Claimant countries in the South China Sea dispute are stepping up to protect their rights as the Philippines received more military support from Japan. Likewise, new research shows that China has been destabilizing the region as it increases efforts to claim territories in the South China Sea. Will the Philippines be able to hold its ground if war comes?
Japan Backs Philippines in War
Alliances are crucial for tensions on the world stage. The same goes for the dispute in the South China Sea region. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently agreed to beef up military support to the Philippines by providing two large-sized patrol ships and lending up to five used surveillance aircraft. A Japanese government spokesman confirmed the information as the two nations continue to be locked with territorial disputes with China.
According to Reuters, Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met in Vientiane and agreed to bolster their cooperation to guarantee a more peaceful resolution to the South China Sea, as noted by Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda.
China has been very aggressive in efforts to claim territories in the region; trillions of trade pass through the area every year. According to analysts, countries who could claim territories in the region stand to gain a power and resources. Despite opposition, China maintains that it allegedly reserves the right to call the South China Sea region its territory.
China Provokes More Clashes
Another report from Reuters claims that a new research showing the Chinese coast guard in the middle of most of the clashes in the disputed region. CSIS researchers said there have been around 45 clashes and standoffs in the South China Sea since 2010.
“The evidence is clear that there is a pattern of behavior from China that is contrary to what law enforcement usually involves,” said Bonnie Glaser from Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“We’re seeing bullying, harassment and ramming of vessels from countries whose coast guard and fishing vessels are much smaller, often to assert sovereignty throughout the South China Sea.”