China’s bid for the South China Sea grows more evident by the day as the country will reportedly send drones to the disputed region. Nonetheless, thanks to the possibly burgeoning friendship between the Philippines and China, some are expecting the latter to put off plans of expansion to avoid ruining relations. Is there hope for the South China Sea?
China wants to monitor everything on the disputed region of the South China Sea. The country is reportedly planning to send drones that have special stealth capabilities. The reason supposedly behind the action is to make sure Beijing knows exploits of oil and mineral rights in the area. It wants to keep tabs on possible military developments. The drones will reportedly be connected to the Chinese version of GPS.
China to Send Drones for War?
“Many of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea have much larger underwater portions than what is visible above water, making them harder to survey and map,” the Washington Times quoted Li Yingcheng, general manager of China TopRS Technology Co. Ltd.
“In response to this challenge, China has designed drones to handle such complicated surveying, including the ZC-5B and Zc-10 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The ZC-5B has a maximum flight distance of 1,400 km, and can stay in the air for up to 30 consecutive hours,” Li told Chinese media.
Philippines Stops Beijing’s Plans
Analysts say that since President Rodrigo Duterte is opening his arms to China, there may be hope in stopping its expansion efforts. Chinese analysts say that relations with Duterte plus the initiative to wean his country away from its treaty alliance with Washington could put off plans.
“It would be irrational to build it into a fortress now,” the Manila Bulletin quoted Zhang Baohui, a professor of international relations at Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
“The government would like the Philippines to at least remain neutral in the rivalry between the United States and China. Now at least they have a chance.”