Philippines spots suspected Chinese ships at disputed atoll

MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine official said Wednesday that he recently spotted five suspected Chinese coast guard and navy ships at a disputed atoll in the South China Sea and fears Beijing will take control of another area frequented by Filipino, Vietnamese and Malaysian fishermen.

See Full Article

Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr., who heads a Philippine-claimed region in the disputed Spratly Islands, said he saw the Chinese ships at the Jackson Atoll for two straight days last week while flying in a plane over the area.

Bito-onon said Chinese government vessels have not been stationed at the atoll, which the Philippines calls Quirino, in the years he has been passing by the uninhabited ring-shaped reef.

Jackson Atoll lies several kilometres from the Philippine-claimed Mischief Reef, which China occupied in 1995 and has turned into an island containing what appears to be a runway. It lies midway between the western Philippine province of Palawan and Filipino-occupied Thitu Island in the Spratlys.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila said it was trying to verify the reported Chinese presence and a local newspaper report that the Chinese ships recently prevented Filipino fishermen from approaching the area. Chinese Embassy officials were not immediately available for comment.

"I'm alarmed because we frequently pass by that atoll on our way to Pag-asa," Bito-onon told The Associated Press by telephone, referring to the Philippine name for Thitu Island, where he frequently travels to visit a Filipino fishing community guarded by troops. "What will happen now if we sail close with all those Chinese ships?"

Filipino, Vietnamese and Malaysian fishing boats have gone to the vast fishing lagoon Jackson for years, Bito-onon said, adding that Filipino fishermen were looking forward to the start of the octopus-catching season that starts next month.

Aside from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have conflicting territorial claims in the Spratlys.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'This military operation is indeed wrapping up,' Putin meets with Assad about political solutions for Syria

    World News CBC News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for talks at which the two men agreed that the focus in the Syrian conflict was now switching from military operations to the search for a political solution. Source
  • Myanmar treatment of Rohingya called 'dehumanizing apartheid'

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK - Myanmar has subjected Rohingya Muslims to long-term discrimination and persecution that amounts to "dehumanizing apartheid," Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report that raises questions about what those who have fled a violent military crackdown would face if they returned home. Source
  • Rohingya subjected to 'dehumanizing apartheid': Amnesty International

    World News CBC News
    Myanmar has subjected Rohingya Muslims to long-term discrimination and persecution that amounts to "dehumanizing apartheid," Amnesty International said Tuesday in a report that raises questions about what those who have fled a violent military crackdown would face if they returned home. Source
  • Berkeley balcony collapse victims settle lawsuit

    World News CTV News
    BERKELEY, Calif. - Relatives of six college students who died when a balcony collapsed in Berkeley, California, have reached a settlement with the owners of the apartment building and the company that managed it, it was announced Monday. Source
  • Canada on alert as U.S. announces end to temporary resident status for Haitians

    Canada News CBC News
    A decision by the Trump administration to end a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States has the Canadian government on alert for a potential new surge of asylum seekers at the border. Source
  • Body of Quebec man missing in northern California found

    World News CTV News
    ARCATA, Calif. - The body of a young man from Sherbrooke, Que., who had been missing for two weeks in northern California, has been found. According to police in Arcata, the body of 25-year-old Felix Desautels-Poirier was found in a marsh in a city park by a member of his family. Source
  • Kids gather in Ottawa to develop Canadian Children's Charter

    Canada News CTV News
    Dozens of youth gathered in Ottawa on Monday to mark National Child Day and to develop Canada’s first “Children’s Charter,” which will be unveiled in Parliament on Wednesday. Sara Austin, who runs the advocacy group Children First Canada, says the charter is needed to draw attention to the fact that children’s rights are not being adequately protected. Source
  • Quebec City paramedics say string of deaths show need for more ambulances

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec City paramedics are pressuring their provincial government to put more ambulances on the roads, pointing to three deaths in four days as evidence of a shortage. Jean-Francois Gagne, a member of the paramedics union FPHQ, described one of the incidents, which he says happened on Sunday at around 4 a.m. Source
  • U.S. ending temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration said Monday it is ending a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States since a 2010 powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation. Source
  • Trump charity stepped up 2016 giving amid campaign scrutiny

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump sharply increased the amount of money he gave away through his foundation last year as the charity drew scrutiny during the campaign. A 2016 tax return posted on the non-profit monitoring website GuideStar shows that the Donald J. Source