21 April 2015
Attempts by Vietnam and the Philippines to form a strategic partnership amid China’s increasingly assertive claims to areas of the South China Sea will not deter Beijing from beefing up its presence in the disputed waters, Chinese analysts say.
China would, however, be wary of further antagonising neighbours and driving them into closer partnerships with its strategic rivals the United States and Japan, they said.
The president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, told the South China Morning Post last week that his country and Vietnam were working to strengthen ties and that he had become further alarmed about China’s construction of airstrips and other infrastructure on reclaimed land in the disputed waters.
… Li Mingjiang , an associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, agreed Beijing would not stop its reclamation work in the South China Sea, but said it would be wary of antagonising other nations, including Malaysia and Brunei.
“Too much tension will make Southeast Asian nations embrace the military presence of the US, or even Japan, and Beijing doesn’t want to see that,” Li said.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015