Wednesday, February 21, 2018

“Ignore the missiles”: Duterte says China’s South China Sea militarization is no problem Roilo: Beg your pardon, Sir. Those missiles & fighter planes are aimed at us, among others. They can reach us in minutes. Please ask the NSC & AFP. They know.

“Ignore the missiles”: Duterte says China’s South China Sea militarization is no problem
Roilo: Beg your pardon, Sir. Those missiles & fighter planes are aimed at us, among others. They can reach us in minutes. Please ask the NSC & AFP. They know. 
China continues to claim 90% of our West Philippine Sea and the marine wealth inside like oil, gas and fish. Soon, China will move to build on Scarborough Shoal and convert that into another much bigger military base (the navigable lagoon inside is almost as big as Quezon City) and will use their weapons systems in the existing artificial islands to coerce us.
And even granting, arguendo that it is only the US that is the target of those missiles, why should we allow parts of our Exclusive Economic Zone to be used as a base against a treaty ally, the US?
If we choose to have an independent foreign policy, we should at least be neutral in the superpower conflict and not allow our seas to be used by any of them. via @qz

“Ignore the missiles”: Duterte says China’s South China Sea militarization is no problem


Generally speaking, a sovereign nation dislikes it when a foreign power establishes new military bases within striking range of its capital. But when it comes to China doing just that to the Philippines in the South China Sea, Rodrigo Duterte, it seems, doesn’t mind at all.
The Philippines president, speaking to a crowd of Chinese-Filipino businessmen yesterday (Feb. 19), admitted that China is building military facilities on contested islands near the Philippines. But, he argued, Beijing’s intention was to counter US power in the region, not to inflict harm on his nation.
“It’s really intended for those who China thinks will destroy them and that is America,” he said. “We are not part of it… Ignore the missiles there. They are not for us.”
Critics were quick to pounce. “The Duterte administration still believes in China’s good faith, but any level-headed observer certainly will not,” responded Antonio Carpio, a Supreme Court senior associate justice, to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. That newspaper earlier this month published detailed photos of China’s militarization on contested islands in the sea’s Spratlys archipelago.

Map of China's nine-dash line showing the Spratly and Paracel islands and Scarborough Shoal
A contested sea.

Since becoming president in mid-2016, Duterte has been defeatist, critics contend, about China’s maritime aggression, which has recently included the fortification of militarized manmade islands.
He did little to allay such concerns yesterday. In an apparent joke—and with Chinese ambassador Zhao Jianhua looking on—he said Beijing could make the Philippines a province of China if it wished. He also said the Philippines and China should embark on joint development of his nation’s energy resources, with China getting a third of them.
Such statements, made however lightly, will further anger patriotic Filipinos who believe Manila should put up more resistance to China’s maritime moves. Before Duterte became president, the nation fought a years-long legal battle contesting China’s sweeping territorial claims in the sea. The tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016—and largely invalidated China’s claims—but by then Duterte was newly in power. He soon struck a more conciliatory tone with Beijing, eager to secure investments, loans, and trade deals with the giant.
To be sure, he’s occasionally at least appeared to stand up to Beijing on the South China Sea issue. Last November, while serving in the rotating role of chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he pledged to “carry the voice of ASEAN” and press Chinese president Xi Jinping, whom he was about to meet, on China’s military buildup.
“I have to tell the truth that everybody is worried,” he said at the time. “Those arms, they are not there for any other purpose. They are not decorations. They are there because China would need them.”

Quartz ( is a news website owned by Atlantic Media.[2] It launched in 2012 and operates editions in Africa and India.[3]



According to its press release, the publication's name "Quartz" was chosen for various reasons related to its branding and the unusual combination of two infrequently used letters, "q" and "z" in the title.[4]


On September 24, 2012, Quartz launched its website, The site was designed to deliver contents primarily to users of tablet and mobile. Its founding team members were from news organizations including Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The Economist and The New York Times. According to its website, its team reports in 115 countries and speaks 19 languages.[5] They are led by Kevin Delaney, a former managing director of, Zach Seward, a former WSJ social media editor, and Gideon Lichfield, a global news editor from The Economist, among other editors.[4]
Quartz's main office is located in New York, with correspondents and staff reporters in London, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.[5]
Quartz announced in September 2015 that they attracted 16 million monthly unique visitors, and increased year-to-date revenue by 80%.[6]

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