tirsdag 6. april 2021

"This might be Scarborough Shoal all over again"

China's latest incursion in the West Philippine Sea can lead to a repeat of the 2012 standoff in the Scarborough Shoal, an analyst warned Tuesday. "This might be Scarborough Shoal all over again. We see the pattern happening, waiting for this opportunity, swarming technique. Basically, preventing us from being able to react because we are overwhelmed by the number of Chinese fishing vessels, Coast Guard vessels and in the backdrop, the People's Liberation Army Navy," international studies professor Renato De Castro of the De La Salle University told ANC.

Scarborough, called by Filipinos as Panatag Shoal and by the Chinese as Huangyan Island, was the site of a 2012 standoff between the Philippines and China. The standoff erupted when Manila sent its biggest warship to chase off Chinese poachers. It prompted the Philippine government to drag Beijing to an international tribunal to invalidate the Asian power’s expansive claims to the sea.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines but Beijing has refused to honor its decision. China has since built artificial islands in the Scarborough Shoal, located only 124 nautical miles off Zambales and is within the Philippines’ 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.