China media: Philippines ties

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A China Coast Guard ship (R) and a Philippine supply boat engage in a stand off as the Philippine boat attempts to reach the Second Thomas Shoal, a remote South China Sea a reef claimed by both countries, on 29 March 2014Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Tension between Beijing and Manila has risen due to overlapping claims in the South China Sea

Papers accuse the Philippine government of a "failure" to protect Chinese nationals in the country.

The reaction comes after a Chinese national was shot in Meycauayan in Bulacan Province on Saturday, following the abduction of two Chinese nationals earlier this month.

Ties between Manila and Beijing are currently severely strained over South China Sea territorial disputes. Manila is taking Beijing to a UN court.

Hong Lei, foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Monday that China was "severely concerned" over the spate of attacks, and urged Manila to "take concrete measures" to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and staff.

"The spate of incidents targeting the Chinese over the past week inevitably prompts the public to connect them to the escalation in tension between Beijing and Manila," says the Global Times.

Describing the Philippines as a "quasi-rogue state", the paper alleges that Philippine authorities are "a major agitator of a nationalist and anti-China sentiment among its population" and advises Chinese tourists against visiting the country.

"We demand that Philippine President Benigno Aquino makes a public apology for the serial attacks on Chinese citizens and severely reprimands the criminals... Apart from this, Manila should take actions to crack down on provocations emanating from the extreme anti-China sentiment," the paper urges

An article in the Haiwai Net claims President Aquino has "led the country astray" by "concentrating too much on foreign policy".

"With the messy public order in the country, the Philippines media and government should reflect if they are walking on the wrong path… Mr Aquino's interest in foreign policy is much greater than dealing with domestic issues, yet he is also not good at handling foreign affairs," says the commentary.

Echoing similar views, Xu Liping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tells the Global Times' Chinese edition that the Philippines government "has weak control in some parts of the country".

"The Philippines government says that it is concerned about the incidents, yet no further actions have been taken… It could also be explained that both the government and the police are inefficient and are unable to deal with the attacks," he says.

Oil discovery

Meanwhile, state media report that one of China's deep-water oil rigs has discovered a major gas field in the South China Sea.

China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country's largest offshore oil and gas producer, announced on Monday that the country's first deep-water drilling rig has made its first gas field discovery, the Xinhua News Agency reports.

The report adds that the ultra deep-water gas field, dubbed Lingshui 17-2, is located about 150km (about 93 miles) south of Hainan Island, and it has an "average operational water depth of 1,500 metres" below the sea surface.

Xie Yuhong, a manager with CNOOC, says that the well will produce about 9,400 barrels of liquid oil per day.

"The discovery shows that our country has the ability for ultra deep-water exploration, and our technology in this area is reaching maturity," Liu Yijun, professor at China University of Petroleum, tells the Beijing Times.

He adds that the discovery will speed up the process for deep-water exploration and development, which will have "great significance" in securing China's oil supply and reduce external reliance.

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