Taiwanese protest killing by Philippine forces

Updated 13 May 2013
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Taiwanese protest killing by Philippine forces

TAIPEI, Taiwan: About 200 Taiwanese protested outside the Philippine representative office in Taipei on Monday against the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine coast guard in disputed waters.
Burning Philippine flags and waving banners with messages such as “You can’t kill our people, you can’t insult our country,” the demonstrators demanded that Manila apologize for the incident last Thursday in the Bashi Strait in which Philippine coast guard personnel opened fire on a Taiwanese fishing vessel, killing Hung Shih-cheng, 65. The strait is between Taiwan and the northern Philippines.
With more than 75 police officers in attendance, Monday’s demonstration was peaceful.
President Ma Ying-jeou has given the Philippines until Tuesday to apologize for the incident and provide compensation to the dead man’s family. If the Philippines refuses, Ma has said he will order Taiwanese representatives in Manila back to Taipei and deny Filipinos permission to work in Taiwan.
Approximately 87,000 Filipinos are employed on the island, many in the manufacturing sector, where their English-language skills are seen as a boon to the island’s export-oriented high-tech industries.
The Philippine coast guard has admitted it fired the shots that killed the Taiwanese fisherman, but said it acted in self-defense because the Taiwanese vessel was about to ram its ship.
China has sought to make common cause with Taiwan against Manila, deploring the shooting in harsh rhetoric that threatened to spark another diplomatic tussle between Beijing and the Philippines, a key US ally.
Taiwan and China split during a civil war in 1949 and Beijing continues to claim the island as part of its territory. In recent months it has made repeated attempts to bring Taiwan onto its side in its maritime disputes with Japan and other countries in the region. Taiwan has so far resisted, reflecting its own claims of national sovereignty.
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated China’s condemnation of the Philippine coast guard action.
“The spokesmen for the Foreign Ministry and the Taiwan Affairs Office both expressed strong indignation about the Philippines’ killing the fisherman last week,” he said. “We urged the Philippines to investigate the case thoroughly and furnish the details.”
In a related development, Chinese state media reported Monday that naval ships from the country’s East Sea Fleet, which began training drills in the Western Pacific last week, are now planning to sail through the Bashi Strait on their return. The reports did not say when that would be.


ASEAN may be forced to choose between US, China: Cambodia PM’s son

Updated 21 November 2018
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ASEAN may be forced to choose between US, China: Cambodia PM’s son

  • Cambodia has become an unlikely staging ground for geopolitical influence in Asia
  • The economic ripples of the trade spat between China and the US could destabilize global supply chain links in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK: Southeast Asian nations may soon have to “choose sides” between the US and China in their ongoing trade war, the political heir to Cambodia’s strongman ruler Hun Sen warned Wednesday in rare public comments.
Impoverished Cambodia has become an unlikely staging ground for geopolitical influence in Asia.
In recent years it has turned into a key China ally, heading off criticism of the superpower over its claims to disputed seas in exchange for billions of dollars in investment and loans.
While China has cozied up to Cambodia, the United States and the European Union have admonished Hun Sen, the nation’s ruler for 33 years, for his increasingly authoritarian rule.
In a rare speech outside of his country, his son, Hun Many warned the US-China trade spat may create lasting divisions in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“Perhaps one day ASEAN would have to choose between US or China,” Hun Many said in Bangkok.
“How would we see the trade war spill or expanded in other areas? Surely it will pressure individual members of ASEAN or ASEAN as a whole to choose sides.”
The economic ripples of the trade spat between China and the US could destabilize global supply chain links in Southeast Asia, while a slump in Chinese spending would impact its trading partners.
Cambodia’s strongman Hun Sen has welcomed Chinese investment to pump-prime his country’s economy.
At the same time, he has accused the US of trying to foment revolution in Cambodia by supporting his critics.
Both the US and EU decried the July elections, which were held without a credible opposition and gave Hun Sen another term in power.
When asked which of the superpowers Cambodia would side with, the Australian-educated Hun Many demurred.
“At the end of the day, it depends on those who are involved to take a more responsible approach for their decisions that affects the entire world,” he said.
Earlier this week, Hun Sen swatted away concerns that Beijing will construct a naval base off the southwest coast of Cambodia, which would provide ready access to the disputed South China Sea.
Beijing claims most of the flashpoint area, infuriating the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan who all have competing claims to its islands and potentially resource-rich waters.
Hun Many, who described himself as a “proud son,” is widely believed to be in the running to one day replace his father.
His elder brother, Manit, is the head of a military intelligence unit while Manet, the oldest, was promoted in September to the chief of joint staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces as well as the commander of the infantry army headquarters.
But Many brushed aside the notion.
“It is way too soon to say that I am in the next generation of leaders,” he said.