China recently slammed the newly signed agreement between the Philippines and the United States. The country has warned Washington that it should be careful about matters in the South China Sea in light of escalating tensions. Will this lead to war?
China will not back down when it comes to matters about the South China Sea as Chinese President Xi Jinping recently declared the country’s dedication to defend its sovereignty in the disputed region. Furthermore, the president also noted that things should be addressed by those involved through peaceful means, as reported by Xinhua (via The Straits Times).
According to Xi, China “respects and safeguards the freedom of navigation and overflight of other countries are entitled to under international law.” The said comments were said to United States President Barack Obama in a meeting at the same time that the nuclear summit is ongoing in Washington.
The warning also comes at the expense of the recently signed deal between Manila and Washington. Previously, it was reported that the Philippines will allow US forces access to five of its military bases. These will include those near the disputed region of the South China Sea.
“As for the US ships which came, I can only suggest they be careful,” Yahoo quoted defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun when asked about reports saying that the US is patrolling the disputed region. Since October, Washington has been challenging China’s claims to “freedom of navigation” including its operations.
On top of the South China Sea concerns, China’s Xi also requested discussion over the problem rising from the Korean Peninsula.
“The Chinese side stands ready to make efforts in a constructive way to resume dialogue within the framework of six-party talks,” said the president. According to reports, the United States and China maintained a constructive discussion last Thursday but both sides are still at odds when it comes to South China Sea issues and missile deployment to South Korea.
“The hope is that all parties will correctly view and handle the South China Sea and adopt an objective and impartial attitude… particularly countries outside this region,” said China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang during a news briefing.