US Media Says China's Provocation Shows Beijing Threatens Strong Relations between the 2 Countries


US Media Says China's Provocation Shows Beijing Threatens Strong Relations between the 2 Countries
The latest sanctions target seven officials at the mainland’s liaison office in Hong Kong. Photo: Dickson Lee

International Military - China's behavior in South China The South China Sea (LCS) always irritates the surrounding countries. Even though it has received many warnings, China seems not to be afraid so that it is increasingly daring to disturb the sovereign territory of countries in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia is one of them, China dares to interfere with the Natuna waters which are included in the Indonesian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but are claimed to be Beijing's territory. Not stopping in Indonesia, China also harassed the Philippines, which some time ago held military training. China's provoking attitude seems to be seen as Beijing feels threatened because of the Philippines' relationship with the United States (US).

Some time ago, a Philippine coast guard vessel accused its Chinese counterpart of redirecting one of its vessels from a Philippine patrol boat in the South China Sea, violating international rules and risking a collision.

In a Reuters report, the Philippines and the United States (US) began joint military exercises on Monday, March 28, 2022. This year's 'Balikatan' military exercise involved 8,900 troops. Where they will practice shooting and amphibious assault vehicle training.

This military drill is the largest since 2015, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stepped up diplomatic ties with the US. President Duterte initially had close ties with China, but he called it off after fighting over territory in the North Natuna Sea.

The Philippines is now recruiting the US as an ally to oppose China's policy on the North Natuna Sea. "We are sending a message to the world that the alliance between our countries is stronger than ever," said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The Director of US Exercises, Major General Jay Bargeron, said this exercise was designed to improve the country's defense against the disputed crisis in the North Natuna Sea. The Philippines became the most critical country after China claimed several areas in the North Natuna Sea as its own. Even Manila recently summoned the Chinese ambassador to deal with Chinese-flagged ships 'illegal intruders' that continue to be present in the Spratly islands.

Seeing China's behavior getting worse, the US then made striking comments. According to the US media, Forbes, which was published on March 30, 2022, China's habit of timing provocations before and during military exercises shows that China is threatened by relations between the US and the Philippines and wants to test it.

China knows that the US and the Philippines want to avoid war over the Scarborough Shoal. China banking on the contrary: that both will remain silent in the short term or indefinitely.

By remaining silent, the US and the Philippines give the impression that they are pacifying China, which is exactly what China wants to portray in front of its own people, its neighbors and the world.

China can publicly and privately question why the US is silent when China threatens the sovereignty of its allies and violates international law.

No doubt some Filipinos have also asked whether the US is willing and able to uphold its alliance and protect international law. The US and the Philippines must work together to illuminate and criticize China's illegal behavior.

They should immediately publicize every incident of China's illegal behavior, and disclose the illegality in diplomatic statements in the media. They must continue to pursue additional international legal proceedings against China. China is very concerned about making its actions legal and lawful and uses the language of international law to defend its own actions.

When its behavior is legally questioned, China is forced to hold on, and struggles to justify its actions before its own people and before the world. In order to maintain sovereignty and rule of law in the South China">South China Sea, the Philippines and the US need to change their strategies and launch truth attacks using lawfare.

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