China Orders Troops and Tanks to North Korean Border And Warns Philippines To Immediately Withdraw From Disputed Islands

CHINA SLAMS PHILIPPINES BID TO 'LEGALISE' OCCUPATION OF ISLANDS China accused the Philippines on Friday of trying to...


China slams Philippine bid to ‘legalise’ occupation of islands

China accused the Philippines on Friday of trying to legalise its occupation of islands in the disputed South China Sea, repeating that Beijing would never agree to international arbitration.

Frustrated with the slow pace of regional diplomacy, the Philippines in January angered China by asking a UN tribunal to order a halt to Beijing’s activities that it said violated Philippine sovereignty over the islands, surrounded by potentially energy-rich waters.

Claims by an increasingly powerful China over most of the South China Sea have set it directly against US allies Vietnam and the Philippines. Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the waters and China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea.

Manila said on Thursday that a UN arbitration court had set up the tribunal which would hear Manila’s complaint, but China said this was an attempt to steal Chinese territory.

“The Philippine side is trying to use this to negate China’s territorial sovereignty and attach a veneer of ‘legality’ to its illegal occupation of Chinese islands and reefs,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website (

The Philippines must immediately withdraw personnel and facilities from the islands, the ministry added, listing those which it said Manila was occupying.

Manila asked the tribunal of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to order a halt to China’s activities.

But the convention did not apply in this case as what the Philippines was actually asking for was a decision on sovereignty, the ministry said.

“China’s refusal to accept the Philippines’ request for arbitration has full grounding in international law,” it said.

China had always believed that the two countries should resolve their dispute through direct talks, the ministry added.

Southeast Asian nations stepped up efforts on Thursday to engage China in talks to resolve maritime tensions, agreeing to meet to try to reach common ground on disputed waters ahead of planned discussions in Beijing later this year.

Efforts by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to craft a code of conduct to manage South China Sea tensions all but collapsed last year at a summit chaired by Cambodia, a close economic ally of China, when the group failed to issue a closing statement for the first time.

China Orders Troops and Tanks to North Korean Border

China is reportedly beefing up its military presence on the North Korean border amid heightening tensions in the region.

The troop mobilisation is said to be taking place along with deployment of dozens of tanks in the strategically important border region with North Korea, which is separated by the Yalu River.

The Chinese military is on high alert over the ongoing tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

However, the Washington Free Beacon, citing intelligence reports, said China has increased its troop deployment in order to handle the likely mass influx of North Korean refugees if a war breaks out.

Users of the Chinese Weibo micro-blogging site have posted pictures of Chinese troops being mobilised in the border region. They have also reported that more troops are likely to be deployed soon.

Chinese fighter jets are also flying regularly over the region, report onlookers.

Although the border provinces have been witnessing significant troop deployment over the last few weeks, there has been no official word on this.

China had recently cautioned that North Korea might conduct another nuclear test although there have been few indications of that.

China remains a staunch ally of North Korea despite efforts by western nations to further isolate the country over its controversial nuclear programme.

China's border with North Korea is relatively unguarded compared to its other borders with South Korea and Russia. According to reports, China is largely interested in the trade benefits in the region. There is also speculation that the links in the border region will be vital for the Chinese military in case of any emergency.


China deploys anti-ship missile off Taiwan
China has deployed near Taiwan a powerful missile designed to take out US aircraft carriers as Beijing strengthens its ability to prevent US forces from aiding Taiwan during potential conflict.

The deployment of the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile comes as China’s army develops greater long-range and offensive capabilities. Those advances pose a challenge to US forces as Washington looks to build up its military presence in east Asia to balance out China’s rising might.

The DF-21D missile is a particular worry for Taiwan as it relies on US forces to back it up against threats from the mainland, which has not renounced the use of force to take the island it regards as part of its territory.

The missile limits the US’s ability to send aircraft carriers into the strait unchallenged to support Taipei, as it did in 1996 when China conducted missile tests in the strait during the run-up to the island’s first democratic election. Taiwan itself has no aircraft carriers.

News of the missile’s deployment came in written testimony to the head of intelligence for the Pentagon, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, delivered to a Senate committee on Thursday.

Chinese and US military sources have been saying since late 2010 that China has been planning to deploy the missile, but the testimony marks the first time a concrete deployment has been revealed in connection with a particular location. US military officials have said previously that the US lacks a tested way to defend its aircraft carriers against the missile. That increases the pressure on Taiwan to strengthen its own ability to deter threats from the mainland and illustrates how, despite a reduction in tensions engineered by Taiwan’s president, China’s military continues to prepare for the possibility of conflict.



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