Author Topic: China survey ships @ Benham Rise  (Read 2698 times)

Ayoshi

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China survey ships @ Benham Rise
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:42:16 AM »
* Benham Rise

China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise | Philstar - March 10, 2017
Quote
MANILA, Philippines - Chinese survey ships have not only conducted oceanographic research at Recto or Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea but also at Benham Rise in the Pacific, which has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana bared yesterday.

Lorenzana described China’s latest move as “very concerning” and said he had ordered the Navy to accost and drive away the service ship from Benham Rise if it is seen again.

He also said the Philippines lodged a diplomatic protest to assert its ownership of Benham Rise.

“Last year, they were monitored there for about three months,” Lorenzana said, referring to the Chinese.

< snipped >

Asked why the ships might be surveying in Benham Rise, Lorenzana said he received information the vessels were “looking for a place to put submarines.”

Lorenzana said based on obtained satellite monitoring, the Chinese service ship had to sail from Benham Rise to Surigao City and dock to have one of their sailors undergo hospital treatment after an accident.

“When he (Chinese sailor) got well, he left for China,” Lorenzana said.

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass believed to be potentially rich in mineral and natural gas deposits.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:21:58 AM by Ayoshi »

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 07:52:29 AM »
Wary of China, Duterte tells navy to build 'structures' east of PH
Manuel Mogato, Reuters
Posted at Mar 13 2017 06:11 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2017 08:59 PM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/03/13/17/wary-of-china-duterte-tells-navy-to-build-structures-east-of-ph

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the navy to put up "structures" to assert sovereignty over a stretch of water east of the country, where Manila has reported a Chinese survey ship was casing the area last year.

The Philippines has lodged a diplomatic protest with Beijing after the vessel was tracked moving back and forth over Benham Rise, a vast area east of the country declared by the United Nations in 2012 as part of the Philippines' continental shelf.
The Philippines says Benham Rise is rich in biodiversity and fish stocks.

China's foreign ministry on Friday said the ship was engaged in "normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage", and nothing more.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Duterte's instruction was to increase naval patrols in that area and put up structures "that says this is ours". He did not specify what structures would be erected.

"We are concerned, they have no business going there," Lorenzana told reporters late on Sunday.
Though he accepts China's explanation, Lorenzana said it was clear its vessel was not passing through the area because it stopped several times, for sustained periods.

Lorenzana last week said he was suspicious of China's activities near Benham Rise and suggested they might be part of surveys to test water depths for submarine routes to the Pacific.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 08:09:08 AM »
From days past

INVOKING ‘RIGHT OF INNOCENT PASSAGE’
China dismisses PHL concerns over its ships’ activities in Benham Rise
Published March 10, 2017 6:38pm
BEIJING — China on Friday dismissed concerns expressed by the Philippine defense minister over what he believed to be survey missions by its ships deep into the southeast Asian nation's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Amid a warming relationship, President Rodrigo Duterte has frequently praised China, but Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has remained openly suspicious, saying it has continued its fortification of manmade islands inside the Philippine EEZ.

Lorenzana said Chinese ships were monitored in recent months at locations near the Philippines, with a warship spotted 70 miles off its western coast in the South China Sea and survey ships seen to the north and south of its eastern seaboard.

He said satellite imagery provided by allies had tracked Chinese vessels for three months last year in Benham Rise, a vast area the United Nations has declared to be part of the Philippines' continental shelf.

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/602731/news/world/china-dismisses-phl-concerns-over-its-ships-activities-in-benham-rise#sthash.rbuBgpUj.dpuf

===

DFA to wait for China's official response on Benham Rise issue
Published March 11, 2017 2:47pm
Despite Malacañang's misgivings over the presence of a Chinese service ship in Benham Rise, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) remain steadfast in their decision to wait for China's official word on the incident.

"We will await the response of the Chinese side to our Note through official channels," Foreign Affairs Asec. Charles Jose said in a brief statement on Saturday.

Jose's statement came a day after Beijing dismissed the concerns expressed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana over China's survey missions into Benham Rise, a 13-million hectare undersea region of northern Luzon considered to be a biodiversity hotspot.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, confirmed that its research ships passed through seas northeast of Luzon.

However, he asserted they were merely carrying out "normal freedom of navigation and right of innocent passage" and "no so-called other activities or operations."

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/602816/news/nation/dfa-to-wait-for-china-s-official-response-on-benham-rise-issue#sthash.A8ORki38.dpuf

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 11:07:10 PM »
Philippine has sovereign rights but not sovereignty over Benham Rise
March 14, 2017

http://asiamaritime.net/philippine-has-sovereign-rights-but-not-sovereignty-over-benham-rise/

The Philippine has sovereign rights over Benham Rise but the country does not have sovereignty over it, this is the clarification made by stanched West Philippine Sea defender Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as shared by former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan III.

“Benham rise is not part of Philippine national territory because we do not have sovereignty over Benham Rise. However, we have sovereign rights (less than sovereignty) over Benham Rise because we have exclusive right to explore and exploit the oil, gas and other mineral resources in Benham Rise which has been confirmed by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf as part of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) of the Philippines (which is outside Philippine EEZ),” Carpio said in Alunan’s post.

According to UNCLOS, “the continental shelf of a coastal State comprises the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas that extend beyond its territorial sea throughout the natural prolongation of its land territory to the outer edge of the continental margin, or to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea.”

Moreover, Article 77 Paragraph 1 of UNCLOS says “the coastal State exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources.”

Further, Article 78 Paragraph 2 says “the exercise of the rights of the coastal State over the continental shelf must not infringe or result in any unjustifiable interference with navigation and other rights and freedoms of other States as provided for in this Convention.”

Jusctice Carpio added that “other states, like China, have the right to conduct in Benham rise (1) fishery research because the fish in the ECS belongs to mankind; (2) surveys on water salinity and water currents because the water column in the ECS belongs to mankind; and (3) depth soundings for navigational purposes because there is freedom of navigation in the ECS.”

He noted that if the Chinese vessels were looking for submarine passages and parking spaces, that would be part of freedom of navigation and the Philippines has no reason to complain. Adding that if the Chinese vessels were conducting seismic surveys to look for oil, gas and minerals, then they could not do that because UNLCOS has reserved the oil, gas and minerals in the ECS to the Philippines.

< Edited >

12th BCT

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 11:19:51 PM »
Justice Carpio speaks truth.

Given this, exploring Benham Rise should be given priority and assigned resources.

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 10:50:55 PM »
Benham Rise and ‘sovereign rights’
BY THE MANILA TIMES   ON   MARCH 16, 2017

EDITORIAL
   
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has received brickbats from various quarters for being unruffled at the report of his defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, that Chinese survey ships were spotted last year at Benham Rise, an undersea area off the coast of Aurora that is part of the Philippines’ maritime boundaries. The criticisms hint at a lack of basic understanding of the subject matter.

< Edited >

Did that make Benham Rise part of Philippine territory? Not so fast. Beyond the 12-nautical-mile territorial sea where the country can undoubtedly exercise sovereignty under UNCLOS, the Philippines can only invoke “sovereign rights” – a lesser right that nevertheless allows the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of natural resources.

Under UNCLOS, the Philippines has the automatic right to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone beyond its territorial sea, a fact upheld by the July 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

To be able to exercise sovereign rights over Benham Rise, however, the Philippines had to seek approval from the UN to declare the area part of its extended continental shelf, which can reach up to 350 nautical miles from the landmass.

UNCLOS states that a coastal state “exercises over the continental shelf sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting its natural resources…exclusive in the sense that if the coastal State does not explore the continental shelf or exploit its natural resources, no one may undertake these activities without the express consent of the coastal State.”

Filipinos won’t even be able to fish over Benham. Natural resources in the continental shelf means “mineral and other non-living resources of the seabed and subsoil together with living organisms belonging to sedentary species,” meaning clams and shellfish that can hardly move at the bottom of the sea.

Duterte is thus correct not to make a big fuss of Lorenzana’s report, especially as the President has confirmed that Beijing had advised Manila beforehand on the activities of its vessels at the Benham Rise region. China is not even claiming Benham Rise.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 10:52:54 PM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 08:52:35 PM »
China recognizes PHL sovereign rights over Benham Rise —DFA chief
Published March 15, 2017 11:39am
Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Wednesday that China recognizes Philippine sovereign rights over the Benham Risearea, and that Beijing is not going to claim ownership of the undersea plateau off eastern Luzon coast.

In an Interview on "News To Go,"  Manalo said that while the Department of Foreign Affairs was awaiting an official response from Beijing regarding sightings of research ships in the Benham Rise, China sent a word recognizing Philippine sovereign rights over the area.

"'Yun nga ang kina-clarify namin, but ... China has already informed us that they do recognize our sovereignty rights and they are not disputing Benham Rise," Manalo said.

< Edited >

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/603303/news/nation/china-recognizes-phl-sovereign-rights-over-benham-rise-dfa-chief#sthash.hbqGBymV.dpuf

Manokski

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 10:01:28 PM »
Quid pro quo? Benham in exchange for West Philippine sea?

adroth

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2017, 06:41:51 PM »
Quid pro quo? Benham in exchange for West Philippine sea?

Nope. This will help

https://youtu.be/77qewVIdo3c

Ayoshi

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Re: China survey ships spotted at Benham Rise
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 09:27:48 PM »
PH objects to China’s naming of PH Rise features | ABS-CBN news - Feb 14 2018
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"We object and do not recognize the Chinese names given to some undersea features in the Philippine Rise. Per our Philippine embassy in Beijing, they have already raised our concern to China,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

* China named 5 undersea features at PH Rise, says expert

Dr. Jay Batongbacal, an associate professor at the University of the Philippines College of Law and director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said in a Facebook post Monday that the International Hydrographic Organization approved in 2017 the names proposed by China.

El_Filibusterismo1978

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Re: China survey ships @ Benham Rise
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 03:27:13 AM »
https://beta.philstar.com/headlines/2018/02/15/1788111/china-insists-naming-sea-features-benham-rise

Citing rules of the organization naming undersea geographic features, Beijing insisted that they can submit naming proposals on features in Benham or Philippine Rise.

****

The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that Beijing is engaged in relevant work in the region in accordance with international practices and the rules of the International Hydrographic Organization-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (IHO-IOC GEBCO) Sub-Committee on Undersea Feature Names (SCUFN).

"According to the deliberation rules of this organization, the relevant countries and individuals may submit naming proposals on the unnamed undersea features which are twelve nautical miles away from the littoral states," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press conference Wednesday.

"Meanwhile, we also hope that the relevant parties can view relevant technological work with a professional and responsible attitude," Geng said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also noted that the sub-committee is specialized in establishing standards on naming undersea features.



Ayoshi

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Re: China survey ships @ Benham Rise
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2018, 02:41:22 AM »
Esperon: China surveyed Benham Rise without permit in 2004 | GMA news - February 26, 2018
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At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Esperon said China's maritime scientific research (MSR) in the waters east of Luzon "did not go through the process."

"[They] conducted MSR in our area in 2004. It did not go through the process, they had no permit," said Esperon, a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Esperon admitted Manila did not know of the trespass at the time "for reasons of our capacity and capabilities to monitor the area."

While claiming they are "very much concerned," he said the Philippine Navy has "sufficient but limited capabilities."

He said the MSR in 2004 led to China naming five of the undersea features in the rise. The Chinese names have since been approved by an International Hydrographic Organization.

The Philippines submitted in 2008 a territorial claim over the Benham Rise as part of its extended continental shelf. The United Nations approved the claim in 2012.

According to geopolitical expert Professor Jay Batongbacal, China should have asked permission from the Philippine government in 2004 even if the Benham Rise claim was approved in 2012.

"The surveys were within our EEZ (exclusive economic zone), which we had claimed as early as 1978. UNCLOS' entry into force in 1994 essentially recognized that EEZ, so we had jurisdiction over EEZ/CS within 200 (nautical miles)  from that time," Batongbacal said.

"China should have secured permission even during that time," he added.

Earlier this year, China was granted permission to conduct what Filipino scientists have claimed was a research on ocean currents.

The drew criticisms because of China's claims in most of the South China Sea in the western side of the archipelago.

Ayoshi

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Re: China survey ships @ Benham Rise
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 02:37:37 AM »
PH to contest Chinese names of Philippine Rise features | ABS-CBN news - Feb 28 2018
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In a press briefing on Wednesday morning, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said the government raised the unauthorized research conducted by the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences during bilateral consultations held last February 13 in Manila.

"Both sides agreed that all marine science research henceforth have the consent of the Philippines," he said.

Maritime law expert Dr. Jay Batongbacal earlier revealed that the International Hydrographic Organization approved in 2017 the names of 5 undersea features proposed by China at the Philippine Rise or commonly known as Benham Rise. It is roughly the size of Greece and believed to be rich in biodiversity and tuna.

Ayoshi

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Re: China survey ships @ Benham Rise
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 05:06:17 PM »
Philippines loses bid to void Chinese names for Benham Rise features | Philstar - April 30, 2018
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MANILA, Philippines — The government's recent protest over China's naming of five features in Philippines-controlled underwater region Benham Rise came too late after years of inaction.

In a letter to an overseas office of the Department of Foreign Affairs on March 6, 2018 seen by Philstar.com, the International Hydrographic Organization refused to reverse the approval of Chinese proposals to name undersea features Haidongqing Seamount, Jinghao Seamount, Tianbao Seamount, Jujiu Seamounts and Cuiqiao Hill.

The letter was in response to the Philippine delegation to UNESCO's request dated February 28, 2018 to nullify the names. The Philippines argued that it had jurisdiction over the features under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS.

The country also argued that China conducted an underwater survey in Benham Rise in 2004 that led to the naming of the features without the Philippines' consent.

Hans Werner Schenke, chair of the IHO's Sub-committee on Undersea Feature Names or SCUFN, was quick to point out that UNCLOS has "legally no explicit effect with regard to the naming of undersea features in EEZs."

China's proposals followed all guidelines and rules of his office, Schenke explained. To grant the Philippines' request after the names have been adopted would give precedence to other possible revisions based on different interpretations.

Even if one country's naming of features in other countries' EEZs does not signify its rights over them, the Philippines lost the chance to make more relevant parts of its own maritime domain.