While China showed no signs of stopping in making its presence in the South China Sea visible, countries such as the United States, Australia, and the Philippines are readying for all possibilities should tension in the disputed territory escalates further.
A satellite image from ImageStat Stattion (ISI) taken early this month confirmed China’s intensified presence in the disputed sea by deploying more fighter jets that patrol the area. Aside from the deployment of fighter jets and warships in the area, the Chinese government has also been building physical structures in different islands in the South China Sea, including runways and lighthouses. The images, which were exclusively handed to the FoxNews raised concern on China’s position in the area, which some countries consider as a provocative action on the part of the Chinese government.
It was reported that US Defense Secretary Ash Carter is set to visit Manila to meet with its Filipino counterparts to discuss issues in the region, especially the brewing tension in the South China Sea, the FoxNews reported. Carter’s earlier plan to visit China during his current Asian trip has been canceled following the tension in the region.
Carter is also expected to finalize the deal between the US and the Philippines on the possible military bases in the country. The Philippines is one of the claimants in the disputed vast sea along with Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
According to a separate report from the Wall Street Journal, people close to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed plans of the prime minister to visit Beijing to warn its Chinese counterparts that their actions in the region might severe China’s diplomatic ties with the international community.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government had turned to the U.S for military support in protecting its claim in the region, the CTV News reported. The Philippines has lodged a case before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague has earlier ruled that it has a jurisdiction over the case, but China refused to participate in the arbitration.