Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Philippines’ ‘Protests’ Meekly against China’s Deployment of Anti-aircraft Weapons to the Spratlys


(Photo : AMTI) Anti-aircraft emplacements on Johnson Reef (boxes show location of weapons).

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte continues trying to outdo Cambodian president Hun Sen as China's most servile running dog in Asia by having is administration issue a practically useless "note verable" objecting to China's deployment of anti-aircraft weapons on the man-made islands it built on the South China Sea.

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Duterte's underling, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Perfecto Yasay, explained the shameful Philippine action by saying Duterte feared a stronger response such as a note of protest might trigger a war with China.

"I just want to assure the Filipino people that when we take action at engaging China in this dispute, we do not want to take such aggressive, provocative action that will not solve the problem," he said.

"We cannot engage China in a war."

Yasay also noted that "when there are reports about the build-up of weapon systems in the area, during our watch we made sure that the interests and rights of the Philippines are properly protected."

The note verbale was delivered "quietly," apparently so as not to irritate the Chinese. Yasay did not reveal the contents of the note. A note verbale is a diplomatic communication prepared in the third person and unsigned.

The Philippines' note verbale came a month after China admitted to deploying short-range air defense weapons, including anti-aircraft artillery, in the disputed Spratly Islands claiming it has the legitimate right to do so.

"As for necessary military facilities, they are primarily for defense and self-protection, and this is proper and legitimate," said a statement from China's Ministry of Defense on Dec. 14, 2016.

"For instance, if someone was at the door of your home, cocky and swaggering, how could it be that you wouldn't prepare a slingshot?"

The ministry said weapons and military systems on the islands are reasonable. It repeated China's claim its construction on the islands is mainly for civilian purposes.

China's admission came shortly after a number of incriminating satellite photos showed new weapons being deployed on Subi Reef and other Chinese controlled reefs.

It was further proof that China's true aim is to turn the islands it seized in the South China Sea into military bases and not as civilian outposts, as has been claimed by some military analysts.

The building of more capable anti-air "point defense systems" was spotted on Gaven, Hughes, Johnson, and Cuarteron Reefs, among others.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington two days ago released the images of the new fortifications through its Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI). The images showed "large antiaircraft guns and probable close-in weapons systems," aimed at engaging cruise missiles.

AMTI said China appears to have built significant point-defense capabilities by deploying "large anti-aircraft guns" of an unknown type and probably close-in weapons systems (CIWS) at each of its outposts in the Spratlys.

It said the reinforcement "show that Beijing is serious about defense of its artificial islands in case of an armed contingency in the South China Sea.

"Among other things, they would be the last line of defense against cruise missiles launched by the United States or others" against air bases that on the islands.

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