Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

South China Sea Tensions Escalate, Risk 'Involving More and More Countries'

South China Sea Tensions Escalate, Risk 'Involving More and More Countries'

Abella's statement was in response to the report of United States' (US) think tank, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), that China's reclamation efforts continue in the resource-rich South China Sea.

This amounts to an explicit recognition that the Philippines is toeing China's line as ASEAN's chair.

He added that the Chinese Navy identified the warship, warned and expelled it.

Indeed, Duterte criticized the United States for pushing the Philippines to raise the arbitral tribunal ruling with China when it did not send troops to help protect its islands in the South China Sea from Beijing's reclamation activities. Meanwhile, China remains undaunted in its quest to dominate adjacent waters as an extension of its maritime and territorial domain.

"They (Chinese) are not reclaiming land anymore", Cayetano said.

China today expressed its "strong dissatisfaction" with the US over the sail-by.

He told the South Korean authorities that he was swept away in tidal currents when digging for shellfish in the sea off Ryongyon County in South Hwanghae Province.

USA national security advisor Lt Gen H R McMaster had said recently that "China is not doing enough on North Korea which continues to violate worldwide norms by conducting missile tests".

In an annual defense white paper released on Tuesday, Japan said the number of its jet scrambles against Chinese aircraft hit a record in the year to March 2017.

The US, Australia and Japan had issued a statement at ASEAN opposing "coercive unilateral action" and any militarisation of the islands - after Vietnam failed in a push to have the code of conduct be legally binding. He appeared oblivious of the scale of China's island-building spree, which is of an entirely different order of magnitude from those of other littoral states, including Vietnam.

We are today dealing closely and with greater cooperation with the US, China, Russia - the world's three biggest countries which have often been at odds with one another. "Hindi naman nila sinabi na ititigil ang pag-i-improve sa pag-reclaim tulad ng Subi Reef Mischief Reef at isa pa, we will leave it at that, hindi naman natin sila mautusan na tigilan nila", Lorenzana said.

"And the point of that is to demonstrate that the United States will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei - all ASEAN members - as well as Taiwan.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said threats against the US from North Korea would be met with "fire and fury like the world has never seen." .

Experts and officials have criticised President Barack Obama for potentially reinforcing China's claims by sticking to innocent passage, in which a warship effectively recognised a territorial sea by crossing it speedily without stopping. Despite the 65 year-old U.S. -Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, the Philippines was not sure Washington would back it militarily in a conflict with China.

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