Filipino Senator: China bully Southeast Asian countries

Published: 01/06/2011 05:00



China will always try to
bully the Philippines and other countries in the Southeast Asian region in a
bid to control massive oil resources in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South
China Sea, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said on the Philstar recently.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago

While the Philippines obviously does not have enough
defense capability against a superpower such as China,
advised the government to be circumspect and be extra wise in dealing with its
big neighbor.

Santiago also warned the Philippines
might end up as a “satellite country” of China.

Despite this, Santiago said the US
as well as the rich countries in western Europe would not allow China
to have leverage in terms of oil and natural gas development in the Spratlys.

“America and the
countries in western Europe will not allow it because there will be imbalance
in the distribution of power in the world once China is able to take over oil
and mineral resources underneath the South China Sea,” she said.

On May 24 2011, the
Philstar cited News5 as saying that China
has set up military garrisons and outposts on six reefs that are part of the
Kalayaan Island Group, part of the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.

According to the
Philstar, apart from the military garrisons and outposts, China is
aggressively pursuing large-scale maritime projects aimed at cementing its
claim on the Spratlys. These projects include construction of port facilities,
airports, navigation buoys, lighthouses, ocean observatories and maritime
meteorology networks.

At the recent
meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie (during Liang’s visit to
the Philippines), Filipino President Benigno Aquino III warned Liang that
alleged intrusions and encounters in disputed islands in the South China Sea
area could lead to a dangerous arms race in the region.

Speaking to the
media on May 24, one day after the
meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie, President Aquino
said: “I said, ‘If there are incidents such as these, doesn’t it promote an
arms race happening within the region? When there’s an arms race, doesn’t the
potential for conflict also increase? Who benefits from such a development?

I told them, ‘We may not have the
capabilities now but that might force us to increase our capabilities also”.

Mr. Aquino
reiterated the Philippines’
position that countries in the region should focus on regional prosperity to
ease the tensions caused by the rival claims of the Philippines,
and several other Southeast Asian countries over the Spratlys group.

Thai An
(Source: Philstar and Inquirer)

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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