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Manila confronts Beijing’s “total neglect” of law in the South China Sea

Manila and Beijing are trapped in an unusually open and sour controversy over what the Philippines calls “Swarming and threatening beings” There are more than 200 Chinese fishing boats around the coral reefs of the South China Sea.

China’s Foreign Ministry has accused the Philippines of “hype” the issue, claiming that vessels believed to be part of the maritime militia are simply “protected from the wind.”

The Rodrigo Duterte administration has pointed out that the weather has been good these days, and analysts said a similar incident at sea would allow China to build permanent structures on coral reefs and atolls to strengthen its maritime claims. He said it was often done before.

According to satellite photos and Filipino authorities Chinese fleet Since last month, it has been gathering around the Whit Sun Reef in the Spratly Islands, which Filipinos call Julian Felipe Reef.

The Philippines claims the region as part of a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, won an arbitration proceeding against China in 2016, and Beijing’s history of most seas on the “Nine-dash Line” map. Invalidated the claim of the right. ..

On the other side of the Luzon Strait, China is strengthening its military stance around Taiwan. The United States is afraid that China is cheating on the idea of ​​taking control of Taiwan. It claims that Beijing is part of its territory.

In the controversy over the whitson reef, Joe Biden’s new administration was announced by the United States. US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty..

Chinese military aircraft entered the air defense identification zone of Japan and Taiwan this week © Taiwan Ministry of National Defense AP

“The United States is cooperating with its ally, the Philippines, in the face of Chinese maritime militia gathering in the South China Sea,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department. “We always support our allies and support the rules-based international order.”

Duterte opened its foreign policy away from Washington More friendly relationship Since taking power in 2016, he met with a Chinese ambassador in the Philippines last month with China more than any of his predecessors and complained about the ship. Manila also sent military aircraft to patrol the area.

This week, Filipino Foreign Minister Delfin Lorenzana said China has shown “total disregard” to international law, which he described as “horrifying.”

He added: “The nine-dash line claim has virtually or no legal basis.” The Chinese embassy said the area was a traditional fishing ground for Chinese ships, and Lorenzana “further instigated irrational sentiment.” He accused him of making “possible non-professional remarks.”

Analysts said the conflict evoked a reaction to China’s 1994 occupation. Mischief Reef, Another atoll in the Spratly Islands. China initially built what is said to be a shelter for fishermen and later developed into a base.

“This is a continuation of China’s current long-standing strategy of hiring a large number of militias to establish de facto management of the waters around the South China Sea and coral reefs,” said Gregory, senior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Polling says. ..

“The fact that the Filipino government is not only talking about it, but actually documenting it and publishing it is a big problem.”

Screen showing a video of Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines

Rodrigo Duterte approaches Beijing, but the United States assists the Philippines in the Spratly Islands © Ezra Acayan / Getty Images

This controversy is consistent with the surge in coronavirus cases in the Philippines, which has disrupted government operations. On Wednesday, Duterte canceled his regular weekly speech due to an increase in cases of Covid-19 attacking his staff. Lorenzana said she was self-quarantining after testing positive for the virus.

This week, Chinese military aircraft enter the air defense identification zones of Japan and Taiwan, and an aircraft carrier group led by Liaoning, the older of the two Chinese aircraft carriers, passes through the Miyako Strait near both Taiwan and Japan on Sunday. did.

They accompanied the Nanchang 065 destroyer, a stealth ship equipped with anti-aircraft guided missiles, for the first time.

The Chinese Navy said training was a routine effort to “enhance its ability to protect national sovereignty,” adding that it would conduct similar training.

The United States fears further threats to Chinese maritime militias following amendments to China’s Coast Guard Act, which may allow coast guard vessels that often accompany militias to use weapons are doing.

Ketian Vivian Chan, a scholar at George Mason University in the United States, said China’s training is a manifestation of the power and strength around the autonomous islands aimed at blocking the Declaration of Independence.

However, she said the increase in military activity did not coincide with the tense period from 2012 to 2015 and was not particularly dangerous as long as both the United States and China were working to avoid conflict.

Taipei warned on Wednesday that if it crossed the Taiwan-controlled Platas Islands, it would shoot down a Chinese drone that had recently circled the Taiwan-controlled Platas Islands. Separately, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain also provided freedom of navigation in the Taiwan Strait.

Manila confronts Beijing’s “total neglect” of law in the South China Sea

Source link Manila confronts Beijing’s “total neglect” of law in the South China Sea

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