territorial disputes

Cayetano downplays Hague ruling, says citing UNCLOS enough

Nov 21, 2017 - 9:15 PM

'Ano ba ang arbitral award? Hindi ba UNCLOS 'yun, 1982? O, eh lahat naman ng statement may UNCLOS 1982 eh,' says Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

ARBITRAL AWARD. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano says it is enough to cite UNCLOS instead of the arbitral award won by the Philippines against China. Photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

ASEAN 2017: A wasted opportunity for the West Philippine Sea

Nov 20, 2017 - 11:00 AM

'The Philippines' chairmanship wasn't just a missed opportunity; it significantly weakened ASEAN's standing on political-security matters,' Southeast Asia expert Gregory Poling tells Rappler

ASEAN CHAIR. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approaches the podium to deliver his keynote address during the opening of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. Malacañang photo

ASEAN avoids hitting China in Chairman's Statement

Nov 16, 2017 - 12:30 PM

ASEAN evades reference to China's militarization of the South China Sea, as it hails the 'positive momentum' in Southeast Asia's ties with China

ASEAN CHAIR. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte chairs the 31st ASEAN Summit, where Southeast Asian leaders avoid directly criticizing China over its militarization of the disputed South China Sea. Malacañang photo

Duterte, Trump hit South China Sea 'militarization'

Nov 14, 2017 - 3:08 PM

The Philippines and the US stress 'the importance of peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea, in accordance with international law'

BILATERAL MEETING. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Donald Trump hold a bilateral meeting on November 13, 2017, on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits hosted by the Philippines. Photo by AFP

ASEAN, China announce start of Code of Conduct talks

Nov 13, 2017 - 7:57 PM

This is the biggest milestone for the past 15 years in crafting a Code of Conduct in the disputed South China Sea

ASEAN-CHINA SUMMIT. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang joins members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit on November 13, 2017. Photo from ASEAN Media Pool

Duterte says he hopes China will not build on Scarborough Shoal

Nov 07, 2017 - 7:48 PM

(UPDATED) 'I wish he will honor it because it will change the entire geography. If war starts, I don't know what will be the next geographical division of Asia,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 58th Philippine Army Change of Command Ceremony at Fort Andres Bonifacio in Taguig City on October 5, 2017, reminds the government troops to remain loyal to the Constitution and the flag. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

As China aims for 'world-class army', Asia starts to worry

Nov 01, 2017 - 1:18 PM

Xi's call to build a military that can "fight and win" has alarmed China's neighbors, several of whom are embroiled in tense border disputes with the superpower

ON GUARD. In this photo, Chinese paramilitary guards walk in front of The Forbidden City in Beijing on July 31, 2017, on the eve of the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Fred Dufour/AFP

China says it hopes India will 'learn lessons' from standoff

Aug 30, 2017 - 3:04 PM

Foreign Minister Wang Yi: Of course we hope the Indian side will learn lessons from this incident and prevent similar things from happening again

BORDER SECURITY. This file photo taken on July 10, 2008 shows a Chinese soldier (L) gesturing next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. Diptendu Dutta/AFP

China ups ante in high-altitude standoff with India

Aug 05, 2017 - 12:27 PM

No country should underestimate the Chinese forces resolve and willpower to defend national sovereignty says Chinese defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang

China defends gasfield activity in East China Sea

Aug 02, 2017 - 3:32 PM

China defends its oil and gas activity in the East China Sea as occurring in areas indisputably under its jurisdiction after Japanese protests stirred a longstanding dispute over the region

This photo taken on October 13, 2011 shows a P-3C patrol plane of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. Japan Pool via Jiji Press/File/AFP

China will protect its sovereignty – Xi

Aug 01, 2017 - 1:51 PM

The message comes as the ruling Communist Party faces political resistance in semi autonomous Hong Kong and self ruled Taiwan and border disputes with its neighbors

A Chinese flag flies near apartment buildings in Beijing on September 11, 2015. Greg Baker/AFP

China and India locked in high-stakes, high-altitude border row

Jul 27, 2017 - 1:33 PM

A border standoff between Chinese and Indian troops on a remote Himalayan platea heightens long standing tensions while ensnaring a tiny kingdom Bhutan in between

SECURE CROSSING. This file photo taken on July 10, 2008 shows a Chinese soldier (L) next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. Diptendu Dutta/AFP

China to 'step up' troop deployment in India border row

Jul 24, 2017 - 3:36 PM

The standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau which is disputed by China and Bhutan

BORDER GUARDS. This file photo taken on July 10, 2008 shows a Chinese soldier (L) next to an Indian soldier at the Nathu La border crossing between India and China in India's northeastern Sikkim state. Diptendu Dutta/File/AFP

Tiny Bhutan protests to China over border road

Jun 29, 2017 - 7:12 PM

The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan protests to its mighty neighbor China over road building in disputed territory that set off new frictions between Beijing and the Indian government

The flag of the Kingdom of Bhutan (second from right) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 14, 2016. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

A firsthand account of the Scarborough Shoal standoff

May 19, 2017 - 10:36 AM

Captain Roy Cuesta recounts his ordeal during the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff that prompted the Philippines to sue China before an arbitral tribunal in The Hague

SCARBOROUGH SHOAL STANDOFF. Captain Roy Cuesta and his crew. File photo

4 Indonesian soldiers killed in South China Sea training

May 18, 2017 - 1:19 PM

The island where the accident took place was part of the small Natuna archipelago where there have been repeated clashes between Chinese and Indonesian vessels

TENSIONS AT SEA. This picture taken on April 23, 2016 shows a member of the Indonesian navy standing before Chinese trawler Hua Li-8 in Belawan, North Sumatra. File photo by Abimata Hasibuan/AFP

PH Navy commits to deliver materials for Pag-asa repairs soon

May 11, 2017 - 9:22 AM

But there is no timeline yet for the construction activities

COMMITMENT. Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Ronald Mercado says they will implement the orders of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to repair facilities on Pag-asa island. Rappler photo

Duterte cancels plan to raise flag in Spratlys

Apr 13, 2017 - 1:20 AM

UPDATED President Rodrigo Duterte says he is complying with China s request for him not to push through with this Independence Day plan

Gibraltar: A Brexit negotiating weapon for Madrid, EU

Apr 04, 2017 - 12:09 PM

Tensions over the territory have ebbed and flowed over the years but they spiked again due to a clause in the EU s position in upcoming Brexit negotiations

'THE ROCK.' The Gibraltar Rock is pictured from La Linea de la Concepcion near ther southern Spanish city of Cadiz on March 28, 2017. Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Duterte adviser bares plan to fix PH runway in West PH Sea

Apr 01, 2017 - 8:00 AM

The Philippines only runway in the disputed territory has been dilapidated due to forced neglect

PAG-ASA ISLAND. The second biggest island in the disputed South China Sea is home to about a hundred Filipinos. File photo by SSg Amable Milay/Philippine Air Force

Philippine Navy sends warship to patrol Benham Rise

Mar 24, 2017 - 8:37 AM

UPDATED Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the navy will now regularly patrol the underwater plateau located in the country s eastern border

HAND-ME-DOWN. The Philippine Navy's most capable warship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz, is an excess defense article from the US Coast Guard. Rappler file photo Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

China ships sail near disputed isles after Mattis visit – Japan

Feb 06, 2017 - 3:47 PM

UPDATED It comes two days after James Mattis US President Donald Trump s new defense secretary said in Tokyo that the island chain was subject to a longstanding Washington Tokyo defense treaty

SECOND ONE. Four Chinese vessels entered the waters surrounding the island chain, controlled by Japan – the second such incident in just a week.

Malaysia reopens island row with Singapore

Feb 04, 2017 - 11:59 AM

In a filing to the International Court of Justice ICJ Kuala Lumpur says new documents had been discovered in British archives backing its territorial claim to the islet

Costa Rica drags Nicaragua to ICJ as territory row lingers

Jan 17, 2017 - 7:56 AM

The case involves a small slither of land between the two countries

Outside view of the Peace Palace, seat of the ICJ, in February 2012. CIJ-ICJ/UN-ONU/Capital Photos/Gerald van Daalen/File

Putin, Abe signal no resolution on island dispute

Dec 16, 2016 - 5:02 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: Concluding a peace treaty that has not been concluded in more than 70 years is not easy

PUTIN AND ABE. Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attend a joint press conference at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on December 16, 2016. Photo by Franck Robichon/AFP

Putin heads to Japan for hot spring meet on disputed islands

Dec 13, 2016 - 1:55 PM

Shinzo Abe will host Vladimir Putin at the hot springs in his ancestral city of Nagato in the hope of breaking the ice on an agreement over the Kuril Islands

In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shows the way to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi on May 6, 2016. Sergei Guneev/Sputnik/AFP

Territory row looms over Cyprus showdown talks

Nov 05, 2016 - 11:15 AM

Negotiations are due to discuss the previously intractable issue of territorial adjustments on the Mediterranean resort island

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades talks during a televised press conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia on November 4, 2016, ahead of a five-day summit in Geneva aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island. Yiannis Kourtoglou/Pool/AFP

Duterte: I won't give up West PH Sea, Hague ruling

Oct 16, 2016 - 3:37 PM

Nobody but nobody even the President of this country can give up the claim That s one sure way of going to impeachment says the Philippine President

OFF TO CHINA. President Rodrigo Duterte beams as he leads the inspection of Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Tubbataha during the 115th anniversary of Philippine Coast Guard on October 12. Photo by REY BANIQUET/Presidential Photo

SC Justice Carpio fears losing Panatag if Duterte concedes to China

Oct 15, 2016 - 2:54 PM

UPDATED SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio says President Rodrigo Duterte can be impeached if he concedes sovereignty over Panatag Shoal

IMPROVING TIES. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) talks with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua (right) during the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila on August 17, 2016. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Duterte: You'll see me more often in China

Sep 22, 2016 - 6:26 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte says that during his trip to China he will demand that the Asian giant give back the fishing rights of Filipinos

DUTERTE'S CHINA PIVOT. On National Heroes' Day, President Duterte shakes hands with Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua. Photo from PPD

China to PH: Do not 'hype up' maritime dispute

Sep 05, 2016 - 8:20 PM

Beijing also says the situation in the South China Sea has not changed in response to Manila s statement that it spotted several vessels near the Scarborough Shoal

Davao blast, Scarborough Shoal, Mother Teresa | 12PM wRap

Sep 05, 2016 - 12:42 PM

Watch Rappler’s 12PM newscast with Maria Ressa

PH to China: Explain ships near Scarborough Shoal

Sep 04, 2016 - 7:05 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says 4 Chinese Coast Guard ships two barge like vessels and two suspected troop ships were spotted on Saturday September 3

Abe calls for 'new epoch' in Russia-Japan ties

Sep 03, 2016 - 8:25 PM

Tokyo Moscow relations are hamstrung by a row dating back to the end of World War II when Soviet troops seized the southernmost islands in the Pacific Kuril chain known as the Northern Territories in Japan

CLOSER TIES? Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 2, 2016. Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP

PH: China risks being 'losers at the end of the day'

Aug 30, 2016 - 1:29 PM

As you can see China is practically alone Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr says

TOP DIPLOMAT. Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr holds a news conference on July 27, 2016, after the recent ASEAN meeting in Laos. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Australia says tribunal has no jurisdiction over East Timor border

Aug 29, 2016 - 4:09 PM

East Timor has been demanding that Australia renegotiate the border which cuts through lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea

A picture made available July 28, 2014, shows the seat of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace), in The Hague, the Netherlands on August 27, 2013. File photo by Guus Shoonewille/EPA

Japan tells China to stop violating territory in East China Sea

Aug 24, 2016 - 11:45 PM

I strongly asked him to completely quieten the situation says Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on his talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi

epa05508202 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) is welcomed by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida (L) prior to their bilateral talks in their bilateral talks in Tokyo, Japan, 24 August 2016. Wang is in Tokyo to attend the trilateral foreign ministers' meeting of between Japan, South Korea and China. The ministerial meeting is taking place as several security and territorial issues including the South China Sea dispute, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery and the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear tests are straining relations in the region. EPA/TORU YAMANAKA / POOL

Japan spots 230 Chinese fishing boats off disputed islets

Aug 06, 2016 - 3:00 PM

The two countries are locked in a long running dispute over uninhabited islets in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China

Vietnam says China 'sank' fishing boat in disputed sea

Jul 12, 2016 - 2:15 PM

Two Vietnamese boats were chased by a pair of Chinese coastguard ships on Saturday afternoon July 9 off Vietnam s Quang Ngai province the Vietnam Fisheries Society Vinafis says

Malaysian plane intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets – official

Jun 26, 2016 - 11:15 PM

A Malaysian official says the C 130 plane was flying a regular route and had continued its journey to Sabah despite the interception

Jokowi visits islands near disputed water to assert sovereignty

Jun 23, 2016 - 12:26 PM

The Indonesia president will visit remote islands close to waters where Chinese and Indonesian vessels have repeatedly clashed

This handout photo released by the Indonesian Navy and available on June 21, 2016 shows Indonesian War Ship KRI Imam Bonjol-363 (L) approaching a Chinese fishing boat (R) in Natuna waters. Indonesian Navy/AFP

Abu Sayyaf outsourcing, Fabella hospital, ASEAN | 12PM wRap

Jun 15, 2016 - 12:43 PM

Watch Rappler s 12PM newscast with Zak Yuson

ASEAN ministers express 'serious concerns' over South China Sea

Jun 14, 2016 - 8:10 PM

In a rare diplomatic slap in the face for Beijing – issued on its own territory – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN offers a sharp rebuke over China s actions in the waterway

FUELING CONCERN. New images released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies – such as this photo of Cuarteron Reef – show the extent of China's reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Photo courtesy of CSIS

Japan protests as Chinese navy sails near disputed isles

Jun 09, 2016 - 11:02 AM

UPDATED The incident prompts Tokyo to summon the Chinese ambassador at around 2 am to lodge a protest

SENKAKU/DIAOYU. A file picture dated 27 April 2005 shows an aerial view of Uotsuri Island, one of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. Hiroya Shimoji/EPA

Beijing refuses to move on sea disputes as US meet ends

Jun 07, 2016 - 7:00 PM

China s top diplomat Yang Jiechi insists that the country s stance is in line with international law and will not change

epa05349540 (L-R) US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councillor Yang Jiechi attend during the closing ceremony of the eighth round of US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, China, 07 June 2016. The 8th US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the 7th round of US-China high-level consultation on people-to-people exchange are held in Beijing on 06 and 07 June 2016. EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Kerry warns on South China Sea during Mongolia visit

Jun 05, 2016 - 12:34 PM

UPDATED Kerry said such a move would raise tensions and call into a serious question China s commitment to diplomatically manage the territorial dispute

US Secretary of State John Kerry in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on June 5, 2016. Saul Loeb/AFP

US vows 'action' if China builds new South China Sea structures

Jun 04, 2016 - 10:38 AM

3rd UPDATE Unfortunately if these actions continue China could end up erecting a Great Wall of self isolation says US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter

SOUTH CHINA SEA. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter delivers his speech during the First Plenary Session of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 15th Asia Security Summit in Singapore, June 4, 2016. Photo by Wallace Woon/EPA

China eyeing air defense zone over South China Sea – report

Jun 01, 2016 - 11:35 AM

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

RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES. An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a military plane shows the ongoing reclamation by China on Mischief Reef, part of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan, Philippines, on May 11, 2015. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA/Pool

Obama implores Vietnam to embrace human rights

May 24, 2016 - 5:35 PM

UPDATED US President Barack Obama urges Vietnam to abandon authoritarianism saying that bolstering rights actually reinforces stability

epa05325943 US President Barack Obama addresses his speech to the Vietnamese people at the National Convention Center in Hanoi, Vietnam, 24 May 2016. EPA/KHAM/POOL

Obama calls for peaceful settlement of South China Sea disputes

May 24, 2016 - 4:15 PM

US President Barack Obama who is on a visit to Vietnam says big nations should not bully smaller ones

CHINA’S RECLAMATION. The Philippines releases this photo in May of China’s alleged reclamation in Johnson South Reef in the South China Sea, warning it may be building an airstrip. Photo courtesy: Department of Foreign Affairs