• Obama warns China: Don’t ‘throw elbows’

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    message sent A composite picture of an image of US President Barack obama while addressing 75 emerging leaders of the Asean in the East Room of the white House on Monday. AFP photo

    Message sent A composite picture of an image of US President Barack obama while addressing 75 emerging leaders of the Asean in the East Room of the white House on Monday. AFP photo

    Aggressive acts counterproductive to the region

    WASHINGTON, D.C.: US President Barack Obama on Monday weighed in on territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), urging regional powers, particularly China, to respect the law and stop “throwing elbows.”

    As several Asian regional powers face off over maritime borders, Obama warned about disregard for existing laws and a move away from established ways of resolving disputes.

    “If you start losing that approach, and suddenly conflicts arise and claims are made based on how big the country is or how powerful its navy is instead of based on law, then I think Asia will be less prosperous and the Pacific region will be less prosperous,” he said.

     Picture from China’s Ministry of defense showing Navy Soldiers on training at the Kalayaan (Spratly) islands.

    Picture from China’s Ministry of defense showing Navy Soldiers on training at the Kalayaan (Spratly) islands.

    The United States does not hold any territorial claims in the South China Sea, Obama added. But as a “Pacific power,” Washington has vocally called on China and other nations to end reclamation.

    His administration has vowed to continue sending military aircraft and ships to the tense region to protect navigation rights.

    “We think that land reclamation, aggressive actions by any party in that area are counterproductive,” said Obama.

    Turning to China directly, Obama adopted a boxing metaphor, saying, “It may be that some of their claims are legitimate, but they shouldn’t just try to establish that based on throwing elbows and pushing people out of the way.”

    Sought to comment on the US president’s speech, Malacañang’s deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, “We have always been of the position that any dispute involving territory should be resolved in a peaceful manner and in such a way that adhered to international norms.”

    Prevent clashes

    The US military will work to prevent unforeseen clashes in the South China Sea, the commander of the US 7th Fleet said also on Monday.

    In an interview aboard the USS Blue Ridge, Vice Adm. Robert Thomas said Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Forces can operate anywhere in the world and expressed hope that the US ally will cooperate with other countries such as the Philippines and Australia to boost its presence in the South China Sea.

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    3 Comments

    1. “It may be that some of their claims are legitimate” – READ: the US will not intervene militarily in the South China Sea issue..

    2. The worst part of this whole debacle between powerful countries with their international interest in maritime rights, is that Philippines is the one caught in the middle of it. A country that has no military might to speak of, even when dealing with local insurgency, barely able to defeat a local threat that had been with us for more than four decades.

      Is this the price that Filipinos need to pay to its former American colonizer? If the Americans consider Philippines as part of their strategic ally, how is it that they serve to weaken our institutions and covertly manipulate our government?

      America having waged war in the middle-east and Afghanistan to combat muslim insurgency and losing millions of dollars in a unwinnable war, suddenly realized they are losing grip of Asia and Africa, due to China’s aggressive expansion, both in political and economic fronts, had come to creat their Asian pivot to regain their economic pride – it is a bit too late for America to make waves in South China Sea, because American allied countries are all too deep in their own economic mess, from supporting America in its war.

      Most unfortunate, is the fact the Filipinos cannot count on our lawmakers to protect and uphold our own national interest, over and above those of the foreign countries interest in shaping the future of the Philippines, because most of our lawmakers have a price tag for rendering their decisions.

    3. Vic PenetranteVic on

      Parking at an intersection of streets will really cause a traffic jam!