US free to block China – Yasay

7

THE Philippines will not stop the United States if it plans to block China from artificial islands in the contested West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said on Saturday.

Advertisements

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr.

He said the Western power also has its own interest in the international waters – a strategic sea lane through which more than half global trade, amounting to $5.3 trillion each year, passes.

“If it is the national interest of the US to prevent China from occupying disputed features in the South China Sea, they are free to do so as the area is within international waters,” the official told The Manila Times.

Yasay was responding to the remarks by US Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson during a confirmation hearing in Washington last week that China must be denied access to reefs it had reclaimed in the disputed waters.

“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed,” the former ExxonMobil executive told US senators.

On Friday, China’s state-run media warned the United States there would be war if it moved to block China’s access to the islands.

“Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent Chinese access to the islands will be foolish,” the Global Times said in an editorial.

China Daily took a similar line, saying: “It would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US. After all, how can the US deny China access to its own territories without inviting the latter’s legitimate, defensive responses?”

China’s official reaction to the comments was muted, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang politely urging Washington to mind its own business.

“The South China Sea situation has cooled down and we hope non-regional countries can respect the consensus that it is in the fundamental interest of the whole world,” he said.

Tribunal ruling

China has irreversibly destroyed seven South China Sea reefs and turned them into artificial islets, despite overlapping claims by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.

On the Philippines’ part, Yasay said the government would continue bilateral discussions with China to peacefully resolve the sea row and eventually implement a ruling of an international arbitral tribunal in favor of Manila.

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration nullified Beijing’s excessive claims in the disputed South China Sea in July 2016, upholding the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that gives the Philippines sovereign rights to areas within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

“We have our interest to protect and we are committed to resolve the issue to implement the arbitral tribunal’s ruling peacefully and in accordance with international law,” Yasay said.

He added that a legally binding framework for the code of conduct of Southeast Asian nations and China in the South China Sea will be completed in the middle of the year.

The code of conduct may pave the way for the enforcement of the Philippines’ international victory, he added.
But the Chinese foreign ministry expressed confidence “the issue of the South China Sea won’t be discussed” under the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) this year.

“I believe you are all aware that the Philippine government has stated explicitly that during their serving as the rotating chair of Asean, the issue of the South China Sea won’t be discussed at Asean meetings,” the Chinese foreign ministry’s Lu was quoted as saying in a translated transcript issued on Saturday.

Yasay, however, said Manila had only decided not to raise the arbitration ruling, as it was a bilateral issue between Manila and Beijing.

“The South China Sea issue will likely be the subject of interventions during the Asean meetings but not the arbitral tribunal ruling. We will continue to urge the observation of the rule of law and the 1982 Unclos,” he said.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

7 Comments

  1. May I say that SEC. Yasay is forgetting the word occupation ….may I say that occupied artificial island was
    done under the collaboration of some Zambales officials who sold the filing material to China when it was build.
    The Politicians who collaborated with China are still at large up to now. Even the COA people who were into it and permitted this to happen are still at large.
    Corruption in government cannot just happen if the COA people remain vigilant against it and resist
    the temptation of receiving what they call 3 percent SOP’s.
    We have to let Congress review seriously the effect of constitutional commissions and their effectiveness to combat
    corruption otherwise the Duterte effort to curve it will just be put to waste.

  2. It’s time to Nuke China.
    Boycott China products and travel.
    Fire all Chinese staff you have.
    Send China a message!

  3. Secretary Yasay of the Philippines is right. After all, the incoming Trump policy is America first. Common sense dictates that the United States does not want F..ckng CHINA to establish military bases in that South sea. Imagine if China succeeded in putting up military bases? Do you think America will allow that? Remember there used to be American military bases in the Philippines? The Philippines at that era could not be abused by that Sh..t China, much more so, any country even Russia. War? No problem. The United States is number 1 exporter of war. America is involved in wars in the middle east; there is no reason why the U.S. will not fight China, if necessary. The other leverage of Trump against China is the One-China policy on Taiwan. The next to be cleared by America is that s.o.b. crazy North Korea. The incoming President Donald J. Trump will restore the American Dream, most importantly, to gain respect by the other nations.

  4. In the first place, the Philippines does not have the capability to “stop” the U.S.

    Just the same, you Americans just try denying China access to the South China Sea, and you will regret it. Not only will you lose your shirt, your pants and suffer “a bloody nose”, you will set the stage for a worldwide resistance to your insistent attempts at international hegemony. Already, you have given birth to Al Qaeda and now to ISIS. You have laid to waste most of the entire Middle East, and now, you want to replicate “your thing” here in Asia?!

  5. If war breaks out in the scs, the Phils will get involved whether we like it or not because of the presence of the US troops in the country. Our country can not escape being targeted by China. Probably the weird Trump is provoking China expecting it not to attack the US troops stationed in the country just because the DU30 administration is presently being pragmatic in its foreign affairs. Or they wished China to attacked the Phils so that its pivot to the former will be derailed

  6. That seems to be our position now that we cannot touch the issue of South China Sea under the term of Chinese govt.in exchange of billion dollars said to be sort of investment in the Philippines.

    How ironic that we are setting aside our commitment of getting ours and let other super power to do it for us, yes we are no match to Chinese military as time immemorial we do not have any dispute on that group of island, only lately we seen a 9 dash line cutting our territory as not ours overnight , that why we seek international panels to look in our position and we won.

    Only the firebrand of new administration turns our back of fighting whats legally ours, in exchange of billions of dole outs,

    Sec. Yasay should know how difficult the past administration to fight this way only to be put in a back burner and in cahoot with his boss the President of dissing the president of the United of America, smacking the indignation of Pilipino people under colonialism of America then, and announcing to the world in China his distancing his relation to the United State and joining the other communist country , Russia and China.

    Right now we are so much of a big lost of as we always believed that rock will be use for civilian purposes and right now missiles are already stationed in the island as they already claim thats their own now and have the right to put what ever they want…our claim already lost in the eye of some of our allies and maybe no more interest of helping us in our claim.because we do not have further interest of pursuing our claim.

    Saving our face in our won tribunal decision and not to antagonized Chinese .a big headline ..US FREE TO BLOCK CHINA..YASAY
    How could US do that without the claimant assertion? that stupid

    After all Yasay can go back to Hawaii and pursue his job, earning his dollars and have comfortable life enjoying the hospitality of American dreams..Leaving the Filipino people in disdain as a mouth piece of of Duterte as our Secretary of Foreign Affairs
    enjoy your American Visa then Mr. Secretary..

  7. MARIANO PATALINJUG on

    Yonkers, New York
    14 January 2017

    If a U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should make good on his nomination testimony before the US Senate, to the effect that he will deny China the use of those disputed maritime structures in the South China Sea, which it has already militarized, in effect it is the United States which will be enforcing the clear July 12, 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague which favors the Philippines against China–and which ruled, further, that China’s arbitrary Nine-Dash Line has no basis in Law [UNCLOS].

    China has reacted to REX TILLERSON’s testimony angrily, threatening a nuclear war against the United States.

    That threat is nothing more than a brazen BLUFF! China must know that in a nuclear confrontation against the United States, virtually all of its coastal mega-cities, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, will be reduced to dust.

    Would that be cost-effective for China?

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com