HIROSHIMA: China’s claims of almost all of South China Sea is disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. The Philippines has taken the disputed UN Convention on the Law of Seas, (UNCLOS). The tribunal proceedings were boycotted by China Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said the US will damage peace in the South China Sea by calling for joint patrols. “When Washington calls China’s behaviour in the South China Sea ‘coercive’, the joint patrols have been a slap in the face. This is sheer coercion against China’s peaceful development,” Zhang told China Daily. Carter reported the US confirmation at a news conference with Philippines Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin in Manila.
Reports said the first joint patrol took place in March and a second one took place earlier this month. Carter said the US forces will be given access to more military bases in the Philippines than the five announced already. ‘The US Army has now returned, has reinforced its military presence in the Philippines and has given rise to militarisation in the South China Sea region,’ said China’s Ministry of National Defence. Strengthening security operations of the US and the Philippines is a reflection of the Cold War mentality that will promote regional militarisation, which will affect the regional stability of the South China Sea, it said. ‘We urge related parties not to target a third party or affect its interests when carrying out bilateral military cooperation,’ the ministry’s press office has been quoted as saying by the state-run ‘Global Times’. China’s military will be highly focused on related issues and pledge to safeguard national sovereignty rights and rights in the ocean, the ministry added. Carter’s visit to the Philippines comes after a three-day visit to India, during which the two countries decided to reach military logistics supply agreement to get access to each other’s bases. Earlier, Chinese ministry summoned envoys of G 7 foreign ministers and protest over a statement in Hiroshima, expressing concerns over the situations in the East and South China Seas. PTI
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