Tensions in South China Sea continue to rise as more world powers participate. Specifically, Russia has seemingly joined China in its battle against other claimants over the disputed region. Both nations are working on beefing up their military arsenal and are campaigning against internationalizing the South China Sea dispute.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov expressed their sentiments about the South China Sea dispute. According to the two officials, they are both against internationalizing the conflict. The dispute should be settled through consultation and negotiation, according to the two officials.
According to Xinhua, Wang and Lavrov released the statement following their meeting on Monday. Wang visited Moscow to attend the 14th meeting with other foreign ministers from India, Russia and China. Beijing has been insisting its rights over the South China Sea region which drew contention from other claimants like the Philippines. The latter passed an arbitration case which China condemned. Beijing also emphasized before that it will not honor the decision of the tribunal and would like the matter discussed with the concerned parties.
As if to further support the growing cooperation between the two countries, Russia also announced that it will be working with China to ensure regional peace and international security. Although some would see this as a move against a common enemy, the United States, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said it is otherwise.
“The cooperation between China and Russia in the military sphere is not directed against someone,” Antonov said in another interview with Xinhua.
“Our interaction is aimed at strengthening the security of our countries, taking into account the international obligations of China and Russia, and the fact that both countries are permanent U.N. Security Council members,” he added.