US presses China on territory claim in South China Sea

By Balitang America Staff, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Feb. 6, 2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – With the growing concerns over China’s “pattern of behavior” in the South China Sea region a top diplomat, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel, has asked the Chinese government to clarify or adjust its territorial claims in accordance with the international law of the sea.

China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan all have competing claims over islands, reefs and shoals in the region.

China has imposed an air defense zone above disputed islands in the East China Sea and there are fears of a fresh showdown in the South China Sea.

While the United States maintains that it does not take sides on the territorial disputes in Asia, Russel has criticized China’s “nine-dash line” claims.

Russel also said the he supports the Philippines for taking its case to a UN tribunal to find a peaceful, non-coercive solution to the territorial disputes—a move that China denounced last year.

War of words

The congressional testimony comes after Philippine President Benigno Aquino compared China’s attempt to claim parts of their surrounding seas to the Adolf Hitler-led Nazi invasion of parts of Europe.

In an interview published in the New York Times, President Aquino called on world leaders to not appease China’s territorial claims, comparing it to incidents in World War II when Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia was given to appease Hitler in an attempt to prevent the war.

Chinese news agency Xinhua released a commentary in response, calling Aquino’s comments a senseless attack that exposed “his true color as an amateurish politician who was ignorant of both history and reality.”

The commentary also said Aquino “had never been a great candidate for a wise statesman in the region.”

But Aquino isn’t the first one to bring up history when speaking out against China.

Less than two weeks ago Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared their territorial dispute with China to the run up of World War I.

Rodel Rodis of US Pinoys for Good Governance said Aquino’s comment is the boldest move against China from all the member countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations.

“I’m quite proud,” Rodel said. “For the first time the Philippines is asserting its sovereignty rights. It’s standing up to China – a giant economically, politically, militarily. So I’m quite proud of our president for standing up for our rights.”

9 Comments on this post.

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  • jun malayba
    6 February 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    If the stupid China does not obey the international law of the sea, war should push through in order to defend our sovereignty. China is bullying Philippines. Philippines is like King David who killed Goliath in terms of size . We have many allied countries who would support our country in time of war.

  • jun malayba
    6 February 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    I am 100% sure that China is coward. She will not attack the Philippines.

  • Jack
    7 February 2014 at 1:07 am - Reply

    As soon as the former President kicked-out the Americans at Subic and Clark Air Base, China immediately build-up their Navy and economy. Today they imposed air defense zone on one of the Island they grabbed from Palawan. China knew that US will not and can not afford to protect the Philippines any more, because China holds majority of $17Trillion US debt.

    • Delia
      8 February 2014 at 11:15 am - Reply

      @Jack , but Filipinos claim they have muscles to fight . Or is it only the muscles they have are in their tongue. Filipinos are sharp in their mouth and can spit fire all the time , they should have the same atittude to fight for Philippines as well .

      Kikay is right though , US will not intervene , US has no strenght to fight any war now , Military and Economy is been gutted by Obama .

  • Kikay Pang0
    7 February 2014 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    In 10 years Philippines belongs to China , US will not intervene and nothing you can do but cry …..

  • Noel Garcia
    7 February 2014 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    The problem is they say something against china aggressiveness and so on…. But bottom line of their article they say they are NEUTRAL! It’s like you scold them and later say yes go ahead with what you are doing. If you said something it must be firmed and no other flowering after you said it. Be firemen and when you say NO! Then NO!

    • Delia
      8 February 2014 at 11:29 am - Reply

      @Noel , what else did you expect US will say ? America dont have strenght , China owns America now too. America owe China $17 trillion debt and borrowing more . China is building up big Military while US is shrinking it . Obama curtailed all military equipment to be renewed , Air Force has no new planes , Navy has a junk old boats and soldiers are very very slim now too.

  • catholic_counter_capitalist
    9 February 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

    China’s aggressiveness demonstrated at the West Philippine Sea is the result of its renewed confidence brought by CAPITALISM. With booming economy, the demands of its nation cannot adequately support the voracious appetite of the new bourgeosie who make up a large percentage of the population. China’s hunger must look elsewhere for RESOURCES to satisfy the bottomless pit demands of Capitalism and must bully, grab and steal the small neighboring nations resources.

  • DummyDre
    24 February 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    China should be careful never to make the same mistakes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.