Philippines say it protested China 'harassment' of navy boat

01 June, 2018, 04:45 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • U.S. Navy: Chinese warships maneuvered in

The Pentagon sent two USA warships through the waters of the South China Sea over the weekend, a public demonstration of the right of free passage in worldwide waters and, in the process, sending China a message.

Last week, the Philippines expressed "serious concern" over the presence of China's strategic bombers in the disputed waters, but its response to the installation of missile systems was muted.

Esperon also assured that the Duterte administration was not abandoning the Philippines' legal victory against China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, although it refused to assert the arbitration court's decision.

The Pentagon last week rescinded its invitation to China to take part in RIMPAC, a major worldwide maritime exercise later this year, citing Beijing's militarization of islands in the South China Sea.

"We are now working hard for a framework that would not go against the Constitution for the exploration of natural resources".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the time the USA decision was "very unconstructive".

"President Duterte's approach is prudent, patient and pragmatic".

China has also deployed YJ-12B anti-ship cruise missiles and HQ-9B surface-to-air missiles to islands in the Spratlys, boosting China's ability to combat USA aviation and naval assets should such action be necessary.

Also last week, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said that Japan had helped to boost the Southeast Asian nation's maritime defence capability in the disputed waters.

"Or, if our people are hurt there at Pag-asa Island". "If there is more than one country militarizing, and it's not only the islands, if huge navies are sailing through the area, is that not militarization?" he said. The Higgins is one of two U.S warships that sailed through the South China Sea over the weekend. "But we're also going to confront what we believe is out of step with global law and out of step with worldwide tribunals that have spoken on the issue, and part of this is we maintain a very transparent military activity out in the Pacific", Mattis said.

Mattis' comments came after Beijing expressed "firm opposition" on Sunday after two U.S. warships sailed within 12 nautical miles of four artificial islands claimed by China in the disputed Paracel island chain, east of Vietnam. The sea covering 3.5 mn sq km borders Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and China and all have claims on the thousands of islands in the area.

"We have been filing diplomatic protests but our critics want us to shout loudly", Cayetano said.

Manila is pursuing a joint exploration agreement with Beijing for oil and natural gas reserves in their claimed territory in the South China Sea.

Mattis was heading to Hawaii to attend a change-of-command ceremony for the US military's Pacific Command.

U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson will take over PACOM from Adm. Harry Harris during the change of command on Wednesday.

The country would go to war if Filipino soldiers in the South China Sea were harmed, Duterte's national security adviser said on May 30.

Harris has been nominated to become the next USA ambassador to South Korea.



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