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South China Sea thoughts?

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by SpartanSG, Jul 14, 2012.

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  1. Sampanviking

    Sampanviking Banned Member

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    I would hazard the guess; given the rampant corruption within all Institutions of the Philippines, that this incident has less to do with maintaining territorial integrity and far more to good old fashioned extortion. - Meaning that Freelancing Coastguards extort "fines" from Fishing Boats and turn nasty when refused.

    Its not he first time that I have heard the Philippines Coast Guard and Piracy mentioned in an unflattering way, in the same sentence. Its not the first time that a Taiwanese Fisherman has died in a hail of automatic fire from them either.

    Will China exploit this incident in pursuit of its claims? You betcha!
     
  2. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In the interest of fairness, you may want to consider providing a source to support this position with precision rather than a general position on all institutions, unless you are prepared to lay the groundwork. In this shooting-at-sea incident, it is the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (vessel number: PCG-BFAR MCS-3001 - a 115.45 ton vessel that is over 30 m in length) that is entity responsible and the reported Philippine version of events has inherent defects and on the face of it, not credible without more details. In contrast, the Taiwanese fishing vessel, Kuang Ta Hsing No. 28, was a 15.15 ton vessel this is 14.7 m in length.

    For those who would defend such the version of events as reported in the Philippine press, as 'complete', IMHO are not reasonable people. This is why an investigation is being demanded by Taiwan and Philippine transparency on on this area will help with managing mutual concerns.

    The last thing the Philippines need is a gun battle or ramming incident with the Taiwanese Navy. When the Philippine law enforcement agencies start shooting at civilians of another country, they cannot claim to want to settle maritime disputes peacefully. This is such a own goal. This shooting-at-sea incident once again demonstrates the incompetence of the Philippine Government in the area of crisis management (its chronic misguided sense of self-importance and lack of urgency in a crisis). This incompetence will again have unfortunate consequences for their citizens abroad and make life more difficult than necessary for those seeking to leave Philippines to earn a living in Taiwan.

    I understand that there are legitimate concerns about freedom of navigation in contested waters, given the stated position of the Philippine Government. The urgent need to prevent further unnecessary deaths of fishermen in the South China Sea should provide scope for increased and robust unilateral Taiwanese patrols in areas of dispute in the EEZ boundaries between Taiwan and Philippines (which has already occurred). Taiwan's navy is fully capable of protecting its EEZ interests on its own, in this case. It is currently a bilateral, government-to-government issue between Philippines and Taiwan. If Taiwan does not over play its hand in military escalation options (as it cannot be seen as attacking naval vessels of an ally of the US), it should have a free-hand to use soft-power escalation options with longer term effects.

    US and the other 9 ASEAN members should remain neutral in this dispute, unless the military aspect escalates out of control. The stating of neutrality by external parties should introduce an element of caution in the calculations of both parties in the dispute. External party neutrality will be seen as a favourable outcome for Taiwan by the Taiwanese, as the stronger naval power with a defence budget that is at least 5 times larger than the Philippines; and I suspect this would be their goal, in their escalation options. Pinoy pride is likely to prevent a quick settlement that may result in a period of hostility and tensions. The second and third order effects following from the incident is unfortunate and counter-productive for countries sharing a maritime border.

    In the case of the People's Republic of China (PRC), its a wild card that I would not want to venture a guess as to future actions. IMO, the 10 May 2013, a Global Times editorial opinion gives us an insight to CCP concerns. Any early PRC intervention may complicate matters for Taiwan; and may not be appreciated.

    See news quote below for the latest Taiwanese developments:

    The Taiwanese Government's hand has been forced by the use of undiplomatic words of the Philippine Government spokesperson in public comments after the shooting-at-sea incident. Over the weekend, Taiwan will muster its political, economic and military power to bear against the Philippine Government, until they back-down from their current position. Due to domestic imperatives, the Taiwanese KMT Government under President Ma has no choice but to keep increasing the pressure on the Philippines to get a satisfactory outcome for Taiwan, but Pinoy pride and sense of self-importance will prevent them from backing down from their position (or negotiating to generate a mutually acceptable compromise). Consequently, as a second order effect, Philippine international credibility will be damaged by their insistence on their position without due regard to the legitimate concerns of Taiwan, which benefits PRC in the long run. US and the international community attention span is limited. They will develop greater selective deafness to the Philippines and their petty fishery disputes, as the Taiwan lobby in the US goes to work to protect Taiwanese interests (however Taiwan may define them) for the long haul as a third order effect. It is unfortunate that the Philippine Government may not appreciate the sophistication, funding and patience of the Taiwan lobby in the US.

    For context, Taiwan has already inked a fisheries agreement with Japan, to ensure that the existing maritime dispute with Japan does not flare-up. They were trying to do the same with the Philippines. Given that this is the not the first shooting incident, Taiwan cannot proceed with an agreement with the Philippines with an attitude for compromise on the conditions set by President Ma. See this latest news: "Taiwan issues 3-day ultimatum, threatens to freeze hiring of Pinoy workers." The mess has been escalated by the media in Taiwan, which adopts the attitude of PRC and many Taiwanese watching these reports are not aware of the way Taiwanese fishing boats plunder the waters of other nations. The good news about this storm in a tea cup is the level of sanctions. If this is done for a short duration, it amounts to a slap on the wrist in the bigger scheme of things.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  3. db2646

    db2646 Banned Member

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    Why will the Philippines government be concerned with Taiwan's "hiring freeze" of Pinoy Workers? Most of those filipinos employed in Taiwan are household help (maids) anyway? As if they are making big bucks like engineers, bank executives and/or factory workers? The Taiwanese government will be making a big mistake if they take revenge on these lowly paid workers? Then the Taiwanese elites will have to do household responsibilities themselves. This is an very laughable sanction if anyone even calls it as such?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  4. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    A significant amount of funding comes into the Philippines as remittances from the roughly 10 mil. overseas Filippino workers (OFW). ~75,000 are in Taiwan, with about two-thirds of those working in the manufacturing sector, with the other third covering home/personal care.

    Even if the OFW's are not making 'big bucks' if the income when adjusting for cost of living, travel, EFT's, etc it seems to be economically advantageous to work overseas for periods of time, vs. trying to work domestically.

    -Cheers
     
  5. Sampanviking

    Sampanviking Banned Member

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    I think the concept of the Philippines being one of the most corrupt nations in SE Asia will hardly come as a revelation to anyone.
    If anyone really has doubts they are free to follow this link:
    Transparency International - Country Profiles

    Or read the words of this Gentleman
    Corruption in the Philippines is "like a dagger pointed at our hearts," Manila's archbishop says - Vatican Insider

    The point being that there is a generally accepted high level of corruption throughout the country, which lends itself to those in positions of authority to exploit that authority for personal gain. This itself leads to the idea that this incident looks more like a an unauthorised "shakedown" of the Taiwanese Fisherman gone wrong, rather than a more official policy from Manilla, which was my main point.

    I would extend it by saying that I would not be surprised to see both the PLAN and the Taiwanese Navy extend Anti Piracy protection to each others Fishermen or indeed to initiate Anti Piracy patrols in the general region.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  6. db2646

    db2646 Banned Member

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    Just wonder if you have any proof that 10 million Filipino workers are working overseas? Really, 50,000 are working in the manufacturing sector in Taiwan? I would think that 25,000 may work in manufacturing capacity or another, and the 50,000 are mainly household help and some that are lucky enough work in hospitals as nurse's aides although they have professional degrees?

    [Mod edit: Official warning issued. You have been unprofessional in your responses to other members and the Mod Team, while pretending to be a victim. This pattern of laying blame will stop or admin sanctions will be applied.

    The issue at hand is your noted lack of professionalism in a number of discussions across different threads. Lack of knowledge should not prevent you from learning. You have a track record of being resistant to learning in this forum, despite the demonstrated patience of other members in explaining the basics to you. I am frankly stunned by your demonstrated lack of reasoning ability for an adult; and and lack of emotional maturity in almost every thread. Try to read the threads you post in, rather than jumping in without reading.

    Read more, or you are not suited to be a member here.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  7. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And I - in turn - would like to see if you have any proof to support the sort of numbers you are talking about; 25,000 working in manufacturing and 50,000 "mainly household help".
     
  8. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You disagreed with his figures and trumped up some yourself, I was enquiring what sort of evidence you have to lead you to that sort of conclusion, that is all.

    As to why I didn't ask Tod, despite your attempt to make it look as though I've played favourites, the simple answer is this; this isn't a topic I have much interest in. So when I did read it however for the first time a few minues ago, you have already asked Tod for the proof and I thought it would be pointless to ask the same again (Would you not agree?). Also, I generally find that when there's a dispute and one party wants evidence from the other, that the asker should also provide the evidence as to why he is disputing it.

    There you have it, no favouritism, just lack of interest. Just so you know, I was a newbie once too (and still am in many regards), no links to anything defence related at all and I still don't, but I still had evidence to hand to substantiate what I was saying. It's a habit I've picked up at university; referencing
     
  9. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bit contradictory, don't you think. Everyone gets a chance to voice their opinions except us mods who need to keep our noses out? So because i'm a moderator I suddenly lose the right to get involved too?

    In any case, I wasn't giving my "2 cents", I was asking you for evidence which gave you the confidence to just disregard Tod's numbers and create some yourself, which I have yet so see. (Just to emphasise, I want to know why you disagreed with what he was saying. I'm not saying he's right, what i'm saying is what evidence do YOU have to make you think you are right)

    I'm a member of this forum, just as much as everyone else, and as such have just as much right to interject in the chatter if I find something to comment on as anyone else. Which means when I see someone telling someone else that they are wrong, I want to see the evidence presented. I joined this forum to discuss, and now apparently because my name is in red I'm not allowed to do so "in your opinion"?

    Anyway, i'm done with this thread, seems like getting someone to back up their talk is more of a challenge than it's worth
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  10. gf0012-aust

    gf0012-aust Grumpy Old Man Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    If anyone wants to challenge the Mods direction they can do it via PM's or either Web or the Mod Team

    public chat will be deleted forthwith

    This is a private forum with established rules of behaviour. read them, accept them or leave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2013
  11. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    A few things. For those questioning numbers provided, a few minutes of googling can often yield results. Most of the time when people are requested to provide sources, it is because the available information does not match up with the figures claimed.

    Having said that, there is something which needed clarification and correction. It turns out where I first looked for information did not differentiate between between Filipinos working overseas, or Filipinos born in the Philippines but settling overseas. The actual numbers I am now getting of both Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and Filipinos who have settled overseas is ~10.5 mil. A source for that can be found here.

    Now per official Philippines gov't figures, there are ~2.2 mil. OFW's, that figure is available from the Census office here. Keep in mind though an OFW is a rather specific designation by the gov't, which means that there likely more Filipinos working overseas, some might not be recognized as such by their gov't.

    Making a calculation based off the official gov't figures for OFW's in Taiwan, it appears that there are ~82,000. In terms of check what they were doing, getting documented sources becomes more difficult, since the gov't appears only to be reporting 'new hires' but for the year 2010 as found here on page #46, for the positions which fell within the title PRODUCTION AND RELATED WORKERS ( N E C ), there were 20,211 New Hires in 2010.

    Now one thing which must be kept in mind when talking about OFW's is that it really does not matter what position they have when they are working overseas. What matters is whether they can earn enough while working overseas to be able to save/remit more money than they could have net earned had they stayed in the Philippines. Looking at the numbers here, it appears that in 2011, OFW's remitted ~US$146 mil. or averaging out to about US$1,788 sent or brought back to the Philippines from each OFW in Taiwan. Given that the the per capita GDP of the Philippines (PPP) in 2011 was ~$4,100 In fact, overseas remittances accounts for ~10% of the Philippines' GDP according to a number of sources.

    For a nearby country like Taiwan to consider making more difficult for OFW's to either come to work, or send/bring money back, that is something which the Philippine gov't needs to be mindful of. Especially with concerns about the world economy shrinking, making it more difficult/less profitable for OFW's and thus flow-on impacts to the Philippine GDP and standard of living.

    -Cheers
     
  12. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Mod Team notes that the first link db2646 references is from the NY Times, though Taiwan sources have more details on the shooting-at-sea, incident by a Philippine law enforcement agency. Further, db2646 has converted a shooting-at-sea incident between Taiwan and Philippines into a racial incident, via a series of questions. We note that countries are not individuals or people.

    db2646 starts with a misrepresentation of sources provided but does not provide his own sources, while demanding answers and trying to convert thread into a 'he said', 'she said' competition of shouting sources. This is not how the forum is moderated. We are much more interested in learning about what happened and understanding the context which certain actions took place. Thereafter, the 2nd and 3rd order effects of choices made by the actors.

    This is type of passive aggressive trolling will not be allowed to continue. db2646 has been unprofessional in his responses to other members and the Mod Team, while pretending to be a victim. This pattern of laying blame will stop or admin sanctions will be applied.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  13. Bonza

    Bonza Super Moderator Staff Member

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    db2646,

    My advice would be to get on your horse and ride into the sunset now, and don't come back until you've actually had a think (and I mean REALLY HAD A THINK) about why the moderators on this site behave as they do, and why the rules are set up the way they are, etc. It's quite apparent from your childish behaviour on this thread and others that abiding by your your recent behaviour you will not be a fit for this forum nor will you have an easy time escaping the reputation you have already managed to carve out for yourself, despite the short time you've been on the boards.

    It seems time spent on you is time wasted. Maybe you feel the same way about us. In any case I'd suggest some time away so you can figure out whether or not you want to have a go at actually contributing to some discussions rather than attacking forum members, defence professionals, and moderators alike. The former might get things back on track, the latter will lead to a forced absence regardless.

    I'm sick of logging on here and finding yet another thread where you've gotten someone's nose out of joint with your garbage. Change your attitude or get out.
     
  14. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this approach will complicate matters in a manner that is detrimental to President Ma and KMT's interests in Taiwan. And I know the CCP prefers to deal with the KMT for Taiwan Straits matters. A hawkish pushing for confrontation is not in China's interest, as this will over play the cards in China's hands (otherwise you could have a counter-productive PRC vs Taiwan naval confrontation in the days ahead or some other unintended 2nd and 3rd order effect on Cross Straits Relations).

    The Taiwan Government (with a defence budget of US$10.72 billion in 2012) under President Ma does not have a free hand to what they want but they have more than enough resources to bring the appropriate pressure to bear on the Philippine Government (with a defence budget of US$2.97 billion in 2012), should they be tempted to back-track on their commitment to conduct a full and transparent investigation. As predicted, Taiwan is the the process of executing its crisis communication management plan (for external and internal parties) and the news update below reinforces what I said in the previous post. Unless other wild cards are thrown in the ring, I expect Taiwanese mastery of its escalation options in a manner that demonstrates professionalism. As I said in my prior post, the urgent need to prevent further unnecessary deaths of fishermen in the South China Sea should provide scope for increased and robust unilateral Taiwanese patrols in areas of dispute in the EEZ boundaries between Taiwan and Philippines.

    In contrast, past Philippine Administrations decided that they will never need to go to war with another state (as an instrument of state policy). Historically, Philippines is a house divided with presence of internal insurgents. The key task of the Philippine military is address the threat faced by internal insurgents. Therefore the Philippines has a poorly resourced and technologically dated navy that is armed like a coast guard. They also have disbanded their air combat arm of their air force by budget choice in 2005. The net result of these cumulative decisions is the contraction of the country's geo-strategic depth in an era of a changing balance of power in Asia. This means that the present Philippine Administration under Noynoy Aquino has a poor hand of cards to play, in the game of escalation options.

    See the latest news update below on the US position, which is neutral. The facts are not out, as the investigation is ongoing. As the US spokesperson said below, we just need to wait. Taiwan will play its first card to bring pressure to bear on the Philippines at midnight, today. Hopefully this will provide a sense of urgency for the Philippine authorities to resolve the matter in a professional and transparent manner.

    This is one of the moments where the external parties to incident will have to wait and see what develops next. As I said before, the good news about this storm in a tea cup is the level of sanctions imposed by Taiwan. If this is done for a short duration, it amounts to a slap on the wrist in the bigger scheme of things.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2013
  15. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    Damn right! See below for what I found in 30 seconds on Filipino workers in Taiwan.
    I think most Filipinos would share my feelings about your post, i.e. that you are parroting a demeaning national stereotype. I suggest you examine your attitudes.

    Todjaeger's numbers are correct in principle. but are a little out of date. The most recent official figures for Filipino workers in Taiwan, from Taiwan's Council of Labor [sic] Affairs, as of end March 2013, are -
    Total: 87516
    In services (this includes all the domestic workers, hospital workers, etc): 23015
    In manufacturing: 63151

    Of which the main employers are -
    Electronic parts & components: 26593 (i.e. more than in all services)
    Electronic & optical products: 6630
    Fabricated metal products: 6508
    Machinery & equipment: 4388

    Source

    PS. Because of my wife's job I've encountered Filipinos working in health care here, e.g. nurses (normally qualified, not advanced degrees) - working as nurses. Care homes for those with mental handicaps employing Filipinos (without degrees of any kind, just nursing training & experience in the job) - as shift leaders & care managers. Etc. Go away & have a good look at your own attitudes, & ask yourself why you have the image of Filipinos that you do.
     
  16. alexsa

    alexsa Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Agree completely. To add to that Pilipino seafarers provide a sizeable chunk of crews to many seafaring nations, including those embroiled in the the current situation.


    Irrespective of what you may think of them most are hard working and very professional. .......... and extremely capable. Sorry DB, we have crossed paths before and I again find that you tend to make comments that are unsupportable or based on a premise which is fundamentally flawed. As I have noted before, we all make mistakes, however suggest it is time for you to retract.

    While the rights and wrongs of the currently situation need to be sorted out, and indeed there may be some fault on the Philippines Navy (something for those who have the facts to sort out) to imply that this may be connected to a character trait (which is how I read your posts) is reprehensible.
     
  17. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nevertheless, Tod's rough numbers of 2/3 in the manufacturing and roughly 1/3 in home care are more accurate than your belief that the proportions should be the opposite way round, thanks to the efforts of swerve. With a source of the numbers, I might add.

    63,151 in manufacturing, and 23,015 in the services sector (including domestic + hospital workers).
     
  18. alexsa

    alexsa Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Accusations, actually it was more of a restating of how many interpret the manner in which you responded. As I indicated the manner in which you present does you no favours.


    As an example (and I accept I am being picky)............ It is a bit rich to correct others for writing "Filipino" in Lieu of "Pilipino" when you used the former in your previous post attesting to your heritage.
     
  19. db2646

    db2646 Banned Member

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    Rob, I believe you. Also, kindly check the education of those Pilipino workers in manufacturing. I'll guess that most of them have technical college degrees and probably most in engineering. And those in the services sector, I'll bet those workers are probably college educated too.
     
  20. RobWilliams

    RobWilliams Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Why would I need to check the education? If their academic record is something you wish to push then by all means provide the information about it (I would also like to know how you would expect me to find out the sort of academic standards those employees have, ring the companies up and ask for copies?), but it's not what matters to me and thus I won't bother.

    My involvement is - and always has been - getting a clear idea of the numbers involved, accurate numbers plus evidence have been supplied by swerve and that's all the information I was looking to get.