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Hypothetical War : Contest For The Spratleys


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#81 Corinthian

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 0324 AM

Oooh! Oooh! Our Fearless Leader™ No-Balls has a solution to the Spratlys issue. He sez it ought to be a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C). I'm not shitting! Only his peanut brain filled with 20-year old girls (he's single and in his 50s), sports cars (he owns a 'third hand' Porsche purchased when petrol prices and public transport fare were going up), and guns (he is an avid shooter - a plus perhaps in this board - except that this occupies his mind most of the time instead of, like, leadership <_< ) can think up of this.

http://www.mb.com.ph...spratlys-gambit

Spratlys gambit
Philippines offers to transform disputed islands into zone of peace
By ROY C. MABASA
June 10, 2011, 6:44pm

MANILA Philippines -- The Philippines is offering to transform the disputed Spratlys Islands into a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) for all claimant-countries.

Under this framework offered by the Philippines, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said disputed areas will be segregated from the undisputed areas consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“In the words of President Benigno S. Aquino III, ZoPFF/C is a modality for ensuring that ‘what is ours is ours, and with what is disputed, we can work toward joint cooperation,’” Del Rosario explained.

He cited as an example Recto (Reed) Bank which is part of the continental shelf of the western coast of Palawan. It is about 85 nautical miles from the nearest coast of Palawan and therefore well within the 200 nautical miles Continental Shelf of the Philippine archipelago under UNCLOS. In contrast, it is roughly 595 nautical miles from the nearest coast of China.

“This means that the Philippines has unequivocal sovereign rights over Recto (Reed) Bank,” Del Rosario said. “Since the Recto (Reed) Bank is ours, it can only be exclusively developed by the Philippines. The Philippines may, however, invite foreign investors to assist in developing the area in accordance with Philippine laws.”

Del Rosario said the disputed features can be transformed into a joint cooperation area for joint development and the establishment of a marine protected area for biodiversity conservation under ZoPFF/C.

“We are confident that ZoPFF/C represents an important contribution to securing peace, stability, and progress in the South China Sea within a rule-of-law framework, and that the concept deserves serious and favorable consideration by countries with stakes in the South China Sea,” Del Rosario said.

China, Taiwan, and Vietnam claim the entire Spratly Islands, while Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines claim portions of the disputed area in the South China Sea. Except for Brunei, all the claimants are currently occupying islands or reefs.

Despite protests from other claimants, including the Philippines, China has unremittingly asserted its territorial sovereignty over the islands, adjacent waters, seabed and subsoil in the entire South China Sea using the “9-discontinued-and-dotted line” found on Chinese maps dating back to 1947 in its claims to the disputed area.

The dotted line encloses the main island features of the South China Sea: the Pratas Islands, the Paracel Islands, the Macclesfield Bank, and the Spratly Islands. The dotted line also captures James Shoal which is as far south as 4 degrees north latitude.

Del Rosario said the ZoPFF/C proposal is being offered to China and all other claimant states as he stressed that a rules-based regime is a requisite for securing peace and stability in that part of the region.

“The rule of law is the bedrock of peace, order, and fairness in modern societies. The rise of a rules-based in-ternational system has been the great equalizer in global affairs. Respect and adherence to international law have preserved peace and resolved conflicts. International law has given equal voice to nations regardless of political, economic or military stature, banishing the unlawful use of sheer force,” Del Rosario stated.

Meanwhile, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the Philippines should not be bullied by the “undiplomatic posturing” of the People’s Republic of China (PROC) over the disputed Spratlys island chain.

He slammed the position of China that other nations must first seek its permission in moving about the waters in the disputed Spratlys island.

Pangilinan said this position is “high-handed and arrogant.”

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said he respects the opinion of China and the Chinese government but “they have to understand that we also have a voice to raise whenever we feel that they are intruding into our domain.”

“We are not criticizing them, we are just saying that, ‘well, in our opinion, you are intruding in our domain.’ If you are not, well, say so that you are not, that you have no aggressive intention against this country. But for heaven’s sake, don’t lecture us because we can equally lecture you even if you are a giant,’’ he said.

The Senate chief said that this is normally the attitude of a powerful country against a weak country.

Enrile conceded that the Philippines, being bullied by a bigger and stronger country, could not even act as a flea “because we do not have a sting.”

“Coming as it does from the second largest economy in the world is quite disturbing,” Pangilinan.

No war

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the government is not about to wage any war in case another foreign nation tries to take control of the country.

Ochoa said the government would exhaust diplomatic means to resolve any foreign aggression related to national sovereignty.

Ochoa highlighted Section 2 of Article II of the Constitution which states that the country “adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation, and amity with all nations.”

“This government is always prepared to use diplomacy to protect the interests and welfare of our country on the world stage,” Ochoa added. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran and Genalyn D. Kabiling)


What's that? "What's yours is yours, what's mine is mine, and whatever is under dispute we can work things out." Eh? And that's the solution he came up with?!?

Note that the our foreign minister here (Del Rosario) seems to be distancing himself from No-Balls' proposed solution....
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#82 X-Files

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 1133 AM

Oooh! Oooh! Our Fearless Leader™ No-Balls has a solution to the Spratlys issue. He sez it ought to be a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation (ZoPFF/C). I'm not shitting! Only his peanut brain filled with 20-year old girls (he's single and in his 50s), sports cars (he owns a 'third hand' Porsche purchased when petrol prices and public transport fare were going up), and guns (he is an avid shooter - a plus perhaps in this board - except that this occupies his mind most of the time instead of, like, leadership <_< ) can think up of this.


Yeah, that'll work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMdC45S79uQ


A very knowledgeable colleague – Michael Richardson – published this article in several Asian and Australian publications. An interesting twist in the “energy race”, which is maybe more interesting than the often cited but never materialized “arms race”

http://hdff.org/2011...in-energy-race/

Edited by X-Files, 12 June 2011 - 1321 PM.

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#83 X-Files

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 1437 PM

The United States yesterday said it will not side with any party in the Spratlys conflict, which is to say that the Philippines’ most powerful ally will not be coming to its aid should its spat with China escalate into a shooting war.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/14118/us-not-coming-to-ph-aid-vs-china

The United States and the Philippines are set to hold naval exercise amid heightened tension in Western Philippine Sea following allegations of intrusion by Chinese Naval personnel in the Philippine-occupied area of the disputed Spratly Islands.
Philippine military authorities said though the the joint naval exercise has nothing to do with the reported Chinese incursions in Philippine territories, according to Armed Forces spokesman Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez.


Read more: http://www.digitaljo...9#ixzz1P5lJK5Tn
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#84 Corinthian

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 1608 PM

The United States and the Philippines are set to hold naval exercise amid heightened tension in Western Philippine Sea following allegations of intrusion by Chinese Naval personnel in the Philippine-occupied area of the disputed Spratly Islands.
Philippine military authorities said though the the joint naval exercise has nothing to do with the reported Chinese incursions in Philippine territories, according to Armed Forces spokesman Commodore Jose Miguel Rodriguez.



RP-US naval exercises have been done at the South China Sea for decades. Hell, Manila Bay is simply a "salient" of the South China Sea. The waters at Ternate, Cavite, where the US and RP often do an amphib assault exercise during Balikatan is the South China Sea.

Yep, the exercise is simply one that has been scheduled for a loooooooooooong time already, well before the current Spratly Spat happened. Yes, the exercise has nothing to do with this spat.
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#85 X-Files

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 1131 AM

RP-US naval exercises have been done at the South China Sea for decades. Hell, Manila Bay is simply a "salient" of the South China Sea. The waters at Ternate, Cavite, where the US and RP often do an amphib assault exercise during Balikatan is the South China Sea.

Yep, the exercise is simply one that has been scheduled for a loooooooooooong time already, well before the current Spratly Spat happened. Yes, the exercise has nothing to do with this spat.


Thereby illustrating the head-scratching dichotomy of a regularly scheduled exercise designed to back up an ally during a forecasted threat, vs. an assertion that the aforementioned ally does not expect anyone to have his back during a real threat.

*
Meanwhile, back in the headlines - we need some music for this thread

MANILA -- Philippine lawmakers on Monday called for the immediate abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between Manila and Washington, which they claim to be unbeneficial to the country.

Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano said the pronouncement of the United States Government that it will not help the Philippines should its conflict with China over the disputed Spratly Islands escalate into a shooting war "only proves that the MDT is a mere piece of paper that doesn’t bind the two countries at all."


Golly. If only someone had forecasted earlier in this thread that the USN wouldn't be involved in this fight....

http://www.sunstar.c...s-treaty-160990

MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang spokesman today said that the Philippines is determined to strengthen its military presence in the West Philippine Sea to protect its territory in the disputed Spratly Islands.

"Concerning our defense posture, the administration is determined to improve the capabilities of our military and Coast Guard to enable the effective patrol and protection of our national security and Exclusive Economic Zone," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.

http://www.philstar.com/nation/article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=200&articleId=695852

TAIPEI - Taiwan is planning to beef up its presence on the disputed Spratly Islands with missile boats and tanks, a military spokesman said yesterday.

The islands in the South China Sea, which may lie on top of large undiscovered oil reserves, have been claimed by Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. The Spratlys have been the focal point of recent tensions between China and Vietnam.

Taiwan claims the Spratlys as well as three other island groups and the coastguard currently has 130 men station on Taiping, the largest island in the Spratlys chain.


http://www.todayonli...ats-to-Spratlys

Edited by X-Files, 13 June 2011 - 1135 AM.

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#86 Josh

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 2108 PM

The Japanese Navy's SSK force remains a generation ahead of the Chinese submarine tech and handling curve, and will continue to remain so. The bulk of the Chinese gap-closing has been remedial. The Soryu class is an example of how quickly the Chinese will have to run on their own from now on to even try and keep up with Japan.


I'll agree that in overall quality and technology the JMSDF are clearly superior in equipment and I suspect the crew training and quality isn't remotely compareable. But 'a generation' seems a little generous (improved Kilo is a generation behind?) and in quantity, Japan is already outnumbered even discounting the Mings. I'm not thinking of a conflict now; I thinking how much ground the PLAN has covered in the last decade. A little over a decade ago I don't think they could put a boat to sea that wasn't a copy of a copy of a Kriegsmarine type XXI. That they have two dozen relatively modern, if not cutting edge, SSKs is certainly a little disquieting given the economic realities of every other power in the region.
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#87 Corinthian

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 2204 PM

Anakpawis (Anak is Tagalog for Child, pawis is tagalog for sweat, so Sweaty Child, but really means Child of Hardwork) is a leftist/commie political party in Congress, a partylist i.e. an organization that represents a sector of society which, in this case, is the working class (hence the name of the party). So, any party rep of Anakpawis that is screaming for the MDT to be abrogated is merely doing so as an Anti-American gesture, nothing to do with national defense. All that Anakpawis and its ilk has been doing is making lots of anti-American rallies and such. Anything American-related they march against - notwithstanding that the jeans and clothes they wear are more often than not American brands. <_< (they also eat at McDonalds after rallies).

So don't put too much stock on what Anakpawis is saying. Although they do have a point WRT the MDT. Recently, No-Balls has said in public that the MDT serves as a deterrent to China. He is very naive to still rely on a more-than-half century old treaty. Then again, what else is new. <_<

One reason why our military has degraded is our over reliance on American hegemony. Back when the bases were still here, previous admins thought that we had the USA anyway to defend us. Coupled with insurgency in the countryside, our military increasingly looked inwards rather than focused on external defense. Result: we have a lot of COIN experience, but our tools for external defense is practically non-existent. The MDT continues the legacy, with admins still relying on it. Without it, our .gov would pro'ly think better on external defense.

It's like your welfare safety nets: why get a job when you can still get a check from the government. Similar in our case: why spend on modernizing our military when we [naively] expect the USA to do the fighting for us.

And so here we are, relying on diplomacy and the UN and the MDT to tell a big dragon to back off. The image is so silly, it's not funny anymore. <_<
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#88 X-Files

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 0907 AM

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) The United States has finally expressed its support for the Philippine government over issues involving its disputes with China over the Spratly Islands.

In his speech during the launch of the National Renewable Energy Plan (NREP) yesterday, US Ambassador Harry Thomas reiterated to guests, which included President Benigno Aquino III, that the Philippines and the US were “strategic allies.”


http://globalnation....-treaty-ally’


WASHINGTON — The United States should condemn China’s use of force and push for multilateral negotiations to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea that have raised tensions in the region, Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said Monday.

Vietnam fired live artillery rounds Monday off its central coast in naval drills staged after accusing Chinese boats of disrupting oil and gas exploration. A similar dispute flared last week between China and the Philippines.

The United States irked China last year* by asserting that Washington had a national security interest in the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, resource-rich waters where China has competing claims with several nations and territories and rejects outside interference. It maintains that the disputes should be handled bilaterally.

Webb, the former Navy secretary who chairs the Senate subcommittee overseeing American policy toward east Asia, said Vietnam and other countries were watching whether “we are going to back up those words with substantive action.”

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/06/ap-military-jim-webb-wants-us-to-back-vietnam-061311/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

* Note the usual AP agitprop.

*
I'm more surprised that you've allowed a submarine tank gap with the Taiwanese.
Here, lemme give ya a leg up
http://deepseanews.c...th-tank-treads/
http://strangevehicl...D SEETEUFEL.htm

Edited by X-Files, 14 June 2011 - 0929 AM.

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#89 chino

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 0944 AM

Is it possible that a war can actually be GOOD for the Philippines?

For many countries, a war is sometimes the catalyst for positive change afterward.
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#90 Guest_JamesG123_*

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 1027 AM

:huh:
The families of the dead probably wouldn't agree.

Getting your ass kicked and incorporated into a defacto Chinese empire isn't likely to be beneficial the national identity of the Philippines.

Edited by JamesG123, 14 June 2011 - 1029 AM.

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#91 Corinthian

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 1649 PM

Is it possible that a war can actually be GOOD for the Philippines?

For many countries, a war is sometimes the catalyst for positive change afterward.


No no no and no. N-O. No.

A war over the Spratlys will be very bad for us. At best, we might keep just a few of the islands, at worst we lose EVERYTHING (including our military toys).

The statements of the US ambassador to the Philippines are just that, statements. In reality, I really really doubt the US will support the Philippines in a military conflict. Sure, they might throw in a carrier or SSN right now, but once the missiles fly, I doubt the the US will come in to keep the kids from choking each other.

Expect the rhetoric to rise once the PLAN has Shi Lang sailing south.

BTW, one of our governors wants the Philippines to boycott all Made-in-China products. Wow. Good luck with that, gov. Stupid knee-jerk statements....

Edited by TomasCTT, 14 June 2011 - 1651 PM.

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#92 X-Files

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 1758 PM

No no no and no. N-O. No. A war over the Spratlys will be very bad for us. At best, we might keep just a few of the islands, at worst we lose EVERYTHING (including our military toys).


Yeah, I think we all know how that movie is gonna turn out...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbBRrK9Q-rw

The statements of the US ambassador to the Philippines are just that, statements. In reality, I really really doubt the US will support the Philippines in a military conflict. Sure, they might throw in a carrier or SSN right now, but once the missiles fly, I doubt the the US will come in to keep the kids from choking each other.


Sad but predictably true. I just thought we had more time.

BEIJING, June 14 (Reuters) - China vehemently opposes external powers meddling in territorial disputes over the South China Sea, the main military newspaper said on Tuesday, after Vietnam asked for international help to defuse tensions over the potentially resource-rich region.

The warning in the Liberation Army Daily coincided with exercises conducted by Vietnam's military along its central coast, and follows a weekend statement by Hanoi welcoming efforts by the international community, including the United States, to help resolve the disputes.


http://www.reuters.c...E7HE0GR20110614

The 1988 Johnson Reef Skirmish
http://en.wikipedia....h_Reef_Skirmish
Chinese Navy opens up at 5.00 mark, with a 37mm on a bunch of Vietnamese sailors waist-deep in the ocean
http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item4840ce4406


Two platoons from the Philippines Army w/ bazookas and mortars - shades of the Falklands.
http://www.nanbie.co...diers-deployed/

Edited by X-Files, 14 June 2011 - 1832 PM.

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#93 Nobu

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 2131 PM

A war over the Spratlys will be very bad for us. At best, we might keep just a few of the islands, at worst we lose EVERYTHING (including our military toys).

A war over the Spratleys between China and the US/Philippines would be very good for a multitude of other actors looking out for the own interests, however. American usage of Japanese bases to fight that war could drag Japan into the conflict.

After the dust settles, the United States might be in a position to write off its trillion-dollar credit card debt to the Chinese, and repay its trillion-dollar credit card debt to Japan by rebuilding the damage suffered by Japan in such a war.
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#94 X-Files

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 1823 PM

American officials have said that one of the Chinese Navy’s main goals in modernizing is to operate in an area where the United States currently has naval supremacy: the waters of the western Pacific that lie beyond Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines, what is commonly known as the “first island chain.”

“At one level, this is the new ‘normal,’ ” Lyle Goldstein, a professor at the China Maritime Studies Institute at the United States Naval War College, said in an e-mail. “This is especially true with respect to the group of Chinese P.L.A. navy ships going through the ‘first island chain’ to conduct a medium-sized exercise.” Such exercises will become much more regular and likely grander, he added, “especially once China adds a carrier to the mix.”


http://www.nytimes.c...ia/15china.html

While China has the stronger navy, both sides can currently deploy only light maritime forces, and for the moment, regional rhetoric exceeds firepower.

Besides the cover support of its ASEAN partners, China is in a dialectical trap of its own making. Asserting its unilateral sovereignty will weaken ASEAN dominated by China as a political organization and potentially drive a number of its members to closer relations with the US, the only significant non-Asian power in the western Pacific.

Beyond the regional posturing, the issue seems tailor-made for international arbitration. UNCLOS provides for bilateral discussions, but given the diversity of claims, ASEAN would seem to be a better forum.

In the meantime, the South China Sea hardly seems to best potential zone for foreign energy investment companies.


— Source: http://oilprice.com/...rgy-Riches.html
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#95 Nobu

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 2337 PM

I'll agree that in overall quality and technology the JMSDF are clearly superior in equipment and I suspect the crew training and quality isn't remotely compareable. But 'a generation' seems a little generous (improved Kilo is a generation behind?) and in quantity, Japan is already outnumbered even discounting the Mings. I'm not thinking of a conflict now; I thinking how much ground the PLAN has covered in the last decade. A little over a decade ago I don't think they could put a boat to sea that wasn't a copy of a copy of a Kriegsmarine type XXI. That they have two dozen relatively modern, if not cutting edge, SSKs is certainly a little disquieting given the economic realities of every other power in the region.

Granted, the Chinese have made strides. The economic realities of Japan--the sole other economic power in the region with clearly the most to lose--favor stability and peace, defended by a powerful Navy.

Japan versus China at sea is an American fantasy. The co-holders of $2 trillion in U.S. debt suddenly deciding to destroy each other economically. Not likely.

Edited by Nobu, 15 June 2011 - 2340 PM.

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#96 X-Files

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 0918 AM

And a Chinese view of Japanese intent. ;)

http://www.ccwe.org....21stCentury.pdf

*

China has sent one of it largest patrol ships through the South China Sea amid heightened tension over the disputed waters. The Haixun-31 sailed on Wednesday and will monitor shipping and "protect maritime security" on its way to Singapore, state media said.


http://www.bbc.co.uk...acific-13796958

Edited by X-Files, 16 June 2011 - 1007 AM.

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#97 Guest_JamesG123_*

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 2054 PM

A war over the Spratleys between China and the US/Philippines would be very good for a multitude of other actors looking out for the own interests, however.


For whom? The defense contractors and undertakers?

American usage of Japanese bases to fight that war could drag Japan into the conflict.


Only if things go completely pear shaped and the PLAN has so dominated the battle space that they can strike Japanese ports and facilities.

After the dust settles, the United States might be in a position to write off its trillion-dollar credit card debt to the Chinese,


That's really not the way international debt and finance works.

Edited by JamesG123, 16 June 2011 - 2054 PM.

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#98 mnm

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 0803 AM

Is it possible that a war can actually be GOOD for the Philippines?

For many countries, a war is sometimes the catalyst for positive change afterward.


Agreed with the second paragraph, but a war is overkill (literally) if the stated objective is limited to removal of Philipino lawyerly Kim Jong Il lookalikes. This would fulfill the premise in the first paragraph, the UN Sec. Council would look elsewhere, and would be worth a Nobel Peace Prize or two.
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#99 X-Files

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 0943 AM

The Captain of the BRP PF-11, having been served real coffee instead of his usual de-caf, gets trigger happy with the PLAN and his ship becomes the conflict's (first?) unintentional sacrificial lamb.
http://en.wikipedia....Humabon_(PF-11)


As foretold in the prophecies....

Posted Image

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Eduardo Batac denied on Friday that the country was sending its largest warship, BRP Raja Humabon, to the disputed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea.

Batac claimed the Navy ship was merely doing a "routine patrol" of Philippine waters and was not dispatched as a direct response to reports that China had deployed one of its biggest civilian maritime patrol vessels in the area.


http://www.abs-cbnne...patrol-spratlys


*


BEIJING - China's offshore surveillance force will be beefed up to ensure that the country's maritime interests are fully protected amid increasing disputes with its neighbors.

By 2020, a total of 15,000 personnel, compared with 9,000 now, will serve in the China Maritime Surveillance (CMS) force under the State Oceanic Administration, a senior official with the CMS, who declined to be identified, told China Daily.

The CMS air arm will be increased to 16 planes and the patrol fleet will have 350 vessels during the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), the official said, adding that the fleet will have more than 520 vessels by 2020.

Currently, nine aircraft, more than 260 surveillance vessels and 280 law enforcement vehicles are in operation.

The CMS launched the construction of 36 patrol ships and 54 speedboats last year, the official said.

The expansion plan was unveiled as China's biggest civilian maritime patrol ship was sent into the South China Sea to protect national "rights and sovereignty".


http://www.chinadail...nt_12718806.htm

Edited by X-Files, 17 June 2011 - 0953 AM.

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#100 Jeff

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Posted 17 June 2011 - 1102 AM

What's the Raja Humabon supposed to do, bleed on them? :unsure:
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