China to US: Be careful in South China Sea

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BEIJING: Beijing’s defense ministry on Thursday warned the US navy to “be careful” in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) and slammed a newly signed defense agreement between Washington and the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Manila agreed to give US forces access to five military bases, including some close to the disputed South China Sea, where tensions have risen over Beijing’s assertion of its territorial claims.

China claims virtually all the South China Sea despite conflicting claims by Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines, and has built up artificial islands in the area in recent months, including some with airstrips.

Washington has since October carried out two high-profile “freedom of navigation” operations in which it sailed warships within 12 nautical miles of islets claimed by China.


Asked about a recent report on US patrols in the sea, defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a briefing on Thursday: “As for the US ships which came, I can only suggest they be careful.”

The agreement between Washington and Manila applies to the Antonio Bautista Air Base on the western island of Palawan, directly on the South China Sea.

Asked about the deal, Yang said: “To strengthen military alliances is a reflection of a Cold War mentality”.

“It is in the opposite direction of the trends of the era for peace, development and cooperation,” he said, adding bilateral military cooperation “should not “undermine a third party’s interests”.

Washington regularly accuses Beijing — which says it has built runways on and deployed unspecified weapons to islands in the South China Sea — of militarizing the area.
Beijing denies the accusations and says US patrols have ramped up tensions.

“Now, the United States has come back, and is reinforcing its military presence in this region and promoting militarization in the South China Sea,” Yang said.

Beijing acknowledges that the facilities on its new islands will have military as well as civilian purposes.

Satellite imagery released last month showed Beijing was installing radar equipment and had deployed surface-to-air missiles and lengthened a runway to accommodate fighter jets on one islet, Woody Island, in the Paracels.

AFP

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2 Comments

  1. unemployed bum on

    Our BIG brothers will be enforcing the “freedom of navigation” in South China Sea”, and they (Americans) will NOT be asking permission when entering the ADIZ zone set-up by China. The Air Defense Identification Zone will be useless because American Vessels and Aircrafts will be in the area most of the time, thanks to the Philippine government for letting them use those 5 bases to store their logistical support, that can easily accessed and replenished. Now, the Chinese can only say “be careful in South China Sea”. Chinese Navy think they are BAD and UGLY in South China Sea, but their ways of thinking will change once our big brothers settled down in Philippines overlooking South China Sea. Let’s wait and see.

  2. William t dungo on

    Let us be aware that China’s real intent is to take this island and once it did that then he will put a lot of oil rigs and start pumping oil out in that area. Once drilling oil started and accident/mistake occurs the whole west Philippines sea will polluted just like what happen in the east coast New Orleans British Petrolium company destroy the USA east coast beach. So thi also happen to the Philippines if we will not stop China so. Let’s stop China no matter what thank you