Philippines transforms Thitu Island into a logistics hub and promotes patrols in the South China Sea

The Philippine Army plans to transform its island of Titu as a logistics hub to promote sovereign patrols and increase surveillance around the area during the Chinese administration’s invasion of the South China Sea.

The announcement was made after about 220 Chinese vessels were moored at the Whitson Reef in dispute on March 21. Hua Chunying, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, said at a press conference on March 22nd.

Cirilito Sobejana, Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, has revealed that some of the Chinese ships remain on the cattle reefs claimed by the Philippines, China and Vietnam.

According to the latest report, 287 maritime militia vessels from China invaded the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on May 12.

Sobejana said in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines On May 10, the Philippine Army plans to turn Titu Island into a logistics hub and install high-resolution, night-vision surveillance cameras to improve surveillance.

About 298 miles (480 km) west of the country’s Puerto Princesa, Thitu Island (also known as Thitu Island) is the second largest naturally occurring Spratly Islands and among the Philippine-managed islands. Is the largest.

With that logistics hub, Sobejana said their naval vessels would not have to go a long way back to the port of Puerto Princesa on Palawan to refuel and procure supplies. ..

At least 10 naval vessels have been deployed to conduct sovereign patrols and monitor the Western Philippine Sea under the order of the Ministry of Defense (DND), Sobejana said.

The Philippine government has designated the Western Philippine Sea as the eastern part of the South China Sea and is part of the country’s EEZ.

In addition, Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on May 6 that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was in urgent need of more multirole fighters amid deteriorating regional conditions. Philippine News Agency (PNA).

“We are pushing ahead with the acquisition of multirole fighters as is. [a] Lorenzana said in a speech during an air defense training held at Cesar Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga on May 6. ..

The PNA reported that DND plans to acquire at least 12 multirole fighter units to enhance the PAF’s air defense capabilities.

For years, territorial disputes over the disputed waters of the South China Sea have challenged diplomatic relations between Beijing and Manila. However, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte is usually reluctant to confront China’s administration as it seeks to balance its economic ties with China. He has been criticized by many Filipinos for refusing to put pressure on China by respecting the groundbreaking 2016 arbitral award that clarified Philippine sovereignty in the EEZ.

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands, ruled that China “has no historical rights” based on the “Nine-dash Line” map. However, Beijing has never granted a referee’s decision.

On May 10, Duterte said in a television speech that his country had accepted the COVID-19 vaccine from China, but that it did not mean that Manila would compromise with Beijing over its claim to sovereignty over the West Philippines Sea.

On May 3, Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. protested Manila’s alleged “warlike” behavior of Chinese ships in the waters, in blasphemous words on his personal Twitter account. Blew up China. Locsin apology He later specifically stated to his Chinese Wang Yi that his apology went only to the king.

From April 24th to 25th, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted an exercise on the disputed Scarborough Shoal, which claims Manila is unique and within the 200-mile EEZ.But they faced aggressive China Coast Guard. Beijing considers Scarborough Shoal as part of its territory.

As of April 26, the Philippines had submitted 78 diplomatic protests According to official data, Duterte has been against China since taking office in 2016.