China’s bid for the South China Sea region has grown more apparent than ever and it also warned other nations about dipping into the dispute. This time, Beijing issued the warning to Japan, saying that the country is playing with fire, given its plans to boost activity in the contested region. Are things reaching to a boiling point?
China Tells Japan to Step Back
China’s Defense Ministry warned on Thursday that it will not sit idly on the sidelines. It also claimed that Japan is playing with fire for its plans to step up efforts in the South China Sea region, including its joint training patrols with the United States.
China has been clear about its agenda in the South China Sea region, but it also made sure everyone understood that it does not want third-party interventions. It has expressed disapproval of U.S. operations near the disputed region including joint activities with Asian nations.
“We must solemnly tell Japan this is a miscalculation. If Japan wants to have joint patrols or drills in waters under Chinese jurisdiction this really is playing with fire,” Reuters quoted Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun during a news briefing.
“China’s military will not sit idly by,” he added.
Philippines Gets Cozy with China
On the other hand, Philippines, a long standing ally of the United States, continue to breed better ties with China. According to a report from Manila Times, President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to push talks with China on the sea row.
“Bilateral engagements with China [are]necessary with this respect because the arbitral tribunal’s decision has no enforcement capability or mechanisms on its own,” explained Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay.
“The enforcement and implementation of the arbitral tribunal’s decision will have to be pursued and made by the claimants themselves to their own agreements,” he added.