14 May 2015
Vietnam and the Philippines have thrown support behind plans to beef up the US military presence in waters near China’s newly-built islands in the East Sea, the Vietnamese term for the South China Sea.
“The Philippines believes that the US, as well as all responsible members of [the] international community, do have a legitimate interest and say in what is happening in [the] South China Sea,” Charles Jose, the spokesman for the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement sent to Thanh Nien News on Thursday.
The Pentagon is weighing sending US military aircraft and ships to assert the freedom of navigation around China’s rapidly expanding artificial islands in the East Sea, Reuters reported Tuesday.
… By doing so “the US is obviously playing chicken with the Chinese, purposely disturbing the supposed 12-nautical mile boundary by air and by sea. In the past, the US military has usually avoided this kind of provocation,” Richard A. Bitzinger, a maritime analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told Thanh Nien News.
“I don’t think anyone can stop the Chinese, short of invading the islands and kicking the construction workers out – and that would mean engaging on battles with [Chinese] soldiers and sailors,” Bitzinger said.
“But the US, by engaging in such activities, is laying down a gauntlet: It’s making a statement that it doesn’t recognize any Chinese sovereignty around these artificial constructs.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015