Philippines Concerned Over Chinese Radio Warnings To Its Ships And Aircraft In South China Sea

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Philippines Concerned Over Chinese Radio Warnings To Its Ships And Aircraft In South China Sea

On July 30th, the Philippines concerned due to an increasing number of Chinese radio messages sent to Philippine aircraft and ships, as contained in an undisclosed Philippine government report, cited by The Associated Press.

The messages are warnings for the ships to stay away from newly fortified Chinese-made artificial islands which are also claimed by the Philippines, unnamed officials said, cited by The Associated Press.

The report, cited by The Associated Press, said that in the second half of 2017, Philippine military aircraft received Chinese radio warnings at least 46 times while patrolling near artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago.

As reported by The Associated Press, Philippines officials have expressed their concern twice in 2018, the first time being in a meeting with Chinese officials in Manila. The meetings were reportedly focused on the two countries’ unresolved disputes. The Associated Press is citing two officials who have wished to remain anonymous.

China is driving away vessels and aircraft from its artificially created islands in the South China Sea. They were made by transforming seven disputed reefs into islands using dredged sand in the Spratlys. They are in close proximity to islands occupied by Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan. However, Malaysia and Brunei also have a claim on the chain of islands, atolls and islets.

The anonymous officials, cited by The Associated Press, said that the messages used to originate from the Chinese Coast Guard ships since construction of the islands began in 2015. However, unnamed military officials, cited by The Associated Press, suppose that transmissions are now coming from the islands themselves, where there is powerful communications and surveillance technology present, in addition to surface-to-air missiles.

The Associated Press also quoted Philippine air force chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Rio Kintanar Jr. who said: “They do that because of their claim to that area, and we have a standard response and proceed with what we’re doing.”

In April 2017, Chinese forces attempted to radio drive away two Philippines military aircraft. The airplanes were carrying Philippine defense and military chiefs, along with other top security officials and about 40 journalists, to Philippine-occupied Thitu island. The island is located more than 22 kilometers from Subi Reef, which at that point was turned into one of the Chinese artificial islands. Thus, China warned that the Philippine planes were trespassing on their territory, however the aircraft responded that they were flying above Philippine territory.

The US Navy has also reportedly observed an increase in Chinese radio queries to foreign ships and planes that operate in the South China Sea. Cmdr. Clay Doss, a representative for the US 7th Fleet was quoted by The Associated Press: “Our ships and aircraft have observed an increase in radio queries that appear to originate from new land-based facilities in the South China Sea. These communications do not affect our operations.” However, he added that if communications with foreign militaries are unprofessional, “those issues are addressed by appropriate diplomatic and military channels.”

China has repeatedly warned and objected to US activity in the region. However, The Associated Press, in February 2018, cited Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins who said: “International law allows us to operate here, allows us to fly here, allows us to train here, allows us to sail here, and that’s what we’re doing, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

In addition to that, on May 31st during a Department of Defense press briefing, Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. expressed his confidence in US ability to deal with the Chinese outposts in the region in case of an escalation. His words were: “The United States military has had a lot of experience in the Western Pacific taking down small islands. It’s just a fact.”

On May 23rd, the US also rescinded its invitation to China to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (Rimpac) military exercise. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan said the Defense Department has withdrawn its invitation to the Chinese military. His words were: “China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and destabilize the region.” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi condemned the action as “unconstructive.” His words being: “We hope the U.S. will change such a negative mindset, China is only building civilian and some necessary defense facilities on our own islands. That is the right to self-defense and preservation of every sovereign state.” This is the first time since 2014 when China will not participate in Rimpac.

On July 12th, 2016, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled overwhelmingly in favor of claims by the Philippines and is likely to increase global diplomatic pressure on Beijing to scale back military expansion in the South China Sea. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping immediately rejected the decision and said that China’s “territorial sovereignty and marine rights” in the seas shall not be affected. Beijing further argues that it must defend its sovereign territory in the face of increased frequency of US Navy freedom-of-navigation operations in the area. As reported by Business Insider, since the start of the Trump administration more than 6 such operations have been conducted in the region.

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  • Barba_Papa

    >>General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. expressed his confidence in US ability
    to deal with the Chinese outposts in the region in case of an
    escalation. His words were: “The United States military has had a lot of
    experience in the Western Pacific taking down small islands. It’s just a
    fact.”<<

    That was like 70 years ago.That knowledge exists only in paper as the people who actually did it are in retirement homes and slowly but surely dying out. And the really valuable people, who planned those operations, have died already. And as that knowledge only exists on paper, the Chinese have equal access to it.

    In the end past experience is no guarantee for future performance. But please continue to think so, mr. general, when your carriers and amphibious ships are sunk to the bottom your explanations as to why it wasn't an actual failure, but a success, like Iraq and Afghanistan, will be all the sweeter.

    • Joseph Scott

      It’s even more strikingly irrelevant when one considers the size of fleet the USA could build then, which it cannot now. Or the amount of troops they could sacrifice on an amphibious landing back then which they no longer have the troops or the public support for.

      Plenty of those landings were badly handled, like Tarawa. Ironically, the Germans actually conducted the most impressive amphibious assault in WWII, when they stormed the fortifications at Severnaya Bay. But aside from the somewhat overrated nature of the island-hopping campaign, does he really think the planning staffs of the 1940s would be so eager to do business, given a tiny (by their standards) collection of unarmoured ships(!), in the face of modern missiles, submarines and integrated sensor systems? I think they’d rightly consider it a fool’s errand.

      • Barba_Papa

        At the time the US churned out dozens of Essex class carriers, even more light carriers, and at least 3 Midway class carriers, the first of the super carriers we know today, all within a short few years. That capability no longer exists, if only because the US defense industry is consolidated in a few giants that will only get of their asses in exchange for a shitload of US taxpayer’s money, but who would also not broke for any new competition to emerge.

        As for the US public not standing for the same kind of losses it did back then, we have to keep in mind that after the horrors of WWI the public in WWII did expect that there would be significant losses in battle. Losses in the thousands were acceptable as long as progress was being made, although not sustainable indefinitely morale wise. Even in Vietnam losses in the hundreds were acceptable to the public, as long as it thought the war was both just and winnable.

        The one thing that is different today compared to those past wars is that the US army is an all volunteer war. And as Iraq has shown, while people will disapprove of the war, the numbers of casualties do not cause it to rise up against the war like they did in Vietnam, as the burdens of war are no longer being shouldered by US society in general. So in case of a war with China they would have to become excessively large and in really short time for the public to turn against the war in such a way as to become a problem to the US government. The war would also have to be seen as unjust and unwinnable.

        • Joseph Scott

          The public reacts to losses in much the same way the military does in battle: the shock effect is proportionate to the rate of losses in time. High losses in short time frames create a much larger effect than the same or larger losses spread out over years.

          The casualties sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan were not only less than Vietnam by an order of magnitude, they were also stretched out over an equally lengthy time frame. But attacking Chinese islands would see major losses, hundreds if not thousands, in days or weeks. I don’t think that would sell well to the public. We haven’t had a battle were the US bodycount topped 100 since Vietnam. Even the 2nd Battle of Fallujah only had 82 killed. As long as the dead come in a slow trickle, people ignore them, but I think that something more intense, especially if the Chinese could get lurid video footage of burning ships and dead bodies strewn across beaches onto the internet, would provoke a significant reaction.

          • Barba_Papa

            We will see. It remains hypothetical though as both countries are nuclear powers and nuclear powers don’t go to war with each other. As unlike the average brown country in the 3rd world a nuclear power has the means to lay serious waste to any attacker’s homeland. So in that vein all this talk about confronting China militarily is just waxing rhetorically in order to raise cash for the military industrial complex.

  • Ronald

    Associated Press; ah yes Rothschild has the boys stir the pot. Much ado about nothing.
    China will sit down with Vietnam and the Philippines and they will work out treaties concerning off-shore resources.

  • Lazy Gamer

    Just a correction: The Philippines treat the tribunal’s decision as an overwhelming victory but this is far from the actual truth. One should note that the Philippines claims these islands as their very own territory. Past presidents have laid the basis for these, people have settled in some parts, islands were staffed with military, and the general narrative is – it is their actual territory.
    However, the decision of the tribunal obliterates all of these. It declares the area as an area where the Philippines merely has rights to its resources and China violates the same.

    In essence, the administrative and political institution placed there is obliterated from the map, the military base is illegal, and it is not Philippine territory.

    Because of sad brainwashing, the decision has not been appealed, lol

    However, the Philippines claims it won, BUT actually repudiates the decision by continuing to maintain military installations thereon, continuing the existence of administrative and political institutions thereon, and solely claims the resources on the area. All three acts just fuckin say, we dont respect the decision.

    It therefore has no standing to condemn China to abide by the decision when it itself does not do so. Hypocrisy much.

    Ever wonder why other countries conduct FONOPS or patrols there without asking for Philippine permission? Because yes, it is not Philippine territory. It is however a chokepoint of goods and oil which the powers that be desire to control.

    And no, this is not a 2nd ripost even if people may hate. lol