Chinese paper: ‘The Philippines should avoid walking into a dead end they can’t escape’
A Chinese online news website recently published an editorial in response to the BBC’s latest feature on their government’s island-making operations that was published on BBC’s website.
Peopledaily.com.cn, the online arm of state-run newspaper People’s Daily, raised its defenses regarding China’s island-building on South Johnson Reef, and had a mouthful for the Philippines and Vietnam — two countries that are claiming ownership of some of the islands located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The editorial explained that China has long been observing the two countries as they continue to build facilities and migrate residents on the disputed islands, despite the existence of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea that prohibits them from occupying new reefs and building on occupied ones.
“They have visually pushed China into a corner,” the Daily said.
The editorial also said that the Chinese government displayed maximum tolerance to both countries as they defy the Declaration.
“China has exercised maximum restraint within the nine-dash line of the South China Sea. After all, we are constructing facilities on the reef under our maritime jurisdiction and we haven’t driven Philippine and Vietnamese forces away from the reefs under their control.”
To end the editorial, Peopledaily.com.cn only has strong words for both countries:
What Manila and Hanoi need to understand is that it is impossible for China to remain indifferent in light of their far-reaching aggressive activities on the Nansha Islands. They will be better off not instigating nationalistic sentiments among their populations, which will not work against China, but will instead only embarrass themselves.
At present, there is no short-term solution to the disputes in the South China Sea, so the Philippines and Vietnam should avoid walking into a dead end they can’t escape.