Rappler's latest stories on Paracel Islands
The guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Preble sail near the Beijing-claimed Spratly Islands earlier Monday, February 11, as part of what Washington calls 'freedom of navigation operations'
Former DFA chief Albert del Rosario says a protest by the Philippines will 'galvanize the support of countries' opposing the militarization of the South China Sea
(UPDATED) Speaking at a high-profile security summit in Singapore, Pentagon chief Jim Mattis also says the US military continues to support diplomats pushing for the 'complete, verifiable and irreversible' denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says it is 'ridiculous' to protest about an action beyond Philippine shores. 'Paano tayo magpo-protest sa hindi natin territory?'
'We are going out of our way to cooperate with Pacific nations, that's the way we do business in the world, but we are also going to confront what we believe is out of step with international law,' US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says
China's foreign ministry issues a statement expressing 'resolute opposition' to the US sail-by of the territory in the disputed Paracel Island chain
Nearby, the Philippines begins 'long-delayed repairs' to its runway on the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea, says the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative
From basketball courts to buildings with radar equipment, nearly 800 of these Chinese structures can be found in the West Philippine Sea
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio warns the Duterte administration against 'handing over to China on a silver platter the West Philippine Sea'
Vice President Leni Robredo, however, erroneously says the Chinese bombers landed on Philippine territory. The Philippines is not claiming ownership of the Paracel Islands, where the bombers landed.
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Vietnam 'demands that China stop these activities' and 'cease militarization' of the South China Sea, even as Manila won't publicly condemn Beijing
'The South China Sea islands are Chinese territories,' says China foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, adding this is 'part of the normal training for the Chinese military'
'As we had previously said, we are opposed to war – as we should be. But if threatened by the use of force, we should be ready to inflict, at the very least, a bloody nose on any attacker who is out to harm us.'
Malacañang, however, says President Rodrigo Duterte still does not consider China a threat
Instead of publicizing a diplomatic protest, the Philippines says it is 'closely monitoring developments in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea'
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon condemns 'this creeping invasion' while Senator Risa Hontiveros tells government 'to end their subservience to China'
'Nearly all of the Philippines falls within the radius of the bombers, including Manila and all 5 Philippine military bases earmarked for development under the US-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,' says the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies
UPDATED Hanoi condemns Beijing s latest military drills in the Paracel Islands a contentious archipelago claimed by both sides
UPDATED The USS Stethem passes less than 12 nautical miles from Triton Island a move likely to provoke China
The ship s entrance into China s territorial waters is a serious illegal act and a deliberately provocative act says China s defense ministry
The USS Decatur conducted this transit in a routine lawful manner without ship escorts and without incident says the Pentagon
The drills will be held in waters around the Paracel Islands from July 5 to 11 with other ships prohibited from entering the waters during that time
The trigger for an announcement would be if the United States continues making provocative moves that would challenge China in the region the South China Morning Post reports
China s defense ministry speaks out as tensions rise between the US and China over reports that Beijing has deployed surface to air missiles fighter jets and radar installations in the contested region
UPDATED The Chinese Foreign Ministry neither confirms nor denies this but says its activities are within its sovereign territory
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China attempts to downplay the deployment saying recent reports are an example of Western media playing the same old tune about a China threat
Tensions in the sea are mounting in recent months since China transformed contested reefs in the Spratly islands further south into artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities
Watch Rappler s 6PM newscast with Maria Ressa
UPDATED The report comes as US President Barack Obama called for tangible steps to reduce tensions in the region
The Pentagon says the freedom of navigation operation was carried out to challenge excessive maritime claims of parties that claim the Paracel Islands
One of the 13 man crew is knocked over and breaks his leg during the altercation according to the crew
Vietnam submits its position on the Philippine arbitration case against China the first time another South China Sea claimant legally challenged China s claims
The runway is Beijing s latest physical assertion of control in the area two years after it declared a city named Sansha centered on Woody Island – known as Yongxing in Chinese – to administer vast swathes of the South China Sea
To pin down China however Vietnam releases images of the latest ramming incident between Hanoi and Beijing in the disputed South China Sea
We don t fear anything the Vietnamese ambassador tells Rappler as he slams China s dream to claim the entire South China Sea
China claims Vietnam – an economic dwarf compared to Beijing – provoked the Asian giant first in the South China Sea
China says the drilling operations are within China s jurisdiction and accuses Vietnamese vessels of illegally and forcefully disrupting work there
Vietnamese officials say 10 fishermen on board were rescued by nearby vessels after the incident which occurred about 12 nautical miles southwest of the oil rig
The Vietnamese ship was severely damaged reports the state run China National Radio while Chinese Internet users applaud how Beijing has dealt with Hanoi
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also tells Reuters that Vietnam is considering various defense options
The foreign ministers urge all parties concerned to exercise self restraint and avoid actions which could undermine peace and stability in the area
If China continues its current activities in the Paracels without let up it is providing a pretext for key countries in Southeast Asia to unite in pushing harder for the immediate conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea
Foreign ministry official Yi Xianliang said Vietnamese ships had rammed Chinese vessels 171 times since May 3 – in sharp contrast to Vietnam s claim that its own patrol vessels were repeatedly rammed by Chinese ships protecting a deep water drilling rig near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea
US state department spokesperson Jen Psaki says China s action undermines peace and stability in the region
Tensions between the communist neighbors have risen sharply since Beijing unilaterally announced last week it would move the deep water drilling rig into disputed waters
The state run Global Times says China must step up its countermeasures against Vietnam if the latter takes further actions on the two countries row in the Paracels
China criticizes Japan after its media reported that Beijing is drafting proposals for an air defense identification zone over the South China Sea
Taiwan dismisses the Philippines claim over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea