Manila supplies island after China blockade

2014-03-12 16:19
Aerial view of BRP Sierra Madre, a 100m amphibious vessel built for the US in 1944 and acquired by the Filipino navy in 1976, grounded at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. - (Philippine Government, AFP)

Aerial view of BRP Sierra Madre, a 100m amphibious vessel built for the US in 1944 and acquired by the Filipino navy in 1976, grounded at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. - (Philippine Government, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Manila - The Philippines air-dropped food and water to soldiers stationed on a grounded transport ship on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, after China blocked two Filipino supply ships from reaching the troops, a senior navy official said on Wednesday.

Chinese ships patrolling waters around Second Thomas Shoal, known in China as the Ren'ai reef, on Sunday ordered the Philippine ships carrying construction materials to leave the area.

Beijing claims Manila is trying to start construction on the disputed reef after it ran aground an old transport ship in 1999 to mark its territory and stationed marines on the ship. Manila claims the Shoal is part of the Philippine's continental shelf.

"We only intend to improve the conditions there, we have no plans to expand or build permanent structures on the shoal," said a Philippines navy official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

"On Monday, we sent a navy Islander plane to drop food and water but it will only last a few days. We really have to send back the civilian boats. Since last year, we've been resupplying our troops using civilian ships to avoid confrontation and this was the first time China blocked them."

On Tuesday, Manila summoned the second highest Chinese embassy official to handover its strong-worded protest, calling the blockade "a clear and urgent threat to the rights and interests of the Philippines".

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Qin Gang said China had called in Philippine diplomats in Beijing to lodge a protest in response.

"The Philippines' motive in trying to illegally occupy Ren'ai reef and create incidents in the South China Sea is abundantly clear. China calls on the Philippines to stop all its provocative actions," he added.

The United States said on Wednesday it was troubled by China's blockage of the Philippines ships at the outpost, calling it "a provocative move that raises tensions".

"Pending resolution of competing claims in the South China Sea, there should be no interference with the efforts of claimants to maintain the status quo," US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement. She added that "freedom of navigation" in the area "must be maintained".

Beijing's claim over islands, reefs and atolls that form the Spratlys, a group of 250 uninhabitable islets spread over 165,\ 000 square miles, has set it directly against US allies Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan also lay claim to parts of the South China Sea.

The South China Sea provides 10% of the global fish catch, carries $5 trillion in ship borne trade a year and its seabed is believed to be rich with energy reserves.

Read more on:    philippines  |  china  |  maritime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Beauty

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The virtual world can be very tempting to escape into but focus on also being present and keeping your feet anchored in reality....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.