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Japan, Philippines Push Biden to Challenge Chinese Colonialism in South China Sea

President Joe Biden held a summit Thursday with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in which the three focused primarily on the threat communist China poses to its neighbors in the South China Sea. Ta.

This summit was the first to involve the three countries and followed Kishida’s long visit to Washington. dealt with Congress hosted a state dinner, one of America’s highest honors for visiting heads of government. Mr. Marcos arrived, met with Mr. Biden individually, and then sat down to discuss deepening ties with both Mr. Biden and Mr. Kishida.

The tough stance against China’s bellicosity in the region contrasted with the conciliatory attitude that Biden and his administration have taken toward China. In a phone conversation with genocidal Chinese dictator Xi Jinping in early April, Biden opposed economic “decoupling” from communist China and China’s attempts to strengthen alliances with regional countries. “It was not aimed at China,” he said. Similarly, during a visit to China last week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asserted that most trade between China and the United States is “beneficial, and much of it is indisputable,” adding that China’s access to the U.S. market is It opposed requests to restrict access.

By contrast, Prime Minister Kishida faces growing domestic concerns that China is seeking to colonize the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. In the Philippines, protesters this week called on Marcos to do more to protect the island nation’s sovereignty, including destroying portraits of President Xi.

A joint statement following the tripartite talks focused in detail on concerns that Beijing is seeking to colonize parts of both the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and singled out China as a threat to all three countries. The statement prompted an angry reaction from Beijing, with the Foreign Ministry accusing the three countries of trying to “bully” their neighbors and calling China’s illegal military developments in the South China Sea “beyond reproach.” insisted.

The three leaders expressed their grave concern over the dangerous and aggressive actions of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea. Said in their statement. “We are also concerned about the militarization of reclaimed land and illegal maritime claims in the South China Sea.”

Regarding the South China Sea, the leaders also said, “China has repeatedly obstructed the exercise of freedom of navigation on the high seas by Philippine ships and cut off supply routes to the Second Thomas Shoal. We have expressed reasonable and serious concerns.”

They “strongly oppose any attempt by China to unilaterally change the status quo by force or coercion in the East China Sea, including any attempt to undermine Japan’s long-standing peaceful administration of the Senkaku Islands.” expressed.

The statement confirmed the legality of a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that made China’s claims in the South China Sea illegal. China claims nearly all of its oceans, islands and natural resources through a map known as the “nine-dash line,” which cuts into the sovereign territory of the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia and bypasses the seas. Border of Natuna Islands, Indonesia.

Filipino fishermen and activists participate in a protest condemning China’s maritime harassment in front of the Chinese Consulate General in Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines, on February 6, 2024. DICT spokesperson Renato Paraiso said Chinese hackers had unsuccessfully attempted to break into the websites and email systems of the Philippine president, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and government agencies such as the National Coast Guard. It is said that he did. The attack specifically targeted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s personal website and came amid heightened tensions with China over the South China Sea dispute. (Ezra Akayan/Getty)

“We call on China to comply with the ruling,” the leaders of the United States, Japan and the Philippines said.

The extension statement also touches on several other important topics, such as the creation of the “Luzon Economic Corridor,” which is an obvious attempt to challenge China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and which the Chinese government is a global infrastructure project that bails out poor countries by providing them with predatory loans. Used in infrastructure projects. The Luzon project, named after the Philippines’ largest island, will provide “coordinated investments in high-impact infrastructure projects.”

The three leaders also reportedly touched on topics unrelated to their countries but considered important to the Biden administration, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the “climate crisis.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning issued an incendiary response to the summit on Friday, criticizing the talks in general and the joint statement’s focus on China in particular.

“We firmly oppose any act that incites and heightens tensions and undermines the strategic security and interests of other countries. We seriously oppose the formation of exclusive groups in this region ” said Mao Zedong. fuming.

Mao declared the entire summit to be a “slander and attack on China” and repeatedly challenged the legitimacy of the Hague ruling.

Mao Zedong asserted, “China will not accept groundless accusations or intentional slander against our country in the East China Sea and South China Sea by relevant countries.” “China does not accept illegal arbitral awards in the South China Sea or any unilateral actions based on them. The situation in the East China Sea and South China Sea is generally stable.”

FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2015 file photo, Chinese coast guard officers approach a confrontation with Filipino fishermen off Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea.The Philippine defense secretary said that aerial surveillance showed that Chinese coast guard vessels were still guarding the disputed shoal, but that Filipinos were seen fishing there. "not molested" For the first time in recent years. Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday, October 30, 2016, that the return of Filipino fishermen to Scarborough Shoal is as follows: "This is a very welcome development." (AP Photo/Renato Etac, File)

In this September 23, 2015 file photo, Chinese coast guard officers approach Filipino fishermen confronting them off Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, also known as the West Philippine Sea. (Renato Etac, File/AP)

Mao Zedong asserted that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the islands of Japan and the Philippines, which were discussed in the Tripartite Statement, and also referred to China’s false claims to the sovereign nation of Taiwan. appears to be warning of a possible invasion. It underestimates the will and ability of the Chinese people to protect our sovereignty and territorial integrity. ”

In response to another question about Kishida’s stay in Washington, he continued, “The so-called arbitral award regarding the South China Sea is illegal and invalid.” “China’s territorial sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea will not be affected by this ruling under any circumstances.”

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