Pentagon chief: China's South China Sea behavior is self-isolating
Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) - April 14, 2016 - 5:01am

MANILA, Philippines – United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday said that China is isolating itself by refusing to participate in a rules-based approach to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Manila earlier filed an arbitration case against Beijing before the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations but the latter refused to participate in the proceedings.

"There is no question concerning the region about China's self-isolating behavior... but the cause if that is Chinese behavior, not America," Carter said at a joint press conference with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

Carter stressed that the US stands for peaceful resolution of disputes and freedom of navigation, particularly in the South China Sea.

"These are all the things that the United States stands for. Now, countries that don't stand for those things or don't stand with those things are going to end up isolating themselves but that will be self-isolation, not isolation by us," Carter said.

The Philippines was the first country to challenge the nine-dash line claim of China over the disputed South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

The international tribunal is expected to come out with a decision on the arbitration case between the Philippines and China by May.

The US recently said that its call for halt in reclamation and construction activities in the disputed sea is not exclusive to China but also applies to the Philippines.

RELATED: White House: No militarization policy applies to both China, Philippines

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