Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Beijing rejects Vietnam protest over South China Sea landing
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 3, 2016

Anti-China protesters return from Philippine-held island
Manila (AFP) Jan 3, 2016 - Nearly 50 young Filipinos returned Sunday from a remote Philippine-held island in the South China Sea where they had staged a week-long protest against Beijing's claims in the disputed waterway.

The group arrived at Pag-asa island on December 26 as part of an effort to stir up popular opposition to China's claim to most of the contested sea, including Pag-asa, also known as Thitu.

The 47 youths have now returned to Palawan island in the Philippines, Joy Ban-eg, a coordinator of the group, confirmed.

Pag-asa island is part of the Spratlys chain in the South China Sea. China claims most of the sea but the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have conflicting claims.

The end of the trip by the 47 Filipino youths coincided with a fresh flare-up between China and claimant Vietnam over the contested sea, as Hanoi accused the Asian giant of landing a plane on a disputed reef.

Beijing insisted the operation took place within Chinese territory.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has said it will also file a protest over the incident.

The youth group, organised by a former navy officer, is called Kalayaan Atin Ito, which translates as "Kalayaan, This Is Ours".

"Kalayaan" is the name of a township established by the Philippines in the Spratlys to assert its territorial claim and is also the Filipino word for freedom.

The Philippine government had previously praised the group's "patriotism" but had urged them not to proceed with the trip, while the youth group had accused the Philippine government of not doing enough to stand up to China.

Photographs of the group, posted on their Facebook page, showed the youths camping on the island and posing with patriotic banners.

Reacting to the trip, the Chinese foreign ministry had previously said it was "strongly dissatisfied with the actions and words of the Philippine side."

Despite having one of the weakest militaries in the region, the Philippines has been vocal in challenging China's claims to the South China Sea, a vital sealane and rich fishing ground which is also believed to hold vast mineral resources.

The Philippines has an international arbitration case now pending in the Hague where it is challenging China's territorial claims, though China has refused to recognise the proceedings.

Beijing has rejected a protest from Vietnam after a Chinese plane landed on a contested reef in the South China Sea, saying the operation took place within Chinese territory.

A Chinese "test flight" landed on Fiery Cross reef, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in an online statement late Saturday. Vietnam also claims the reef.

China has asserted its claim to almost all of the South China Sea by rapidly building artificial islands including airstrips said to be capable of hosting military jets.

It began work in 2014 on a 3,000-metre (9,842 feet) runway on Fiery Cross reef in the Spratlys island group, around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from China's island province of Hainan.

Hua said the test flight was civilian in nature, adding that the "relevant activity falls completely within China's sovereignty".

Hanoi earlier strongly protested at the flight, labelling it a violation of sovereignty which "influences peace and stability in the South China Sea".

"Vietnam resolutely protests China's above-mentioned action, asking China to immediately end while not repeating similar move," said foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh in Hanoi.

Vietnamese officials also said they had asked Beijing to investigate the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a suspected Chinese boat.

The fishermen were around 60 nautical miles from Con Co Island in central Quang Tri province on Friday when a foreign boat crashed into their craft.

The 11 crew members were rescued but the boat sank, the fishermen told the VNExpress news site.

The captain was quoted as saying that he saw Chinese characters on the foreign boat.

Ha Le, deputy head of the Vietnam Fisheries Surveillance Department, told AFP Chinese officials had offered to check on the report if more details became available.

Relations between the communist neighbours have grown tense in recent years over the disputed Spratly and Paracel island chains.

Rioting broke out in Vietnam after Beijing sent an oil rig into contested waters in 2014, and at least three Chinese people were killed.

Since then the two sides have tried to mend relations. China's President Xi Jinping visited Hanoi in November but that visit also saw anti-Chinese protests.

Hanoi has stepped up cooperation with the US, in what analysts say is a hedge against China's rising power.

Several other claimants have also built facilities in the South China Sea but at a slower pace than China.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the Sea, home to strategic shipping lanes as well as substantial oil and gas reserves.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
We have met the enemy and he is us
Washington DC (UPI) Dec 28, 2015
Years ago, Walt Kelly's "Pogo" was a very popular comic strip. Pogo was a swamp creature made famous by his sardonic witticisms about human nature. The strip was immortalized by the declaration that "we have met the enemy and he is us!" Currently, many Americans seem self-absorbed and even obsessed by the fear of Islamist terrorism. The murders in San Bernardino, California and earlier ... read more

Rare full moon on Christmas Day

LADEE Mission Shows Force of Meteoroid Strikes on Lunar Exosphere

XPRIZE verifies moon express launch contract, kicking off new space race

Gaia's sensors scan a lunar transit

NASA suspends March launch of InSight mission to Mars

University researchers test prototype spacesuits at Kennedy

Marshall: Advancing the technology for NASA's Journey to Mars

Opportunity positioned on steeper slopes for another Martian winter

Astronauts Tour Future White Room, Crew Access Tower

ISRO's year in review 2015

Celebrity chefs create gourmet delights for astronauts

15 in '15: NASA's Commercial Crew Program Moves Closer to Flight

China launches HD earth observation satellite

Chinese rover analyzes moon rocks: First new 'ground truth' in 40 years

Agreement with Chinese Space Tech Lab Will Advance Exploration Goals

China launches new communication satellite

British astronaut dials wrong number on Xmas call from space

Space Station Receives New Space Tool to Help Locate Ammonia Leaks

Two whacks is all it takes for spacewalk repair

Unscheduled spacewalk likely on Monday

Russian Proton-M Carrier Rocket With Express-AMU1 Satellite Launched

45th Space Wing launches ORBCOMM; historically lands first stage booster

SpaceX rocket landing opens 'new door' to space travel

NASA orders second Boeing Crew Mission to ISS

Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Monster planet is 'dancing with the stars'

Exoplanets Water Mystery Solved

Nature's masonry: The first steps in how thin protein sheets form polyhedral shells

Infrared encoding of images with metasurfaces

Tooth fillings of the future may incorporate bioactive glass

Port of call at 36,000 KM for in-orbit servicing

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement