China: We’re role model in international rules compliance

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
China: We�re role model in international rules compliance
Chinese Navy Rear Admiral Xu Haihua, commander of the Chinese Naval Task Force and the 30th fleet of the Chinese Navy escort, receives a garland from a Philippine Navy officer (inset) following the arrival of the Wuhu, a Type 054A guided missile frigate at Manila’s South Harbor yesterday. The Wuhu arrived with two other ships – the Handan and Dongpinghu – for a four-day port call.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — As China rapidly modernizes its military, trust it to play “role model” in observing international rules and in shunning the use of force in protecting its interests and sovereignty, Beijing’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

“China develops its national defense strength independently… commensurate with the growth of its national power, the purpose of which is to better safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests and maintain global and regional peace and stability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference.

Beijing was reacting to an observation raised in a report by the United States Department of Defense that China’s military expansion was meant to force Taiwan into a reunification. China considers Taiwan a renegade province.

The US defense department’s observation, contained in a report titled, “Assessment on US Defense Implications of China’s Expanding Global Access,” was published by the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Beijing finds the report baseless, speculative and highly ridiculous.

Hua said China hopes the US would respect and observe international rules, instead of finding fault in a friendly country and fabricating excuses to justify its own projection of military might or even its use of lethal force to achieve its goals.

“In fact, as you may have all noted, even for a country as militarily powerful as the US, it cannot have its way in everything it does,” Hua said.

Despite its militarization of the South China Sea, which is causing regional tensions, China is insisting it is “always a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and defender of international order.”

The US report, Hua said, made “unwarranted speculations and comments on China’s development path, strategic intention and national defense.”

According to the US report, Beijing’s attempt to “eventually compel Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland” is the primary driver for China’s military modernization.

In sync with its growing economy, China has rapidly improved its military might making it capable of projecting the Asian giant’s presence across the globe.

Its expanding military presence in the South China Sea has rattled its neighbors especially the Philippines, which has helplessly witnessed a large part of its territory in the West Philippine Sea seized by the Chinese.

An international tribunal based in The Hague ruled in 2016 in favor of the Philippines, invalidating China’s massive claim in the South China Sea and reaffirming Manila’s own maritime entitlements.

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