Posts Tagged Philippines

Paradise Wrecked

boracaylocationBoracay Island in The Philippines is considered to be one of the last ‘undiscovered’ paradises of the world.

So small it hardly makes a little blue speck on this map. If it wasn’t labelled, you wouldn’t even know it was there.

boracay island picture

Idyllic blue waters, powdery white sand and 350+ beach resorts all on a small island two kilometres off  the northern tip of Panay.

It is administered by the Philippines Tourist Authority and touted as the most relaxing place on Earth. Winner of Travel+Leisure Magazine’s best island in the world award in 2012 it has become reknown for it’s tranquility and nightlife (I find that to be an oxymoron).

The following photos indeed make this look like paradise.

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boracay-island-arelle

Boracay Island kids

Food, sun and sea, happy kids mix with the tourists all appears so perfect.

Major resorts…

borocayResort

Boracay offers a wide range of restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs and an 18-hole golf course.

Tourism began about 1970. The island has had colonists and plantations since 1900.

But what was Boracay before?

Boracay was the home of the Ati, an indigenous people, whose ancestors arrived probably from Borneo to escape persecution in the 12th century

Now they face the threat of encroachments on their land by the powerful resorts and discrimination.

Yes, there is an ugly side to this ‘paradise‘, you can read about it better than I can write on The Pinoy Explorer.

The Ati don't live in resorts

The Ati don’t live in resorts

They live in a near squalid reserve that comprises 2% of this small 1,000 hectare island, and the fangs of the resorts are ready to swallow that miserable area as well.

Another paradise wrecked so the rich west can ‘relax’.

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China is Clearly in the Wrong

Philippine warship ‘in stand-off’ with Chinese vessels

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said his country will 'assert sovereignty' over the shoal

The Philippines says its main naval vessel is engaged in a stand-off with Chinese surveillance ships at a disputed South China Sea shoal.

The Philippines said its warship tried to arrest Chinese fishermen anchored at the Scarborough Shoal, but was blocked by the two surveillance boats.

Both countries dispute the ownership of the shoal, which lies off the Philippines’ northwestern coast.

The Philippine government said it would “assert sovereignty” over the area.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario said after meeting Chinese ambassador Ma Keqing on Wednesday that both countries were committed to finding ”a diplomatic solution” but negotiations were at an ”impasse”.

The Philippines had summoned Mr Ma on Wednesday to lodge a protest over the incident. However, China maintained it had sovereign rights over the area and asked that the Philippine ship leave the waters.

Disputed seas

A statement from the Philippines’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the naval vessel, the Gregorio Del Pilar, found eight Chinese fishing vessels at the shoal when it was patrolling the area on Sunday.

The BBC’s Kate McGeown in Manila says the Philippine navy boarded the ship and found a large amount of illegally-caught fish and coral.

Two Chinese surveillance ships then apparently arrived in the area on Tuesday, placing themselves between the warship and the fishing vessels, preventing the navy from making arrests.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

One can see by the map that the Scarborough Shoal is clearly in Philippine territorial waters and therefore the Philippines are thorughly within their rights.

China’s claim over the territorial waters of the neighbours is totally wrong.

NB:

And before anyone raises the issue of the Argentine claim over the Falklands, the situation there is totally different. The Falkland Islands are NOT within the territorial waters of mainland Argentina.

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I said ‘Watch this Space!”

I have been warning of this for some time. My last rant I have said before; and I’ll say it again! was back in mid-November, and today in the headlines:

Hu Jintao tells China navy: Prepare for warfare

China's military build up has caused concern elsewhere in the region

China’s navy should speed up its development and prepare for warfare, President Hu Jintao has said.

He told military personnel they should “make extended preparations for warfare”.

China is locked in territorial disputes with several other nations in the South China Sea. Political tension is also growing with the US, which is seeking to boost its presence in the region.

After Mr Hu’s comments, the US said China was entitled to defend itself.

“Nobody’s looking for a scrap here,” said Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby in quotes carried by the AFP news agency.

“Certainly we wouldn’t begrudge any other nation the opportunity to develop naval forces.”

Senior US and Chinese officials are currently holding talks on military issues.

The one-day meeting takes place every year, with the stated aim of ensuring there are no misunderstandings between the two nations.

‘Sovereignty dispute’

China has recently acquired its first aircraft carrier and has been vocal about its naval ambitions.

But its military remains primarily a land-based force, and its naval capabilities are still dwarfed by the US.

Mr Hu told a meeting of military officials that the navy should “accelerate its transformation and modernisation in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for warfare in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security”.

The word “warfare” was used in official media, but other translations used “military combat” and “military struggle”.

Analysts say Mr Hu’s comments are unusually blunt, and are likely to be aimed at the US and Beijing’s rivals in the South China Sea.

Both the Philippines and Vietnam have repeatedly accused China of overt aggression in the region.

They are among the nations claiming sovereignty over islands in the sea in the hope that there could be oil and gas deposits there.

And US President Barack Obama announced last month that the US was boosting its presence in the region, and will base a full Marine task force in northern Australia.

Analysts say the US move is a direct challenge to China’s attempts to dominate the area, and is likely to bolster US allies in the South China Sea dispute.

Source: BBC News

Opinion:

China has absolutely no respect for the rest of the world. Chinese domination is the agenda.

China is a direct threat to peace in the region.

This latest declaration shows their determination.

The rest of the world are bloody fools. Sucked in by China, moving American jobs to China attracted by the slave wages, helping to enrich China to the point that it’s military is strong enough to challenge.

American jobs that should be for Americans, have helped make China a bigger bastard than it was.

Who did this? Your government, the corporations and the bankers!

America is not solely to blame, other major economies too have all had their fingers in the collective pie; it’s just that the American situation is so grossly out of control that it is the obvious target for finger pointers.

 

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I have said before; and I’ll say it again!

China is a dangerous and treacherous blight on this planet!

From the BBC News:

Wen warns US on South China Sea dispute

China has warned “external forces” not to get involved in its maritime disputes with neighbouring countries over the South China Sea.

In comments apparently directed at the US, Premier Wen Jiabao said that the disputes should be resolved by “relevant sovereign states”.

Mr Wen spoke at a regional summit in Bali that US President Barack Obama is also attending.

But other nations want the contentious issue to be tackled at the forum.

The South China Sea contains some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, as well as oil and gas reserves.

China claims a huge U-shaped area of the sea – a claim that overlaps areas which Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei say belong to them.

China’s increasingly assertive behaviour over its claim in recent months has alarmed several of its neighbours.

They are keen to negotiate with China as a bloc – but China prefers to tackle the issue through bilateral negotiations, and it does not want the US involved at all.

“External forces should not use any excuse to interfere,” he said in a speech carried by state news agency Xinhua.

“The dispute on the South China Sea is a matter that been going on for years. It should be resolved by the relevant sovereign states through friendly consultation and discussion directly.”

Read the rest on BBC News

Opinion:

China has, in the past, shown a direct aversion to “friendly consultation and discussion”.

Did China have “friendly consultation and discussion” with Taiwan?

Did Chine hava “friendly consultation and discussion” with Tibet?

Did China have “friendly consultation and discussion” over Tiananmen Square?

China is not interested in “friendly consultation and discussion.” China just wants and China just takes.

As they will try and do over the South China Sea. As you can see by the map above, China’s claims are totally out of all proportion to accepted international standards and maritime limits.

The Chinese sovereign greed is insatiable.

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Watch this Space: China

China's growing naval power has encouraged it to be more assertive

South China Sea tensions rattle China’s neighbours

Chinese leaders like to talk about their country’s “peaceful rise” – and Europe’s financial traumas are giving Beijing plenty of scope to assume the role of a benign new force on the world stage.

President Hu Jintao has presented himself as a “friend in need” during encounters with European supplicants while stopping short, for now, of committing China to a specific contribution.

But China has been showing a very different face to countries closer to home in an increasingly tense confrontation over rival claims to the resource-rich waters of the South China Sea.

It is a region where the peaceful nature of China’s rise is starting to be questioned as it pushes a long-standing maritime claim that stretches deep into South East Asia.

“China is becoming much more confident in the region and there are signs it is becoming giddy with success. It has become much more influential much more quickly than it expected,” says Dr Kerry Brown of the Asia Programme at Chatham House in London.

Vietnam and the Philippines in recent months have seen the snarl of a resurgent regional power that is fast losing patience with the gripes of smaller neighbours over maritime borders.

“If these countries do not want to change their ways with China, they will need to prepare for the sound of cannons. It may be the only way for the dispute in the sea to be resolved,” said the state run newspaper, the Global Times, in a recent editorial.

Hard power

Chinese officials have been more restrained in their comments, but foreign ministry spokesmen have issued a series of warnings about what they see as encroachments into Chinese waters.

Beijing says it does want a peaceful solution. But Vietnam and the Philippines say Chinese ships have stepped up harassment of vessels involved in oil exploration and fishing.

China's stance on the South China Sea is making neighbours like Vietnam worried

“The growth of Chinese military spending is beginning to translate into hard power,” says John Hemmings, an analyst at the Royal United Services Institute.

“This is the first major sign that a more confident Chinese grand strategy is emerging. It is in the South China Sea that there is a real risk of discord between the US and China.”

Source: BBC News Read more, it gets even more interesting.

Opinion:

I have been long saying that China has a different agenda than it is showing to the West. Their track record with Taiwan and Tibet, amongst others, has shown that they are a treacherous and dangerous country. The West will only learn this when it is too late and at great cost of Western civilisation.

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