China: No one tells us what to do

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China’s foreign ministry on Friday hit back at US criticism of its reclamation works in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), saying, “No one has the right to instruct China on what to do.”

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Beijing’s statement was carried by the state-owned China Daily and was posted on its English edition website.

Quoting “observers,” the article warned that “Washington is playing with fire” as the US beefs up its military presence in the region.

The Chinese reiterated that they  managed to drive away a US Navy reconnaissance aircraft that flew over “China’s Nansha Islands” as it referred to how they call the Spratlys  island chain, which the Philippines in turn refers to as the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).

Beijing’s statement was released just as the US Embassy in Manila announced the arrival of the USS Shiloh in the former American naval base in Subic, Zambales, this weekend for a routine port call.

The embassy said the guided missile cruiser’s port visit is part of “an ongoing patrol in the Pacific theater.”

Beijing’s statement also came as Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin started talks with his US counterpart in Hawaii about  an intelligence sharing pact, the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA).

The statement’s release also came simultaneously with Malacañang’s announcement that President Benigno Aquino 3rd is going to Japan on June 2 to seek defense and security ties.

Like the Philippines, Japan is also mired in a territorial dispute with China over the East China Sea.

Beijing took exception to a statement by US Defense Secretary Ash Carter who on Wednesday called for a halt to China’s reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea as he said US military aircraft and warships will continue to operate in the region wherever permitted under international law.

Chinese Feign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States has made a number of comments about China’s construction work on the Spratlys while it “chooses selective silence” toward those who illegally occupy Chinese islands.

“[The US] is either accustomed to taking double standards or has other intentions,” Hua said, urging Washington to avoid any “alienating or provocative words and actions.”

Hua said the overall situation in the South China Sea remains stable, but some countries are attempting to pick fights and others are supporting them by adding fuel.

Double standards
China Daily also quoted Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the People’s Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute, who said the US armed forces had been “directly interfering” in the situation recently after allies such as Japan and the Philippines failed to respond to Washington’s earlier calls for a joint patrol in the South China Sea.

Zhang said the US double standards were highlighted after China clarified that when the construction works are  completed, the islands will be open to the international community for use in activities such as search and rescue. “[The US] aims to contain China,” he added.

Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, said, “Washington i s trying to force Beijing into a corner” as it is misinterpreting China’s construction projects on the islands. The US wants to “shape a stronger presence of itself in the region,” Ruan added.

Hua urged Washington to think seriously about the Asia-Pacific region, saying, “Does it ultimately serve US interests if chaos overwhelms the region, a major engine of world economic growth?”

Ouyang Yujing, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, has dismissed accusations that China is sabotaging freedom of navigation and the ecological environment in the South China Sea.

“No one cares more than China about the ecological preservation of islands, reefs and sea areas,” Ouyang earlier said.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said Washington is making the situation a hot topic and seeking to internationalize it.

“The biggest factor behind this is its anxiety” because “the US is not as confident as it was,” Jin said.

Washington is comforting and appeasing its allies “because they also have some concerns about whether the superpower is reliable or not.”

China Daily said the 7th China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue would be held in Washington next month. Jin said some observers see US actions in the South China Sea as a bargaining chip for Washington.

Diplomatic track
Amid the word war, Malacanang reiterated that Manila will continue to pursue the diplomatic track in its issue with China, saying the Philippine government will continue to try and settle the matter through peaceful means.

“The Philippines will continue to abide by the Unclos [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea] and by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. We also continue our talks with the different members of the Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] according to the principle of Asean centrality and in crafting a legally binding Code of Conduct,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“Our position on the importance of maintaining the freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and the international law in the area is unwavering,” he added.

Defense ties
Explaining President Aquino’s impending trip to Tokyo, a Department of Foreign Affairs official said

both the Philippines and Japan are working now on “additional structures” to strengthen defense relations.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Minda Cruz said Tokyo is seeking to transfer defense equipment and technology to the Philippines. She, however, did not give details.

“We have been very active in terms of capacity- building for the Philippines and also training between our two sides, you know, at the defense side. So that will continue and I think that will continue to be enhanced by both sides,” Cruz said.

With BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON

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6 Comments

  1. Conrado Maramag on

    China and claimants negotiate what are the reasons for not doing so?

  2. genesisbughaw on

    War avoidance policy must be clearly telegraph by our Government to all parties involved and the move to resolve the conflict in the international tribunal is in fact a laudable one.

    However, it is not enough. The Philippines must declare that we are pursuing our case within the ambit of our Constitutions-Independent to any foreign influences.

    But so far as it goes, our officials …they allowed their balls to be eaten by whitish.

    With due respect to the involvement of our Uncle Sam in the South China Sea-freedom of navigation and commerce which is legitimate lies on how non-military saner forces will deal with it.

    China’s activities in South China Sea wherein according to european historians South China Sea was use only as a reference in their navigation and not recognized as wholly owned by China as for me is a flash point of concern.

    The key is consistency to the binding declaration of non-use of force and respect to rule of law and justice.

    This is where our officials should work with dynamism.

    God Bless the Philippines

  3. China cannot be trusted,no class.Then dont tell PH and U.S what to do in the west Philippine sea.

  4. sonny dela cruz on

    CHINA SAID “NO ONE TELLS US WHAT TO DO”, neither the “UNITED NATIONS” nor the “UNITED STATES”. We don’t RESPECT any “INTERNATIONAL LAWS”. All China sea is ours and we can do whatever we want to do, and no one can stop us. To HUA CHUNYING, that is correct if what you are doing is within the jurisdiction of China, just like what you did in 1989 MASSACRE OF THE PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER SEEKING FOR FREEDOM FROM YOUR GOVERNMENT IN TIANNAMEN SQUARE. Those young men and Women were gunned down until dawn even they were lying down bloody and asking for MERCY but your red armies didn’t have the kind heart to spare their lives.
    This is BARBARIC and is not acceptable to “FREE MINDED and GOD FEARING NATIONS.” The United States was kind enough to help you develope your economy at the expense of their American labor, thinking that China will be a partner in peace throughout the world but they made a mistake, China has a “HIDDEN AGENDA” against the United States and the world. With the help of the United States, you built your own military and now to challenge the United States because your HATE against the United States is still exist when you lost the war in the Korean War in 1950. The behavior you are showing now still the HATE against America and each allies.
    The US forces are coming to tell you to RESPECT the International law of sea and air space. Remove all what you have done in the West Philippine sea. Respect the sovereignty of each nations around the China sea, you don’t OWN the China sea it was only name after the word China just like the Philippine sea on the map that Philippines doesn’t own the whole Philippine sea. I don’t need to educate you but your government seems to me a “KIND OF DUMB” and don’t understand that China sea is only name after your country but it doesn’t mean you own the whole China sea.
    Please if you don’t understand, GO BACK TO SCHOOL in any FREE COUNTRY maybe you’ll find out what you are learning inside China is “PURELY GREED”.

  5. Nancy Bulok Cake on

    With all the evidences gathered that China is stealing all the islands from Spratley and converting them to a military garrison, China’s denial of everything is like the Binays. Binay and China are the same in reasoning and mentality. Kahit mali sila ay kasinungalingan pa rin at technicality ang kanilang alibis. To China and the Binays. both of you go to Hell.

    • Hi Binay Hater, am not pro nor anti-Binay but stay with the topic, CHINA. Don’t mention anything about those not concerned with the subject. Kaya maybe you used the acronym NANCY BULOK CAKE, kasi eh BULOK ka din as in BULOK NA BULOK NA MAS BULOK KA PA SA MGA INTSIK NA UMAANGKIN NG HINDI KANILA. duon mo na lang ituon sa mga intsik ang gusto mong sabihin. Or sama ka na lang sa mga intsik at ng mamasaker ka sa Tiananmen Square.