Philippines and China in Standoff–former USCGC Center Stage

Photo credit, NASA Landsat 7 image of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea

The former USCGC Hamilton, now BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is at the center of a standoff with the Chinese over a remote atoll shaped group of rocks and shallows called variously Scarborough (or Panatag) Reef or Shoal.

Both the Chinese and the Philippines claim sovereignty.

A Philippine patrol plane located eight Chinese fishing vessels inside the atoll. With the Gregorio del Pilar now on scene, two Chinese Maritime Surveillance vessels are blocking Philippine fisheries enforcement action against the fishing vessels and the Chinese are demanding the Philippine Navy depart their waters; while the Philippines is asserting it will enforce its sovereignty. Diplomacy is given lip service, but the standoff is ongoing. The US has a treaty obligation to the Philippines (subject to interpretation of course) and there are calls for US assistance.

A long discussion from the Philippine point of view here.

Photo: Philippine flag planted on Scarborough Shoal, Photographed by Adel Rosario, 05:11, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

File:Panatag Shoal.jpg

354 thoughts on “Philippines and China in Standoff–former USCGC Center Stage

  1. “Crises provide pretexts to punish other states, another benefit not lost on the authors. Jin, Hui and Wang show no scruples about recommending that their country “savagely strike others where it hurts” (狠狠敲打其痛处). After all, they write, some claimants must be sacrificed to teach lessons to others and discourage collusion, that is, “kill a chicken to scare a monkey” (杀鸡骇猴).”

  2. “Sooner or later there will be a violent incident, most likely involving those militia and a Filipino or Vietnamese vessel, which will escalate to involve naval forces before anyone can stop it,” Poling warned. “And if the Philippines is involved, there is a good chance the U.S. will be dragged in without China actually intending for that to happen.”

  3. “Looming collapse of fisheries in the South China Sea?”
    Meanwhile, U.S. and Philippine coast guard ships conducted a joint exercise in the South China Sea.
    Capt. John Driscoll, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, told reporters during a port call in Manila that two Chinese coast guard ships were spotted in the vicinity of the exercise.

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