South China Sea Tensions between China and the Philippines

South China Sea Tensions between China and the Philippines

Noriko Watanabe and Kanako Mita

Modern Tokyo Times

A collision between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea is upping the ante. Naturally, the Philippines is alarmed that vessels from China blocked a boat from the Philippines from supplying the armed forces.

Clashes between China and the Philippines have become common in the South China Sea. Henceforth, mutual accusations have followed.

Lee Jay Walker says, “China needs statecraft because each regional tension with another country suits the American charge that political elites in Beijing are a threat to regional peace.”

The National Task Force of the Philippines for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) expressed its displeasure at China.

Hence, the NTF-WPS said China’s “dangerous, irresponsible and illegal actions” were “in violation of Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State said,  “The United States stands with The Philippines in the face of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard’s continued infringement upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Imagery and video recently published in the media is a stark reminder of PRC harassment and intimidation of Philippine vessels as they undertake routine patrols within their exclusive economic zone.  We call upon Beijing to desist from its provocative and unsafe conduct. The United States continues to track and monitor these interactions closely.”

Reuters reports, “Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, including parts of the exclusive economic zones of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 said China’s claims had no legal basis.”

The BBC (last month) said, “Chinese vessels have used water cannon and lasers to deter the Philippine coastguard from getting close to the shoal in the last six months. The boats were carrying essential water and food to troops aboard a rusting warship – named Sierra Madre – that Manila intentionally grounded on a reef in their waters. It was a determined and calculated move to try to keep a presence on the shoal.”

China needs to soften its stance with regional nations that have similar disputes. If not, elites in Beijing are playing into the hands of America.

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