China raring to seize oil-rich Reed Bank – Golez
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - March 20, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The continuing presence of Chinese surveillance ships and frigates in Ayungin Shoal in West Philippine Sea is part of China’s overall seizure plan for the oil-rich Reed Bank off the coast of Palawan, former national security adviser Roilo Golez warned yesterday.

Golez, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, noted in his blog that the seizure of Ayungin Shoal would just be child’s play for China, compared to the brutality that they did when they seized Paracels from Vietnam in 1974 and in the 1988 naval encounters in Johnson Reef where three Vietnamese ships were sunk and more than 70 Vietnamese sailors killed.

“Today, I believe China’s next move is to seize and occupy Ayungin Shoal, placing in grave jeopardy our Philippine Marine detachment there,” warned Golez, now convenor of the West Philippine Sea Coalition, a group very vocal on Chinese incursion in Philippine waters.

“China has a window of opportunity which is prior to the implementation of the Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation that will give US forces access to the country’s military bases,” he added.

Golez pointed out that China’s posturing in Ayungin is just part of its goal to seize and control Recto Bank, where the Philippine government has an ongoing oil exploration project.

A separate document showed that China intends to accomplish its occupation plan of the Spratlys archipelago by 2020 through various means.

“The Philippines must prepare for China’s move on Ayungin, in the event the irrational, territorial minds in China prevail and they adopt a military solution to their Ayungin objective towards their goal of seizing the Recto Bank,” he warned.

At present, a contingent of Philippine Marines is stationed in the Western Command (Wescom) Ayungin detachment situated inside the grounded but still commissioned Philippine Navy landing tank ship BRP Sierra Madre.

AYUNGIN AYUNGIN SHOAL CHINA ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION GOLEZ JOHNSON REEF PHILIPPINE PHILIPPINE MARINE PHILIPPINE MARINES RECTO BANK
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