Chinese militia warships back in force at Whitsun Reef in PH waters as China moves deeper into Pariah Zone



Fishermen along the West Philippine Sea coastline of the Philippines are baring their teeth on the mention of “Xi Jinping” or “China”.

FPMag asked Captain Manny ‘what’s happening’? He is a coastal Philippines fisherman FPMag  has spoken with many times on the Whitsun Reef matter off the west Philippines coast, and he was livid.

Increasing coal production in defiance of COP26; threatening Taiwan with invasion; snubbing all global leaders at the G20 and the COP26; invading Philippines territories; harassing Philippines fisher folk; sinking Filipino’s fishing vessels; so  what is the street vernacular for psychopath? That was the fishing boat captain’s response.

With due respect for Captain Manny,  FPMag chose the word “pariah” for this article. Xi Jinping is rapidly becoming a pariah in Asia by his own words, threats and actions. Xi Jinping is edging toward alienating much of the planet, thinks the good Captain.

China’s maritime militia continues to invade Philippines’ waters and nobody is smiling. Anger is beginning to brew in Manila.

In the past 48 hours, commercial satellite imagery has been showing that China has progressively moved dozens of large (17 meters+) militia warships into the Whitsun Reef area within the Philippines Extended Economic Zone.

Chinese militia boats and China Coast Guard, far from China’s shores, have been harassing Philippines and Vietnamese fisher folk as they set out to their traditional fishing grounds.

Xi Jinoping, Pariah

Increasing coal production in defiance of COP26, threatening Taiwan with invasion, snubbing all global leaders, invading Philippines territories, harassing fisher folk: what is the street vernacular for psychopath?
Photo from COP26 Video. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto FPMag

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte seems to have dumped China as a potential ally versus the United States and has renewed the alliance with America in the first half of 2021.

Since 2016, many promises were made by China for infrastructure development in  the Philippines. The Philippines is still waiting.

However, a glance at records indicates that the Philippines is indebted to China for as much or more than .7 billion US dollars for infrastructure building that has not been completed since 2016. The situation may be worse than this, since publicly available data is scanty while the experiences of other nations, like Vietnam, are instructive with dire warnings of debt traps.

“I announce my separation from the US,” President Duterte had said in 2016 after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping. That has now been reversed in 2021, “hopefully not too late for the Philippines,” says Captain Manny’s wife who is also a sea captain.

The Philippines, as has been the case with Vietnam, is learning that the China-loan-funded projects have huge cost overruns, enormous delays, and fail completion deadlines well before financial repayment must begin for the loans. The outcome is sovereignty reduction as the indebted countries fall into debt traps and are then beholding to China which holds the markers over the heads of indebted nations’ leaders. That may sound cynical but at least a dozen projects FPMag has researched exhibit the same characteristics, or similar flaws.

Whitsun Reef 1 Nov 2021

Whitsun Reef (a.k.a.: Julian Felipe Reef, Philippines) One November 2021. Larger Vessels are Chinese militia warships although China claims these are fishing boats. FPMag correspondents have closely examined the vessels and shown photgraphs to experts. They are not fishing boats as they do not have even a fishing rod among them. Some vessels have been present since the March-April 2021 invasion  of some 200 Chinese militia vessels nearby Whitsun Reef which is inside Philippines Extended Economic Zone (EEZ) and claimed PH territory. Photo Creedit: Planet Labs Inc. Commercial Satellite Imagery

“A total of 153 out of the 211 notes verbales filed over Chinese actions in the South China Sea since the start of the Duterte administration have been filed in 2021 alone, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

“The agency made the disclosure a day after it posted on Twitter a statement protesting China’s “provocative acts” against Philippine authorities patrolling the country’s waters.

“The latest protest was issued on September 30, so yes the incidents in August are covered, but these types of warnings are SOP (standard operating procedure) by the Chinese just as our Coast Guards also issue warnings. The tweet was issued (October 20) upon instructions,” DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez told reporters.
Citing Rodrigo Duterte-run News Agency

Video: A view from the gunnels of the China Militia Vessels in spring 2021.

Whitsinn Reef on 14 December 2020

Photo Credit: Simularity Inc.
A large number of vessels are seen here at Whitsun Reef on December 14, 2020.
What it looks like, says a Vietnamese fishing boat captain, “is that they are about to build another military base”.