The oceans are a significant shipping route for international commerce and are full of fish and potential gas and oil reserves.
The South China Sea remained a point of contention in talks last week between China and the Philippines, together with Manila issuing hard words before withdrawing them without any excuse.
The Philippine defense leader said his nation would adhere”with no chance of compromise” into some 2016 international arbitration ruling which invalidated most of China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana commented to his Chinese counterpart on Friday, according to a Philippine statement concerning the assembly. On the other hand, the announcement was withdrawn shortly afterward, along with the controversial remark that was eliminated.
The episode underscores the South China Sea’s central function as a point of controversy. China maintains overwhelming military and economic benefits within the Philippines.
China refused to participate in the mediation with a U.N.-backed tribunal. It disregarded its judgment as a”sham” and proceeds to withstand it. Chinese Gen. Wei Fenghe’s trip followed a string of protests from the Philippines over China’s increasingly competitive activities from the occupied waterway.
TAIWAN SAYS CHINA WAR GAMES A Significant THREAT
Taiwan states Chinese warplanes entered its airspace from the South China Sea on Wednesday and Thursday during big war games it predicted a”serious provocation to the self-governing island plus also a grave threat to regional peace and stability.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said Thursday that its army was completely conscious of China’s activities and”reacts effectively,” without providing specifics. The war games allegedly happened in airspace involving Taiwan’s most important island and also the Taiwan-controlled Pratas island set to the southwest.
China claims that the self-governing democracy of 23 million people is its land and has been stepping up its threat to bring the island under its control by military power using regular war matches and airborne patrols.
Taiwan said such activities by China’s People’s Liberation Army undermine the whole area and urged the global community to react.
“Now, the PLA has selected to run exercises near Taiwan; tomorrow it might take part in similar dangers near other nations,” the ministry said in a statement.
China cut contacts with Taiwan’s government after the 2016 election of independence-minded President Tsai Ing-wen, that had been reelected this season, also has sought to isolate her diplomatically while firming up the political, military, and financial strain.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has fired back in U.S. accusations over China’s activities in the South China Sea, stating it was Washington which has been the”largest driver of militarization” and”most hazardous variable damaging serenity” in the area.
Addressing a meeting of East Asian foreign ministers through video connection on Wednesday, Wang accused that the U.S. of stirring up frictions between China and nations bordering on the South China Sea, also of undercutting efforts by China to reconcile disputes together with all the 10-member Association of East Asian Nations.
Wang reported the U.S. had shipped almost 3,000 sorties of aircraft and over 60 warships throughout the vital waterway in the first half of this year.
While reaching out to regional authorities and espousing Beijing’s desire for stability and peace, Wang also laid down the lineup on China’s claim to the whole South China Sea, saying its sovereignty claims have an “adequate historical and legal foundation.”
Under chief Xi Jinping’s aggressive foreign policy and eloquent rivalry for fish stocks, petroleum, and other sources, China has experienced limited success in convincing regional nations it, not the U.S., is the reliable partner to keep stability and peace in the area.