South China Sea - updates

Rappler's latest stories on South China Sea

ARTICLE FINDER

[OPINION] How to give China pause in the South China Sea

Feb 17, 2019 - 10:40 AM

What we can do is try to make China's occupation of the South China Sea a direct threat to other great powers

UK finance minister forced to axe trip to China

Feb 16, 2019 - 11:52 PM

A spokesperson for the British finance ministry tells several media outlets earlier Saturday, February 16: 'No trip was ever announced or confirmed'

NO TRIP? A spokesperson says no trip to China with British finance minister Philip Hammond was ever 'announced nor confirmed'. AFP file photo

China says U.S. aims to 'stir up trouble' with naval sail-by

Feb 11, 2019 - 8:16 PM

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'

SPRATLY. This file photo taken on April 21, 2017 shows an aerial shot of a reef in the disputed Spratly islands on April 21, 2017. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Pimentel: Don't fear China, focus on legality of joint exploration

Feb 10, 2019 - 12:26 AM

What matters is not who the Philippines is engaging in joint exploration with but whether or not the agreement abides by the Constitution, says administration bet Koko Pimentel

Dengvaxia scare caused measles outbreaks in PH –Año | Evening wRap

Feb 07, 2019 - 9:15 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Gelo Gonzales

China deploys militia as Philippines builds on Pag-asa Island

Feb 07, 2019 - 1:04 PM

Satellite images from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative show 'a high of 95' Chinese vessels surrounding Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea

CHINESE SHIPS. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) monitors dozens of Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island) after the Philippines begins constructing there. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Lorenzana wants PH to protest China 'rescue center' in Spratlys

Feb 04, 2019 - 6:55 PM

'We don't want them keeping on building things there.... It will become theirs,' says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during NDCP Alumni Forum at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, February 4, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

China opens 'rescue center' in West Philippine Sea | Evening wRap

Jan 31, 2019 - 10:01 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Acor Arceo

Carpio says PH should protest China 'rescue center'

Jan 31, 2019 - 7:10 PM

In contrast, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says 'maybe we should be thankful' for China's new 'maritime rescue center' in the West Philippine Sea

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio speaks at 'Kasarinlan: A Philippine Foreign Policy Forum,' in Intramuros, Manila, on July 9, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

PH 'should thank' China for 'rescue center' in West PH Sea – Panelo

Jan 31, 2019 - 12:49 PM

Does Malacañang believe China when it says the 'rescue center' will not be used for other purposes? 'We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt,' says Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippins Zhao Jianhua who paid a courtesy call on the President at the Malacañan Palace on October 8, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

China opens 'rescue center' in West Philippine Sea

Jan 31, 2019 - 11:18 AM

China claims it will use its artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea for humanitarian purposes, while experts warn that China aims for militarization

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

About to adjourn, Senate yet to probe China deals, other controversial contracts

Jan 14, 2019 - 10:11 AM

The Senate has only 35 days if it wants to initiate investigations into contracts bagged by relatives of Solicitor General Jose Calida and former presidential assistant Bong Go

Senate: Plenary Session. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

2018: Year of China military deployments in South China Sea – U.S. think tank

Dec 26, 2018 - 9:00 AM

In 2018, China entered a new 'phase' in its militarization of the South China Sea, including the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea, says AMTI director Gregory Poling

Duterte’s China push needs to find the sweet spot

Dec 08, 2018 - 8:30 AM

Former president Benigno Aquino III relied heavily on the United States, while President Duterte swung hard toward China. Is there a middle ground?

'FRIENDS.' Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and President Rodrigo Duterte waves to members of the media at the welcome ceremony for Xi in Malacanang on November 20, 2018. Photo by Ted Aljibe / AFP

Del Rosario: PH should seek U.N. resolution asking China to follow Hague ruling

Dec 07, 2018 - 11:46 AM

The country's former top diplomat says the United Nations gives the Philippines a forum where its views can be heard in the face of a much more powerful country

Photo by Angie de Silva

Q and A: How can PH get Mischief Reef back from China?

Dec 03, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Hawaii-based South China Sea expert Alexander Vuving talks to Rappler about fears of a big war erupting in the disputed seas, the role of the Philippines as a 'swing state' between the US and China, and how he thinks President Duterte should manage the dispute moving forward

BALANCING CHINA. Alexander Vuving outlined a strategy on how the US and the Philippines can work together to 'restore equilibrium' in the South China Sea. He is a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

Beijing lashes out at U.S. for South China Sea sail-by

Dec 01, 2018 - 8:18 AM

The Pentagon says the sail intends to 'challenge excessive maritime claims' by China and to 'preserve access to waterways as governed by international law'

SUBI REEF. This photo shows the artificial island on Subi Reef in the West Philippine Sea as of December 7, 2017. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe


Duterte mocks Carpio: He keeps 'hankering' for Hague ruling

Nov 29, 2018 - 10:58 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte says he did not appoint Justice Antonio Carpio as Chief Justice because he 'refused the offer.' Carpio, however, had accepted the most recent nomination for the post.

Justice Antonio Carpio. KASARINLAN A Philippine Foreign Policy Forum. July 9, 2018 at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Q and A: Judge in PH-China case on why ruling is not 'useless'

Nov 27, 2018 - 10:30 PM

'It's in the interest also of China to be accepted as a good neighbor,' says Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, one of the 5 judges in the Philippines' case against China, on Rappler Talk

TRIBUNAL JUDGE. Stanislaw Pawlak, one of the 5 judges in the Philippines' case against China, attends a South China Sea forum in Makati City on November 23, 2018. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Rappler Talk: Judge Stanislaw Pawlak on PH case vs China

Nov 27, 2018 - 5:17 PM

Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, one of the 5 judges in the Philippines' case against China, sits down with Rappler for a rare interview about the historic Hague ruling of 2016

Oil and gas deal in West PH Sea 'victory for 'bully' China – Alejano

Nov 23, 2018 - 11:52 AM

'The fact that we have recognized China in sharing with [them] our own resources in our own waters is already a victory on their part,' says Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano

'VICTORY' FOR CHINA. Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano is against the oil and gas development deal signed by the Philippines and China. Screenshot from Rappler

LIVE: Forum on maritime disputes in the South China Sea

Nov 23, 2018 - 11:07 AM

The forum – Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea: Navigating the Diplomatic Waters – brings together high-level officials, diplomats, and experts on the issue

'Forces' in gov't pushed for PH-China oil deal – Locsin

Nov 22, 2018 - 1:06 PM

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says the oil and gas deal with China 'wasn't being pushed' by President Rodrigo Duterte himself

TOP DIPLOMAT. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr holds a press briefing on the sidelines of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore on November 15, 2018. Malacañang photo

Locsin bares parts of Philippines' oil deal with China

Nov 22, 2018 - 10:05 AM

(UPDATED) Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr says he needs China's permission to release the complete oil deal signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping

TOP DIPLOMATS. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (left) and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi share a light moment during the latter's official visit to Davao City, Philippines, on October 29, 2018. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

SC urged: Rule now on 2008 petition vs exploration deal with China

Nov 21, 2018 - 5:57 PM

The petitioners say it is 'high time' that the High Court resolve their 10-year-old petition in view of a new joint exploration deal between the Philippines and China

SUPREME COURT. The High Court allows court employees to work only till noontime on Holy Wednesday. Rappler file photo

PH-China deal on oil, gas dev't creates body to study joint exploration

Nov 21, 2018 - 12:46 PM

Up to the last minute, uncertainty clouded what kind of oil and gas deal would come out of Xi's state visit. The MOU appears to be a softer version of the framework earlier prepared.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte (R) react after a joint press statement at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila on November 20, 2018. - Chinese President Xi Jinping called his visit on November 20 to long-time US ally the Philippines a "milestone", as he aimed to boost blossoming ties on the promise of billions of dollars in backing for mega-projects. Photo by Mark Cristino/Pool/AFP

Del Rosario calls for 'full transparency' in PH-China oil deal

Nov 21, 2018 - 11:25 AM

'It behooves our negotiators to ensure that our Constitution is not violated,' former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario tells Rappler

FULL TRANSPARENCY. Former foreign secretary Albert del Rosario calls on Filipinos to seek 'full transparency' about possible oil and gas development in the West Philippine Sea. Photo by Angie de Silva

Robredo on China deals: Don't compromise PH sovereignty

Nov 21, 2018 - 11:05 AM

'Our interests should always come first when we deepen relations with other nations,' says Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo addressed the members of Zonta Club of Metro Rizal as the organization celebrated its 27th anniversary, held at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. In her remarks, VP Leni called on the Zonta Club members to create networks that will push for wider spaces for women participation. She also urged them to “fight for the most vulnerable and bravely speak up against misogyny, discrimination, and abuse.” (Photo by OVP)

Malacañang: Other countries should assert Hague ruling

Nov 20, 2018 - 2:17 PM

Malacañang sees the value in pressuring China to abide by the 2016 Hague ruling even as President Rodrigo Duterte himself has said that doing so would only provoke China

Activists participate on a protest in front of the Chinese Consular office in Manila on July 12, 2018, to mark the second anniversary of a UN-backed tribunal ruling in July 2016 saying there was no basis for China's claims to most of the South China Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague in July 2016 ruled that there was no legal basis for Beijing's claims to much of the South China Sea, embodied in a "nine-dash line" that dates from 1940s maps and stretches close to other countries' coasts, a decision which China angrily rejected. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

Why Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit matters to Filipinos

Nov 20, 2018 - 11:36 AM

Ties between the Philippines and China stretch back centuries – but power and money can complicate (not necessarily destroy) even the closest of friendships

CHINESE LEADER. Chinese President Xi Jinping witnesses the signing of a memorandum of understanding following a bilateral meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on October 20, 2016. Malacañang photo

PH quietly prepares joint exploration deal with China for Xi visit

Nov 19, 2018 - 9:22 PM

(UPDATED) The framework for joint exploration of South China Sea's oil and gas resources could be the highlight of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the Philippines


CLOSE TIES. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on October 19, 2016. Malacañang photo

Carpio praises Duterte for upholding sea freedoms

Nov 18, 2018 - 10:24 PM

Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio says it 'is a most welcome development' that President Rodrigo Duterte upheld freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA. Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio attends Kasarinlan: A Philippine Foreign Policy Forum in Intramuros, Manila, on July 9, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Acting Chief Justice Carpio: China does not own South China Sea | Evening wRap

Nov 16, 2018 - 8:28 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Quita Chuatico

‘Oil is everything’ – Duterte’s rhetoric on West PH Sea joint exploration

Nov 16, 2018 - 1:00 PM

In the weeks leading to a framework agreement on joint exploration with China, President Rodrigo Duterte emphasizes the Philippines' need for oil

IN PHOTOS: Philippines, Vietnam navies play games on disputed South China Sea island

Nov 15, 2018 - 11:38 PM

The Philippine and Vietnamese navies spend an afternoon of camaraderie at the Philippine-occupied Northeast Cay in the Spratlys

Camaraderie in South China Sea: Philippines, Vietnam navies play volleyball on disputed island. Photo courtesy of Philippine Navy

Duterte to China: 'Tell us route to take' in sea row | Evening wRap

Nov 14, 2018 - 10:16 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Margie de Leon

Duterte to China: 'Tell us route to take' in sea row

Nov 14, 2018 - 11:55 AM

Before attending the ASEAN-China Summit, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shares his views on the much-awaited Code of Conduct in the South China Sea

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shares a light moment with the members of his cabinet upon his arrival at a hotel in Singapore on November 12, 2018. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Amid joint exploration talks, Sotto says China now 'recognizes West PH Sea is ours'

Nov 09, 2018 - 9:14 AM

'I am privy to dialogue and talks within the executive department and slowly, we are realizing the fact that they do agree that those areas are ours,' says Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Senate President Sen. Vicente Sotto III explains the bill on lowering the criminal liability to 13 years old. September 25, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

2 oil exploration contracts awaiting Duterte's signature – Cusi

Nov 07, 2018 - 2:10 PM

One contract for oil exploration is likely to be signed with China state-owned oil producer China National Offshore Oil Corporation

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meets with Chinese businessmen at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Beijing, China on October 21 before leaving for Davao City. Photo by Toto Lozano/PPD

PH to protest China weather stations, if reports are true – Panelo

Nov 05, 2018 - 3:26 PM

But Malacañang says it still needs to 'validate' news reports quoting Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang about Beijing-controlled weather stations in the Spratlys

MISCHIEF REEF. €The construction of hangars on Mischief Reef is said to be part of China's ˜militarization of the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI and DigitalGlobe

China builds weather stations in West Philippine Sea

Nov 04, 2018 - 3:04 PM

China reportedly installs these weather stations on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, and Mischief Reef in the West Philippine Sea

MISCHIEF REEF. Structures seen on a satellite image of Mischief Reef on November 15, 2016, released December 13, 2016. Image courtesy of CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

West Philippine Sea, Synagogue attack, plane crash in Indonesia | Evening wRap

Oct 29, 2018 - 11:28 PM

Watch Rappler’s evening newscast with Chito dela Vega

China to heed proposed sea code, binding or not – Wang Yi

Oct 29, 2018 - 9:19 PM

'Whether or not it is legally binding, any document we have signed, we will strictly abide by it and firmly implement it,' says Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

TOP DIPLOMAT. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions from the press after his meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr in Davao City, Philippines on October 29, 2018. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

PH, China can shelve claims for sake of joint dev't – Wang Yi

Oct 29, 2018 - 4:51 PM

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pushes for joint development between the Philippines and China 'without prejudice to each other's sovereign claim'

TOP DIPLOMATS. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr (left) and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi share a light moment during the latter's official visit in Davao City, Philippines, on October 29, 2018. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Joint exploration with China, AFP in BOC, typhoon Rosita | Midday wRap

Oct 29, 2018 - 2:40 PM

Watch Rappler’s Midday newscast with Ralf Rivas

China lost to PH in court. Will it win via joint exploration?

Oct 29, 2018 - 8:16 AM

The proposed joint exploration of the West Philippine Sea is a key issue expected during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's unprecedented trip to Davao City

TOP DIPLOMATS. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr pose for photographs during the opening of the Chinese consulate in Davao City on October 28, 2018. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

U.S., China back military air rules to avoid mishaps

Oct 20, 2018 - 10:36 PM

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreeS to guidelines on managing air encounters at the annual meeting of the 10-member bloc's defense ministers

SECURITY. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe during a meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security summit in Singapore on October 18, 2018. Photo by Thomas Watkins/AFP

China, ASEAN to hold maritime drill to ease tensions

Oct 19, 2018 - 7:35 PM

The navies of China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations are set to hold their first joint drills, which will take place in the South China Sea

China's sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, arrives in Hong Kong waters on July 7, 2017, less than a week after a high-profile visit by president Xi Jinping. China's national defence ministry had said the Liaoning, named after a northeastern Chinese province, was part of a flotilla on a "routine training mission" and would make a port of call in the former British colony. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

Five men and the sea: huge marlin sinks Filipino fishing boat

Oct 10, 2018 - 3:33 PM

A 6-foot marlin punctures a fishing boat's wooden hull with its giant bill, vessel master Jimmy Batiller says

Chinese destroyer sails extremely close to U.S. warship

Oct 02, 2018 - 12:46 PM

A Chinese Luyang destroyer has approached the USS Decatur in 'an unsafe and unprofessional maneuver in the vicinity of Gaven Reef in the South China Sea,' says US Pacific Fleet spokesman Commander Nate Christensen

DISPUTED WATERS. This US Navy photo obtained October 21, 2016 shows the USS Decatur (DDG 73) as it operates in the South China Sea as part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) on October 13, 2016. File photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Quinlan/US Navy/AFP