Beijing’s unending quest to dominate the South China Sea has put irked the Philippines and other nations countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, who have overlapping claims while Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr raised the issue at World Economic Forum in Davos and said that the major issue of concern is China making claims on our territory, Hong Kong Post reported.
China has been aggressively increasing its activities in the South China Sea including in several unoccupied lands within Philippine waters, Manila has boosted its military presence in the region.
Due to China’s aggression, the Quad has time and again called for bringing the advantages of modern technology, climate protection, and health care to the littoral states of the South China Sea, in contrast to China’s strategy of establishing its monopoly over the entire international waters of the region in order to exploit its maritime resources and control trade lanes, the Hong Kong Post reported.
Recently, during the summit of the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 19, “the South China Sea dispute with China keeps you up at night, keeps you up in the day, and keeps you up most of the time,” according to the Hong Kong Post.
“The entire blame for the dispute was on China, the efforts of Beijing to extend its hegemony over the South China Sea. “We have no conflicting claims with China. What we have is China making claims on our territory,” President Marcos said.
The Philippines has lodged several diplomatic concerns about China’s escalating assertiveness in the disputed waters, which Beijing essentially claims as its whole territory.
Manila filed approximately 200 letters of protest to Beijing in 2022 in response to Chinese transgressions into the Philippine maritime waters. 65 of them were after President Marcos Jr. took office in June 2022, the Hong Kong Post reported.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned China against altering the status quo in Taiwan on January 1, 2023, in response to China’s ominous military manoeuvres near Taiwan’s shores.
Recently, the Philippine government has said that the country is monitoring developments in the South China Sea and is investigating a recent incident where a China Coast Guard ship allegedly harassed local fishermen near a Filipino-occupied shoal (a natural submerged ridge), US-based non-profit news service Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.
The incident was the first alleged case of Chinese harassment of a Philippine fishing boat reported in 2023. Last year, the Philippines carried out at least 10 resupply missions to the Sierra Madre without any incidents, apart from reports of the Chinese Coast Guard issuing verbal challenges, RFA reported.
Beijing claims the bulk of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory, contributing to this being the region’s most hotly contested body of water. Such claims are bolstered by China’s construction of controversial man-made islands in the region, reported The Drive.
These outposts have become increasingly militarized, part of China’s strategy for enforcing its expansive territorial claims despite significant international opposition. The same strategy also involves paramilitary vessels that are used to impede other nations’ access to fishing areas and energy resources.
The Chinese government has adopted a more combative approach toward Taiwan in recent years, and American officials are now openly voicing their worries that Beijing may try to seize control of the island sooner rather than later. (ANI)
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