippines over disputed island

Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying. Photo: AFP

Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying will arrive in Manila today for talks on the territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, amid rising tension between Beijing and Tokyo over another dispute in the East China Sea.

19 Oct 2012 - 1:59pm 2 comments

Southeast Asian nations tackle maritime security issues

Philippines Vice-President Jejomar Binay (front, right) greets Lao Ambassador Malayvieng Sakonhninhom (left) at the Asean Maritime Forum in Manila on Wednesday. Photo: EPA

Senior Southeast Asian foreign ministry officials met in the Philippines on Wednesday to try to improve maritime co-operation amid sea disputes that threaten regional stability.

Discussions during the three-day Asean Maritime Forum will focus on maritime security, sea piracy and ensuring “freedom of navigation” in the seas they share, the foreign department said in a statement.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

China urges Philippines to mend relations after island row

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping

Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping has told a visiting Philippine envoy that he hopes ties hurt by a territorial row can recover, Xinhua said yesterday.

Vice-President Xi told Philippine Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that tensions between the two countries had "eased" after a blow-up over a disputed island in the South China Sea, the state news agency reported.

23 Sep 2012 - 3:07am

Rift in Philippine government over secret China talks in shoal row


A politician once jailed for plotting a military coup has held secret talks with China over a territorial row - a tactic that appears to have backfired amid bitter infighting.

20 Sep 2012 - 4:46am

Heritage zones in Paracels to Protect relics

Heritage protection zones will be set up along the reefs of the Paracel Islands, Hainan's provincial government said yesterday.

The move follows Beijing's announcement last Thursday that a new city, named Sansha, will administer three island chains in the South China Sea and strengthen China's sovereignty claims.

26 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Preparing for the main event

Chinese patrol ships which sailed between a Philippines warship and Chinese fishing boats near the Scarborough Shoal in April. Photo: Reuters

Amid the manoeuvring and megaphone diplomacy between Beijing and Manila over the disputed Scarborough Shoal, a potential legal time-bomb remains for China - even if the dispute eases.

21 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Beijing needs to flex its muscles

I am writing concerning the international issue about the Chinese-Filipino diplomatic conflict about the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoal - Huangyan Island for Chinese.

I believe the two countries' relationship will carry on getting worse if the Filipinos are not willing to comply with Beijing's requests and leave the disputed territory.

5 Jun 2012 - 12:00am