Days after China retorted that it owned the entire South China Sea islands when told by Washington to put a halt on its land reclamation project in the disputed territory, Japan joined the discussion, admonishing China that its reclamation project does not entail its ownership “a done deal,” the news said.
Japan’s admonition came when China announced it is almost finished with its artificial island-making. Earlier, when General Fan Changlong of China’s Central Military Commission went to Washington and was entertained by Secretary Ash Carter, the latter told the former that China’s militarization in the disputed region was inviting tensions.
In a report by Defense, the joint exercise between Philippines and Japan, signifying a blossoming relationship, could fuel up the urge to counter Beijing’s envisioned soaring aggression.
“We hold serious and significant concerns about the unilateral actions aimed at changing the status quo, which are bound to increase tension,” Yoshihide Suga said on behalf of the Japanese government.
He added, “With the completion of the reclamation, we must not accept the land reclamation as a done deal. We demand not take unilateral actions that bring irreversible and physical changes.”
Refuting Japan’s statement, Beijing blurted out “it makes no sense” to assert on the issue as “China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and we do not need to prove this by building facilities on the islands and reefs,” said Lu Kang, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry.
Freedom Of Navigation
The Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS) hosted a symposium in Manila, Philippines on June 18 and maritime security experts present agreed there should be an assurance on freedom of navigation and overflight in South and East China seas.
With the theme “Towards Common Actions on Maritime Commons — Safeguarding Maritime Security in Asia through Regional Cooperation” the symposium had its keynote speaker, Justice Antonio Carpio of the Philippine Supreme Court. The justice criticized China’s claim of possession over the South China Sea that is tantamount to “an infringement” of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Philippines exerted efforts in spearheading the charge against China and President Benigno Aquino III described China’s action to be similar to Nazi Germany during the period leading to World War II.