Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

China rages at Trump after he sends WARSHIP to disputed territory

The United States and its regional allies have accused Beijing of inflaming tensions in the South China Sea by expanding islands and reefs into military installations, refusing multilateral negotiations over overlapping territorial claims and spurning a ruling a year ago from an global tribunal that rejected the legality of China's claims to much of the sea. China has not recognized the ruling.

China said in July that its navy had the right to pass though a strait linking it with the Pacific Ocean, after one of its warships entered the area.

Japan's army will give thousands of helicopter parts to keep Philippine military choppers airborne, helping Tokyo gain clout with Manila in a contest with China to secure influence over the strategic South China Sea nation, four sources said.

"They (Chinese) are not reclaiming land anymore", Cayetano said.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang accused Japan of meddling in the South China Sea issue, saying China has lodged solemn representations to the Japanese side.

He told the South Korean authorities that he was swept away in tidal currents when digging for shellfish in the sea off Ryongyon County in South Hwanghae Province.

A war of words between the United States and North Korea reached unprecedented new levels this...

Zhang from Lingnan University said there could be more pressure applied by other rivals such as the US, Australia and Japan, which have previously voiced opposition to land reclamation and militarisation in the disputed waters, upsetting Beijing. On Thursday, he suggested that he might spare China trade penalties if it did more to curtail North Korea.

"Freedom of navigation is guaranteed and anyone can do it so we just need to monitor", Padilla said in the same Palace press briefing.

This meshes neatly with China's call for non-claimant states and external powers to stay out of the issue, leaving the management of the various disputes exclusively to China and the ASEAN countries. As Cayetano made clear, China does not favor a legally-binding document, instead preferring a norms-based nonaggression pact that would set out a consensus agreement on acceptable forms of behavior in the South China Sea.

"They happen off the coast of Canada" and "in the waters off shore of our major allies, friends, partners all around the world", she said.

China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area.

Although China opposes inclusion of the sea disputes in worldwide conferences, partly to prevent the U.S. and other Western governments from intervening, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Japan's new top diplomat, Taro Kono, expressed concern over aggressive actions in the waters.

AFP comments that in recent years Beijing has managed to weaken regional resistance to its South China Sea claims by courting some ASEAN members.

China has offered to donate $14 million worth of military hardware to the Philippines, besides a soft loan for $500 million in Chinese arms.

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