China, Philippines South China Sea Tensions Escalate After Japan Deal
China and the Philippines have been at odds with each other especially after both countries claim rights over the South China Sea region. According to new reports, China is not happy with the Philippines striking a deal with Japan to lease planes that will patrol the disputed region.Advertisement
China did not hide its concern over the recent aircraft deal between the Philippines and Japan. Philippine President Benigno Aquino announced previously that the country will be acquiring TC-90 training aircraft to help its navy monitor territories the nation deems it has rights over. Military modernization has been on top of the Philippines’ priority after China deployed fighters and missiles on several South China Sea Islands.
“If the Philippines’ actions are to challenge China’s sovereignty and security interests, China is resolutely opposed,” Reuters quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei during a news briefing. “I also want to point out that Japan is not a party to the South China Sea issue and we are on high guard against its moves. We demand that Japan speak and act cautiously and not do anything to harm regional peace and stability,” the spokesman said.
China and Japan had a long hand strained political history. Now that China has been claiming the South China Sea as its territory, nations like Japan are adamant at stopping its efforts. The South China Sea sees around $5 trillion worth of ship-borne trade. Other claimants to the region include Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
While other countries like the Philippines continue to challenge China over its efforts in the South China Sea region, a Chinese businessman and political adviser urged the government to turn a portion of the disputed region into an offshore banking hub. According to Han Fangming, Alibaba and Baidu have operations in the Cayman Islands so why not put an income stream into what China thinks as part of its territory.
“Promoting offshore services there will be a boon to both local economic development and the safeguarding of national interests,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Han.