UNDER China’s anti-trespassing policy, which applies to Individuals of any nation who illegally enter “Chinese waters,” anyone accused of such entry can be arrested by the Chinese Coast Guard and detained for up 60 days even without trial. The CCG is authorized to detain individuals deemed to be “endangering national security and interests, disrupting social and public order, or those engaging in illegal and criminal activities.”

Reports say China has deployed two vessels to the South China Sea, including the 12,000-ton Chinese Coast Guard vessel 5901  nicknamed ‘The Monster.’ Measuring 165 meters (541 feet), it is China’s largest ship, launched in 2016. It is said to be consistently deployed for “anti-trespassing duties.” Currently, CCG 5901 is the world’s largest coast guard vessel.

According to the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative in its November 2023 report, Vietnam remains undeterred and is aggressively occupying features in the South China, now totaling 27.

“Among the 10 largest features in the Spratlys, five are being developed by Hanoi, AMTI said. Vietnam’s features are much smaller than any of China’s so-called Big Three – Fiery Cross Reef, Mischief Reef and Subi Reef – artificial islands that Beijing developed and fully militarized. Vietnam’s overall dredging and landfill totaled about 2,360 acres (955 ha), roughly half of China’s 4,650 acres (1881.7 ha),” according to AMTI.

“Vietnam has reclaimed a total area of about half the area that China has built up, with much of Vietnam’s work on reefs China also claims,” it added.

This is not surprising for the feisty Vietnamese, who have repelled the United States during the 20-year Vietnam War.

How about the Filipinos? Will we cower and buckle down in fear? That remains to be seen starting today, Saturday, June 15, 2024, as I write this, as the policy takes effect. The Monster had also been making its presence felt at Vietnam’s offshore oil and gas fields at Vanguard Bank, or Bai Tu Chinh in Vietnamese, in the South China Sea.

To date, there have only been pronouncements from the Armed Forces of the Philippines about plans to develop islands in SCS and that it is monitoring Vietnam’s South China Sea island-building.

“We will not be deterred or intimidated,” the AFP has strongly declared on Friday, June 14. They stated that they remain steadfast in their mission to protect the nation’s rights and ensure the safety of its military personnel and citizens in the West Philippine Sea.