“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” -- Alexis de Tocqueville
The Philippines is taking steps to retake Scarborough Shoal, a disputed chain of rocks and reefs in the South China Sea that has been effectively controlled by China since 2012.
“Since the new administration took office, we have already strategized how we can take control once again of Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), especially the lagoon,” Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Jay Tarriela said Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
Beijing warned Manila on Tuesday not to "stir up trouble" after the Philippine Coast Guard said it removed a floating barrier at a disputed reef that was allegedly deployed by China to block Filipino fishermen from the area.
Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea has long been a source of tension between the countries. China seized the ring of reefs from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed patrol boats.
The Philippine coastguard has removed a “floating barrier” installed by China in a disputed area in the South China Sea, calling it a “decisive action” in “upholding international law”.
Authorities carried out “a special operation” that was “in compliance” with the instructions given by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Philippine coastguard spokesperson Jay Tarriela posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday evening.
President Joe Biden will host a second summit with Pacific island leaders this week, part of a U.S. charm offensive to block further Chinese inroads into a strategic region Washington has long considered its own backyard.
During the three-day meeting, the U.S. will announce diplomatic recognition for two Pacific islands, promise new money for infrastructure, including to improve Internet connectivity via undersea cables, and honor regional leaders at an NFL game.
The Chinese military base on Mischief Reef, off the Philippine island of Palawan, loomed in front of our boat, obvious even in the predawn dark.
Radar domes, used for military surveillance, floated like nimbus clouds. Lights pointed to a runway made for fighter jets, backed by warehouses perfect for cruise missile launchers. More than 900 miles from the Chinese mainland, in an area of the South China Sea that an international tribunal has unequivocally determined does not belong to China, cellphones pinged with a message: “Welcome to China.”