MANILA, Philippines — China’s construction of a monument marking its construction activities on an artificially-built island in the South China Sea is a slap in the face of the other claimants to the waters, a lawmaker who is critical of the administration’s policy on the dispute, said.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Daily reported that the marker was unveiled on Monday on an artificial island on Fiery Cross Reef — Manila claims and calls it Kagitingan Reef — where Beijing installed military-grade facilities and runway, Reuters said.
It said that the monument was sending a message about China’s “determination to protect its territory and maritime rights.”
According to Rep Gary Alejano (Magdalo), the construction of a marker shows China’s determination and boldness in pursuing its objectives in the South China Sea regardless of international laws and the sovereignty of other states.
“The unveiling of China’s monument to mark its construction work in South China Sea is a slap to the faces of other claimant states,” he said in a statement.
Alejano said that China’s recent activities in the region, such as its recently-conducted military exercises, installation of military infrastructure and the erection of the monument do not stabilize the situation in the region.
He also accused Beijing of using the negotiations for a code of conduct of parties to the dispute to mask its true intent.
“It’s public pronouncements cannot be trusted,” he said.
READ: Fiery Cross Reef transformed into Chinese airbase, says report
The Philippines and China, along with several countries in the region, are engaged in a long-running territorial dispute in the South China Sea, one of the busiest sea lanes in the region through which around $3 trillion in trade passes.
The Philippines has changed course in the dispute with the entry of the Duterte administration in, choosing instead to play it down and instead focus on better ties with China and on getting funding for projects.
READ: Duterte: I love Xi Jinping
A United Nations-backed tribunal invalidated in 2016 much of China’s claim to the resource-rich region which is based on its so-called nine-dash line but the administration has chosen not to push it, saying the Philippines cannot go to war.
Critics and experts in international law have said that the Philippines can assert its rights without resorting to war.
China’s construction of military facilities and artificial islands in the South China Sea, has sparked concern that it will eventually restrict movement and extend its reach.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself admitted that from the artificial features the country’s mainland would just be 15 minutes away by jet.
Alejano urged the Duterte administration to protest China’s latest act of “impertinence” as its intentions of controlling the South China Sea were becoming more apparent.
“This administration is either naturally incompetent or delib
erately turning a blind eye if it fails to see the threat of China’s aggression,” he said.
READ: China deployed jamming equipment in Spratlys — Pentagon
Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) – April 25, 2018 – 5:03pm / All photographs, news, editorials, opinions, information, data, others have been taken from the Internet ..aseanews.net | [email protected] / For comments, Email to : Aseanews.Net | [email protected] | Contributor:-
All photographs, news, editorials, opinions, information, data, others have been taken from the Internet ..aseanews.net | [email protected] / For comments, Email to : Aseanews.Net | [email protected] | Contributor:-