With growing tensions over disputed waters in the South China Sea, China is calling for stability and peace after the Philippines agreed to allow more US troops onto their soil. There are plans from Manila to hold more joint military exercises in the region. AFP reports:
Manila said Friday it planned to hold more joint exercises and to let more US troops rotate through the Southeast Asian country — an offer welcomed by the United States as it seeks to expand its military power in Asia.
“We hope that relevant parties will make more effort towards peace and stability in the region,” China’s foreign ministry said in a brief statement faxed to AFP.
China and the Philippines, along with Vietnam, have rival claims to parts of the South China Sea, home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and believed to hold vast deposits of fossil fuels.
Manila and Hanoi complained repeatedly last year of what they said were increasingly aggressive acts by China in the decades-long rift.
In contrast to the government’s response, the Global Times has published an article urging China to put sanctions against the Philippines. The San Francisco Chronicle adds:
An official Chinese newspaper says Beijing must punish the Philippines economically for proposing closer military ties with Washington.
The nationalist tabloid Global Times, published by the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, said Sunday that China must pressure Manila to abandon cooperation with the U.S.
China and the Philippines, along with other nations, are locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea, and Beijing sees the U.S. as an unwelcome interloper in that dispute.
See also Manila protests Chinese ships presence via CDT.