Philippines Tells China to ‘Back Off’ in South China Sea
The Philippines has told China to “back off” from its territorial zone, reporting that three ships from the Chinese coastguard had blocked and used water cannons on two Filipino supply boats en route to a Philippine-occupied shoal in the disputed South China Sea.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin said on Nov. 18 that the Filipino boats were transporting food supplies to military personnel stationed in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) on Nov. 16 when they were forced to abort the mission.
Second Thomas Shoal lies off western Palawan province in the Philippines’ internationally recognised exclusive economic zone. The Philippines has occupied the shoal since 1999 after intentionally grounding a navy ship on the reef.
“Ayungin Shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), which is an integral part of the Philippines, as well as the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, and over which the Philippines has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction,” Locsin wrote in a statement shared on social media by the foreign ministry.
The Philippine government also condemned the three Chinese coastguard vessels’ illegal actions, directing them to “take the heed and back off,” reminding China that a public vessel is covered under the Philippines-United States Mutual Defence Treaty.
China’s failure “to exercise self-restraint threatens the special relationship” between the two countries, Locsin said, adding that he has conveyed “in the strongest term” to the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines “outrage, condemnation and protest” over the incident.
Japan Tells China Peace, Stability in Taiwan Strait Are Important
TOKYO—Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Thursday emphasised to his Chinese counterpart that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are important, while also expressing “deep concern” about the situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Ties between the two Asian neighbors have been occasionally fraught over a territorial row and memories of World War Two, but Hayashi—who took office this month—said at the time that building stable, constructive ties with China was important.
Hayashi, speaking with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi for the first time, expressed his intention to make efforts towards such ties, Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
But he also said he felt “deep concern” about the situation in the former British colony of Hong Kong, where authorities have been cracking down on pro-democracy politicians, and in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where rights groups say members of a Muslim minority are facing persecution.
The Chinese regime brushes off concerns about human rights in those places.
Hayashi also “emphasized the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” where tension between the self-ruled island of Taiwan and China has been rising, the ministry added.
Federal Agency Started Under Trump And [formerly] headed By Jared Kushner’s College Roommate Hasn’t Used Any Of The $100 Million In Funds Given To Fix The COVID Supply Chain Crisis, Government Watchdog Claims
The International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) was previously headed by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s college roommate, Adam Boehler. Per the Defense Production Act in May 2020, Trump tasked the DFC with doling out $100 million in loans from Pentagon funding through the CARES Act.
Boehler left the agency on Jan. 20, the day of Biden’s inauguration, and was succeeded by Dev Jagadesan.
“The old crow didn’t get old by being the fastest of the birds, or the strongest, or the bravest. He got old by being wily.”