BY KEVIN DONNELLAN
A small group of uninhabited islands off the Northwestern Philippines is the site of a tense standoff between China and the Philippines over territorial claims. Fox News reports.
“The Chinese ships ordered the Philippine warship to leave Scarborough, claiming Chinese sovereignty over the rich fishing ground. But the warship has stayed put, arguing it is Philippine territory.”
But this dispute is about far more than fishing territory says NTDV.
“The South China Sea is believed to have large oil and gas deposits. China, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have competing claims on sections of the sea.”
Stratfor publishes daily intelligence briefings for Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. It says tensions in the area have been on the rise for some time.
“Vietnam and the Philippines in particular have been more aggressive at offering new areas for forcing investment and expanding production in existing areas. This has drawn the attention and ire of China."
So far the standoff has remained peaceful but state run China Daily contained a veiled warning to its neighbours.
“Beijing's restraint should not be misconstrued, it does not lack the means and resources to act more boldly in defense of its territorial integrity."
Global Nation quotes Gregorio Honasan, a Philippine senator who believes the United States should intervene, citing the Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries.
“Why is the US ominously silent this time,” Honasan said ... We have a problem in Scarborough, how will you help us? Will you help us? Otherwise, what is the treaty for?”