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CHINA FLEXES MILITARY MUSCLE AS PRESIDENT XI LAUDS ITS POWER
[China marks 70th anniversary of the end of WWII]


SEPT 3 -A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force KJ-2000 airborne early warning and control aircraft (L) flies in formation with Chengdu J-10 multirole fighter aircraft during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER
Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded his country’s position as a major world power on Thursday as Beijing marked the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan with a giant show of strength in Tiananmen Square. Speaking on the Tiananmen Rostrum where Mao Zedong declared the formation of the People’s Republic in 1949, Xi said “total victory” over Japan “restored China’s status as a major country in the world”. Major world leaders stayed away from the display of military might, with disquiet growing over China’s increasing willingness to throw its weight around in territorial disputes. The parade comes as the Chinese navy pushes further away from domestic shores, challenging US dominance, with five of its vessels spotted in the Bering Sea for the first time, according to the Pentagon. After a 70-gun salute thousands of troops — including a detachment from Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin was the highest-profile foreign guest — marched in formation through the square, with tanks and missiles following and a flypast by around 200 aircraft in blue skies overhead. Xi said that Beijing will “not seek hegemony” and China’s military — the largest in the world — would be reduced by 300,000 troops. READ MORE...

ALSO: China puts on huge show of force at parade, to cut troop levels


SEPTEMBER 3 -An officer (right) gives instructions as People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers march in formation at Tiananmen Square during a rehearsal ahead of a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, in Beijing, China on Thursday, September 3. Reuters
BEIJING - China put on its biggest display of military might on Thursday in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II, an event shunned by most Western leaders but which underscored Beijing's growing confidence in its armed forces.
President Xi Jinping, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade began, offered an unexpected olive branch by saying China would cut its troop levels by 300,000. That would streamline one of the world's biggest militaries, currently around 2.3-million strong. Xi gave no timeframe for the troop cut, adding China would always "walk down the path of peaceful development." He then descended to Beijing's main thoroughfare and inspected rows of troops, riding past them in a black limousine and bellowing repeatedly: "Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!" More than 12,000 soldiers, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, then began marching down Changan Avenue, led by veterans of World War II carried in vehicles. They will be followed by a range of ballistic missiles, tanks and armored vehicles, many never seen in public before. Advanced fighter jets and bombers are also due to fly overhead. Among the weapons China will unveil for the first time is an anti-ship ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-21D, which is reportedly capable of destroying an aircraft carrier with one hit. READ MORE...

ALSO Philippines to China: Walk the talk, bridge gap
[No Philippine representative but Estrada. Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, a former President of the Philippines, attended the parade. He said earlier that he was going to the Chinese celebrations because Beijing and Manila were sister cities.]


SEPTEMBER 3 -Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in a car on his way to inspect the army, at the beginning of the military parade
The Philippines on Thursday told China to "walk the talk" after Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country would never seek hegemony. The Philippines has been repeatedly calling on China to stop reclaiming land on reefs in the West Philippine Sea, part of the South China Sea within the country's 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ) recognised under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and exercise restraint according to a 2002 agreement signed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to refrain from taking actions in the disputed sea that could cause tensions in the region. "We hope to see the gap between China's pronouncements and the actual conditions on the ground bridged," Assistant Foreign Secretary Charles Jose, spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said in a text message. Speaking at ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia, Xi announced that China would cut by 13 per cent, or 300,000 troops, one of the world's biggest militaries, currently 2.3 million strong. He gave no time frame for a reduction that is likely part of long-mooted military rationalization plans, which have included spending more money on high-tech weapons for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force. The PLA troop numbers have been cut three times already since the 1980s. The experience of war makes people value peace even more," Xi said. "Regardless of the progress of events, China will never seek hegemony, China will seek to expand and will never inflict the tragedies it suffered in the past upon others." Xi gave no specific reason for the troop reduction, but bracketed his announcement with assertions of the PLA's mission to protect China and "uphold the sacred task of ensuring world peace." READ MORE...

ALSO: 1 out of 3 Filipino children has stunted growth – study


SEPTEMBER 3 -PHOTO COURTESY OF YAHOO NEWS ASIA Save the Children, an international organization that focuses on children's issues, said on Thursday (September 3) that one in three Filipino children suffers from stunted growth — an indicator of chronic malnutrition. The report of Save The Children suggested that shortness is not a genetic trait of Filipinos; it could be due to generations of stunted children who are too small for their age because of malnutrition. The report also stated that malnutrition impacts a child’s future by hindering his/her physical and mental growth. The facts from the report indicate that the first 1000 days of a child's life is crucial in preventing stunted growth. Its campaign against malnutrition called "Lahat Dapat" or no child left behind was also launched. This includes promoting exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, vitamin a and iron supplementation, treatment of acute malnutrition, and maternal nutrition. Save The Children Philippines' country director Ned Olney said that as the country's economy is continuing to boom, child nutrition should not be left behind. "We have health policies, but we also need to get more families to enjoy the economic progress that the country is enjoying at large," he said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Filipinos most troubled over China territorial conlict, says US poll


SEPTEMBER 5 -Majority of Filipinos are concerned about the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China, according to United States-based Pew Research Center, as Beijing flexed its military muscle before world leaders during the 70th anniversary of the World War II victory over Japan.
In the regional poll, nine out of 10 respondents from the Philippines expressed the most concern about territorial conflicts in the region. Some 56 percent were very concerned while 35 percent were somewhat concerned.This was followed by Vietnam and Japan, whose 83 percent of citizens were worried about the sea dispute with China. More Vietnamese are very concerned (60 percent) than the Japanese (52 percent). Those saying they are somewhat concerned were 23 percent in Vietnam and 31 percent in Japan.
Others who expressed fears of the territorial dispute were South Korea (78 percent), Australia (63 percent), India (62 percent), Pakistan (45 percent), Malaysia (45 percent) and Indonesia (41 percent).China enjoys a positive opinion from majority of people in the Asia-Pacific region, with the exception of Vietnam and Japan, which gave a less favorable mark of nine percent and 19 percent, respectively.Although positive, the favorable views of the Philippines (54 percent) on China were only near the threshold. Among those near the neutral zone with the country are India (41 percent), Australia (57 percent), South Korea (61 percent) and Indonesia (63 percent). Those with indisputably high positive views on China were Pakistan (82 percent) and Malaysia (78 percent).The survey was conducted among 15,313 respondents in 10 Asia-Pacific nations and the US from April 6 to May 27, 2015.The Philippine government has been actively against the reclamation activities being conducted by China on the basis of its nine-dash line and historical claims of the South China Sea. Beijing’s claims overlap with those of the the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.READ MORE...

ALSO: UNESCO chief condemns killing of Philippine journalist, calls for inquiry -U.N.


SEPTEMBER 3 -The head of the United Nations agency charged with promoting press freedom condemned today the killing of Philippine journalist Cosme Diez Maestrado, who was shot by unknown assailants on 27 August in Ozamiz City in the Philippines.
"Journalists are paying an unacceptable price for the fundamental right of freedom of expression," Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a statement, condemning the murder of Cosme Diez Maestrado. Mr. Maestrado was an anchor at DXOC radio in Ozamiz City. He had survived a previous assassination attempt in November 2013, according to the International Federation of Journalists. "I urge the authorities to spare no effort in apprehending those responsible for this crime," said Ms. Bokova. Condemnation of Violence against Journalists, as Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States in 1997, is issued by the Director-General of UNESCO and posted on a page dedicating to journalists who were killed in the exercise of their profession. It remembers their contribution to freedom of expression, democracy and peace. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

China flexes military muscle as Xi lauds its power


A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force KJ-2000 airborne early warning and control aircraft (L) flies in formation with Chengdu J-10 multirole fighter aircraft during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on September 3, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. AFP PHOTO / GREG BAKER

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2015, (MANILA BULLETIN) by AFP - Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded his country’s position as a major world power on Thursday as Beijing marked the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan with a giant show of strength in Tiananmen Square.

Speaking on the Tiananmen Rostrum where Mao Zedong declared the formation of the People’s Republic in 1949, Xi said “total victory” over Japan “restored China’s status as a major country in the world”.

Major world leaders stayed away from the display of military might, with disquiet growing over China’s increasing willingness to throw its weight around in territorial disputes.

The parade comes as the Chinese navy pushes further away from domestic shores, challenging US dominance, with five of its vessels spotted in the Bering Sea for the first time, according to the Pentagon.

After a 70-gun salute thousands of troops — including a detachment from Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin was the highest-profile foreign guest — marched in formation through the square, with tanks and missiles following and a flypast by around 200 aircraft in blue skies overhead.

Xi said that Beijing will “not seek hegemony” and China’s military — the largest in the world — would be reduced by 300,000 troops.

READ MORE...

Authorities have previously made personnel cuts to the 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army in a bid to make it a more efficient fighting force.

Beijing officially calls the conflict the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and World Anti-Fascist War, and regularly criticises Tokyo for what it says is insufficient contrition over wartime atrocities.

But it has repeatedly insisted the parade was not aimed at any particular country, including Japan.

“The unyielding Chinese people fought gallantly and finally won total victory against the Japanese militarist aggressors, thus preserving China’s 5,000-year-old civilisation and upholding the cause of peace,” Xi said.

He described the conflict as “a decisive battle between justice and evil, between light and darkness”.

The equipment on show for the first time included DF-21D missiles, an anti-ship ballistic missile seen as a “carrier-killer” that could alter the balance of power with the US in the Pacific Ocean.

A commentator on Chinese television described the weapon as a “trump card”.

Under Xi, Beijing is moving farther away from former leader Deng Xiaoping’s dictum to “hide one’s capabilities, bide one’s time” and is becoming more willing to take harder lines, both externally and against domestic opponents.

‘Very nationalistic’

Decades of double-digit budget increases have transformed the military, giving Beijing the confidence to push a programme of artificial island building in the South China Sea and vigorously proclaim its sovereignty over disputed outcrops controlled by Japan.

John Delury, an expert on China at Yonsei University in Seoul, told AFP the limited international guest list was because “it’s a very nationalistic and militaristic event”.

“Across Asia and certainly in the United States there are all these concerns about the hard power side of China’s rise,” he said.

The sight of military muscle in Tiananmen Square, where Chinese troops crushed protests in 1989, is also likely to have played a part in keeping some democratic-minded Western leaders away.

Putin was given a prominent position next to Xi on the rostrum, as were ranks of former Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Also present were leaders of Kazakhstan and Venezuela, as well as Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir — indicted by the International Criminal Court — and authoritarian Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who brought one of his sons.

More mainstream guests included South Korea’s Park Geun-Hye, whose country was colonised by Japan, Jacob Zuma of South Africa — which with China is part of the BRICS groups of major emerging economies -– and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Chinese authorities mobilised hundreds of thousands of Beijing citizens and closed roads all over the city, as well as shuttering the capital’s airports.

They also curtailed pollution-spewing factories and vehicles to ensure blue-skies.

The Communist Party uses nationalism as a key part of its claim to a right to rule, and China’s official media have carried a litany of articles on past Japanese atrocities, with war dramas a constant theme on television.

The propaganda campaign has also focused on the resistance of “the entire Chinese nation” against Japan, obscuring the Communist Party’s rivalry with the then-governing Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek, who was defeated in the ensuing civil war and fled to Taiwan.

Recently China has only carried out such giant military shows once a decade, and always on the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1.

This one instead came the day after the 70th anniversary of Japan’s formal surrender in 1945 on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

China puts on huge show of force at parade, to cut troop levels September 3, 2015 11:13am Tags: china (Updated 11:12 a.m.)


An officer (right) gives instructions as People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers march in formation at Tiananmen Square during a rehearsal ahead of a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, in Beijing, China on Thursday, September 3. Reuters

BEIJING - China put on its biggest display of military might on Thursday in a parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II, an event shunned by most Western leaders but which underscored Beijing's growing confidence in its armed forces.

President Xi Jinping, speaking on a rostrum overlooking Beijing's Tiananmen Square before the parade began, offered an unexpected olive branch by saying China would cut its troop levels by 300,000. That would streamline one of the world's biggest militaries, currently around 2.3-million strong.

Xi gave no timeframe for the troop cut, adding China would always "walk down the path of peaceful development."

He then descended to Beijing's main thoroughfare and inspected rows of troops, riding past them in a black limousine and bellowing repeatedly: "Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!"

More than 12,000 soldiers, mostly Chinese but with contingents from Russia and elsewhere, then began marching down Changan Avenue, led by veterans of World War II carried in vehicles.

They will be followed by a range of ballistic missiles, tanks and armored vehicles, many never seen in public before. Advanced fighter jets and bombers are also due to fly overhead.

Among the weapons China will unveil for the first time is an anti-ship ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-21D, which is reportedly capable of destroying an aircraft carrier with one hit.

READ MORE...

Lined up in a sidestreet were also several intercontinental ballistic missiles such as the DF-5B and the DF-31A as well as the DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM), dubbed the "Guam killer" in reference to a U.S. Pacific Ocean base.

For Xi, the parade is a welcome distraction from the country's plunging stock markets, slowing economy and recent blasts at a chemical warehouse that killed at least 160 people.

Xi was joined by Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of several other nations with close ties to China, including Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Most Western leaders rebuffed invitations to attend, diplomats said, unhappy about the guest list and wary of the message China is sending to a region already rattled by its military assertiveness, especially in the South China Sea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not attending the event, which is being held one day after the 70th anniversary of Tokyo's surrender in World War II.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said the parade is not aimed at today's Japan, but to remember the past and to remind the world of China's huge sacrifices during the conflict. However, it rarely misses an opportunity to draw attention to Japan's wartime role.

"As for the claim that China intends the event as a sabre-rattling occasion to instil fear, it is nothing but nonsense since China has always insisted on resolving disputes via peaceful means," state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary.

Chinese Navy in Bering Sea

Xi has set great store on China's military modernisation, including developing an ocean-going "blue water" navy capable of defending the country's growing global interests.

In a sign of that emerging capability, five Chinese Navy ships are sailing in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama is touring the state.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said it was the first time the United States had seen Chinese navy ships in the Bering Sea.

It was not clear whether their presence was timed to coincide with Obama's visit or if it followed a recent Chinese-Russian navy exercise. Chinese state media has said nothing about the Bering Sea deployment.

"It is living up to what the Chinese have been saying, 'We are now a blue water navy. We will operate in the far seas and we are a global presence'," said Dean Cheng, a China expert at the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington.

Xi will meet Obama in Washington for talks later this month that will be dominated by a host of thorny issues, including China's growing military reach.

Beijing has been put under lock-down to ensure nothing goes wrong at the parade, with much of the downtown off-limits, a three-day holiday declared and ordinary people kept well away.

"This parade and patriotism are two separate things," said Mi Guoxian, who had come to Beijing for a wedding, standing on a nearly deserted street behind a line of police.

"This is for the national leaders." — Reuters


ASIA ONE

Philippines to China: Walk the talk, bridge gap


Chinese President Xi Jinping stands in a car on his way to inspect the army, at the beginning of the military parade

The Philippines on Thursday told China to "walk the talk" after Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country would never seek hegemony.

The Philippines has been repeatedly calling on China to stop reclaiming land on reefs in the West Philippine Sea, part of the South China Sea within the country's 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone (EEZ) recognised under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and exercise restraint according to a 2002 agreement signed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to refrain from taking actions in the disputed sea that could cause tensions in the region.

"We hope to see the gap between China's pronouncements and the actual conditions on the ground bridged," Assistant Foreign Secretary Charles Jose, spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said in a text message.

Speaking at ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia, Xi announced that China would cut by 13 per cent, or 300,000 troops, one of the world's biggest militaries, currently 2.3 million strong.

He gave no time frame for a reduction that is likely part of long-mooted military rationalization plans, which have included spending more money on high-tech weapons for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and Air Force.

The PLA troop numbers have been cut three times already since the 1980s.

"The experience of war makes people value peace even more," Xi said. "Regardless of the progress of events, China will never seek hegemony, China will seek to expand and will never inflict the tragedies it suffered in the past upon others."

Xi gave no specific reason for the troop reduction, but bracketed his announcement with assertions of the PLA's mission to protect China and "uphold the sacred task of ensuring world peace."

READ MORE...

Despite its huge numbers, the PLA has not fought in a major conflict since a brief 1979 border war with Vietnam, although China has long been a major contributor to United Nations peacekeeping missions and since 2008 has joined in multination antipiracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.

Xi's announcement could be seen as an attempt to soften the impact of Thursday's spectacle that saw 12,000 troops march through the centre of Beijing, accompanied by tanks, bomber aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles.


China marks 70th anniversary of the end of WWII with military parade Photo Source: AFP, Reuters

Shunned by major powers

The parade was largely shunned by Japan, the United States and other major democracies that have grown concerned about China's increasingly aggressive moves to assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

Besides the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan have overlapping claims with China in the South China Sea, where a third of global trade worth $5 trillion passes every year and where islets, atolls and reefs are believed to be sitting atop massive oil and gas reserves.

No Philippine representative but Estrada

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Wednesday night that the official representative of the Philippines, Ambassador to China Erlinda Basilio, would not attend the military parade in Beijing.

Del Rosario said, however, that Basilio would attend cultural events on the sidelines of the parade.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, a former President of the Philippines, attended the parade. He said earlier that he was going to the Chinese celebrations because Beijing and Manila were sister cities.

Xi kicked off the proceedings with a speech at the iconic Tiananmen Gate in the heart of Beijing, flanked by Chinese leaders and foreign dignitaries, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

After his speech, Xi drove past the assembled troops in a Chinese-made Red Flag limousine, standing up through a sunroof with four microphones mounted in front of him, calling out "Greetings, Comrades" every few moments, before the troops started to march.


CNN PHILIPPINES

1 out of 3 Filipino children has stunted growth – study By Pia Bonalos, CNN Philippines Updated 18:41 PM PHT Thu, September 3, 2015 24183


Save The Children launced on Thursday (September 3) its campaign against malnutrition called "Lahat Dapat" or no child left behind. Metro Manila (CNN Philippines)

Save the Children, an international organization that focuses on children's issues, said on Thursday (September 3) that one in three Filipino children suffers from stunted growth — an indicator of chronic malnutrition.

The report of Save The Children suggested that shortness is not a genetic trait of Filipinos; it could be due to generations of stunted children who are too small for their age because of malnutrition.

The report also stated that malnutrition impacts a child’s future by hindering his/her physical and mental growth.

The facts from the report indicate that the first 1000 days of a child's life is crucial in preventing stunted growth.

Its campaign against malnutrition called "Lahat Dapat" or no child left behind was also launched. This includes promoting exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, vitamin a and iron supplementation, treatment of acute malnutrition, and maternal nutrition.

Save The Children Philippines' country director Ned Olney said that as the country's economy is continuing to boom, child nutrition should not be left behind.

"We have health policies, but we also need to get more families to enjoy the economic progress that the country is enjoying at large," he said.


TRIBUNE

Filipinos most troubled over China territorial conlict, says US poll Written by Joshua L. Labonera Saturday, 05 September 2015 00:00

Majority of Filipinos are concerned about the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China, according to United States-based Pew Research Center, as Beijing flexed its military muscle before world leaders during the 70th anniversary of the World War II victory over Japan.

In the regional poll, nine out of 10 respondents from the Philippines expressed the most concern about territorial conflicts in the region. Some 56 percent were very concerned while 35 percent were somewhat concerned.

This was followed by Vietnam and Japan, whose 83 percent of citizens were worried about the sea dispute with China. |

More Vietnamese are very concerned (60 percent) than the Japanese (52 %). Those saying they are somewhat concerned were 23 percent in Vietnam and 31 percent in Japan.

Others who expressed fears of the territorial dispute were South Korea (78 percent), Australia (63 percent), India (62 percent), Pakistan (45 percent), Malaysia (45 percent) and Indonesia (41 percent).

China enjoys a positive opinion from majority of people in the Asia-Pacific region, with the exception of Vietnam and Japan, which gave a less favorable mark of nine percent and 19 percent, respectively.

Although positive, the favorable views of the Philippines (54 percent) on China were only near the threshold. Among those near the neutral zone with the country are India (41 percent), Australia (57 percent), South Korea (61 percent) and Indonesia (63 percent).

Those with indisputably high positive views on China were Pakistan (82 percent) and Malaysia (78 percent).

The survey was conducted among 15,313 respondents in 10 Asia-Pacific nations and the US from April 6 to May 27, 2015.

The Philippine government has been actively against the reclamation activities being conducted by China on the basis of its nine-dash line and historical claims of the South China Sea. Beijing’s claims overlap with those of the the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

READ MORE...

Manila has filed a clarification of maritime entitlements before the United Nations-formed Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), also known as the International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas.

The Philippines has banked on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas which states that the signatories agreed that territories within 200 nautical miles from its coasts are their own.

The PCA is set to issue its decision of jurisdiction on the case within this year.
Beijing last Thursday flourished its military power in a spectacular parade commemorating the victory over Japan in World War II.

Hundreds of ballistic missiles, tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, drones and other military equipment were paraded past the gathered leaders, veterans and guests.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Park Geun-hye of South Korea and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon were the highest-profile dignitaries who witnessed the event.

The heads of state from almost all of the countries that have territorial disputes with China, however, did not attend the parade.

Meanwhile, critical of Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea, Australia the other day warned against “intimidation and aggression” in the disputed waters.

“Territorial disputes continue to risk regional stability and create uncertainty. One issue that has attracted a lot of international attention in recent months is the South China Sea.

“Australia strongly opposes the use of intimidation, aggression or coercion to advance any country’s claims or to unilaterally alter the status quo. We are particularly concerned about the possible militarization of features in the South China Sea,” Australian Defense Minister Kevin Andrews said, delivering a lecture at Defense Ministry-run think tank IDSA.

Taking an apparent dig at China, he said turning a reef into a military airport is not in anyway enhancing the security and peace of that region.

China is said to be building an island at least 3,000 meters long on Fiery Cross Reef that could be the site for its first airstrip in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Noting that the greatest danger is miscalculation rather than a nation deliberately taking aggressive action, he said, “China should make its strategic intent clear.”
with PNA


PHILIPPINE NEWS ONLINE

UNESCO chief condemns killing of Philippine journalist, calls for inquiry U.N. - 3rd September, 2015

The head of the United Nations agency charged with promoting press freedom condemned today the killing of Philippine journalist Cosme Diez Maestrado, who was shot by unknown assailants on 27 August in Ozamiz City in the Philippines.

"Journalists are paying an unacceptable price for the fundamental right of freedom of expression," Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a statement, condemning the murder of Cosme Diez Maestrado.

Mr. Maestrado was an anchor at DXOC radio in Ozamiz City. He had survived a previous assassination attempt in November 2013, according to the International Federation of Journalists. "I urge the authorities to spare no effort in apprehending those responsible for this crime," said Ms. Bokova.

Condemnation of Violence against Journalists, as Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States in 1997, is issued by the Director-General of UNESCO and posted on a page dedicating to journalists who were killed in the exercise of their profession.

It remembers their contribution to freedom of expression, democracy and peace.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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