MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Chinese government condemned US Senate’s resolution reaffirming peaceful negotiation in the disputed West Philippine Sea.
“We urge the relevant senators to respect the facts and correct their mistakes in order to avoid further complicating the issue and the regional situation,” said China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
“China expresses its strong opposition, and has already made stern representations with the US side,” she added.
However, American Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-sponsor of the unanimously passed Resolution 167 said that the disputes are not about the past but about the region’s future development.
The US Senate further added that it supports collaborative diplomatic processes by all claimants in the South China Sea for resolving disputes, including the arbitration, which the Philippines has proposed already.
The resolution likewise calls for claimants to refrain from using coercion, threats, or force by naval, maritime security or fishing vessels and military or civilian aircraft in the disputed territory to lessen tension.
Despite US diplomatic efforts, China insisted that US should withdraw its involvement in its disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan.
“The above resolution proposed by a minority of senators took heed of neither history nor facts, unjustifiably blaming China and sending the wrong message,” said Chinese government.
Tension has risen as China adopted aggressive military tactics to assert claims in the resource-rich waters of the West Philippine Sea.
Ram Idelbert A. Hilario
Leyte Normal University