Chinese paper: Vietnam, Japan, Philippines bullying China

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Chinese newspaper on Friday accused the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan of bullying China and claimed that solving disputes through peaceful consultations could be “wishful thinking.”

An editorial by state-run China Daily said tensions in Asia Pacific have “taken a dangerous turn” as China is being ganged up by “cronies” of an “outside instigator,” whom it did not name.

The paper claimed the words and deeds of Tokyo, Manila, and Hanoi have disproved their claims of a shared commitment to peace and the peaceful resolution of the disputes.

“A tall tree catches the wind, and China's international profile has risen in such a manner that some countries are worried and even fearful of it,” the editorial read.

“And even though the tree craves calm, the wind won't abate. Proceeding from their own instincts, these countries have moved to bully China,” it added.

The editorial came amid criticisms against China’s aggressive efforts to assert its territorial claims in the region, which include areas that the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan regard as part of their territories.

China claims about 90 percent of the potentially oil and gas-rich West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) while the Philippines and Vietnam as well as Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

It is also claiming the Senkaku Islands in East China Sea, an area that Japan considers as part of its territory.

China is shoring up its presence in areas within Philippine territory including the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, Panganiban (Mishief) Reef and Zamora (Subi) Reef.

It is also conducting reclamation in Mabini (Johnson South) Reef despite being a signatory of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

The declaration bars claimants from performing acts that could complicate the territorial row like building structures in disputed areas.

Tensions between China and Vietnam simmered recently after Chinese ships reportedly rammed and fired water cannons at Vietnamese vessels in disputed waters.

Vietnamese authorities claimed the incident damaged many of its vessels and left six of their sailors wounded.

China Daily also chided Vietnam’s recent efforts to form a partnership Philippines and called for a “comprehensive review” of Beijing’s relationship with Hanoi.

“Vietnam's latest show of solidarity with the Philippines on fault-finding should serve as a wake-up call to Beijing that solving disputes through peaceful consultations may well be one-sided wishful thinking,” the paper said.

“Hanoi's unapologetic attitude after the fatal anti-China riots in Vietnam, as well as its assumption of an openly confrontational approach indicate it wishes to confront China while benefiting from Chinese investments and markets,” it added

Last Thursday, the Philippines and Vietnam scored China’s aggressive behavior in the West Philippine Sea and have bared plans to form a “strategic partnership.”

In a joint press conference held after their meeting in Malacanang, visiting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Aquino expressed “deep concerns” over the “extremely dangerous situation” caused by China’s actions that violate international law.

“I believe continued cooperation between the Philippines and Vietnam will enable us to better protect our maritime resources, as we pursue strategies that will redound to the growth of our respective peoples and of our region,” Aquino said.

The two countries also urged the international community to “strongly condemn” China and demand that Beijing end its violations and fully, strictly observe international law.











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