Tensions Rise In South China Sea Region As China Consolidates Position

Tensions Rise In South China Sea Region As China Consolidates Position

Tensions Rise In South China Sea Region As China Consolidates Position

"We note with serious concern the growing militarization in the area, such as the deployment of military assets especially on features near the Philippine territory", he said.

"In response to these actions, the Philippine Government has not been remiss in undertaking diplomatic actions against any nation".

Beijing has been building artificial islands to reinforce its claim over most of the resource-rich South China Sea despite protests from Southeast Asian countries. This spring, China landed strategic bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons on the island, a symbolic display of its deterrent power, and satellite imagery showed the arrival of surface-to-air missiles this month. Officials say the Philippine government has quietly protested after Chinese ships deployed a helicopter that flew close to a Philippine navy boat carrying supplies to Filipino marines at a disputed shoal this month.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is as mercurial as Trump: He has in the past threatened to ride a jetski to disputed islands in the South China Sea and plant a flag to keep China at bay but he also claimed to be Chinese as part of his ongoing flattery of the Chinese leadership.

The Department of Foreign Affairs already raised the militarization issue at the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism between China and the Philippines, said Esperon. China denied the court ruling and argued that the tribunal had no jurisdiction in the case.

"Nobody can extract natural resources there on their own", foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

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The briefing was held after the House Special Committee on the West Philippine Sea, chaired by former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. asked officials concerned to discuss implications of recent developments in the West Philippine Sea and the supposed government's inaction on China's aggression. But what we can best expect is a "sum of all parts" - a collection of (hopefully synchronized or coordinated) actions by each respective Quad member state. "So, when the critics tells us na dapat kontrolado 'yan, we simply state the fact that nawala noon 'yan, ngayon we're trying to get it back", Cayetano said. "We have to analyze whether it's working or not and whether it's working or not for the Duterte administration", he said.

It is, however, unclear if US actions can successfully reverse current trends in the South China Sea given China's level of entrenchment.

"We are taking all diplomatic actions at the right time", he said, adding that "China had been told of the red lines".

"What I do think we're seeing at this time is a conscious effort by Beijing to put pressure on counter-claimants, namely Vietnam, to discourage them from having any hope these disputed territories could one day move to their de facto control". "The Philippines is a peaceful nation".

A statement on the Chinese defence ministry's website said the class guided-missile destroyer USS Higgins and Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam entered waters China claims in the Paracel island group "without the permission of the Chinese government".

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