Singapore: “China is already in possession of the South China Sea. The United States should avoid any movements that would create tension in this area because China may respond aggressively to such movements. All countries including the United States must be aware of this reality,” warned Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte. Recently, US National Security Advisor John Bolton had warned that China’s aggressiveness in the ‘South China Sea’ will not be tolerated. On this backdrop, the warning issued by President Duterte holds importance.
Currently, ‘Asean’ and other associated countries are holding discussions in Singapore. In this meeting, ‘Asean’ countries and China have agreed unanimously on a ‘Code of Conduct’ in the ‘South China Sea’. The United States insisted that a ‘Code of Conduct’ should be implemented in the South China Sea’. Hence the consensus arrived between ‘Asean’ and China draws attention.
As per President Duterte’s warning, it seems that the conflict in the ‘South China Sea’ is not going to end even after the consensus on ‘Code of Conduct’. And for this President Duterte is targeting the United States. “Any conflicts related to the ‘South China Sea’ should be resolved by ‘Asean’ and China with discussions. The US and associated countries should not interfere to mediate. Movements of the United States and associated countries are causing tension in this area,” criticized Philippine’s President.
President Duterte also claimed that China and ‘Asean’ countries share good relations and the root cause of the ‘South China Sea’ conflict lies in the dispute between Western Countries and China. Earlier, also President Duterte has been taking different stands on the point of the ‘South China Sea’. Philippine President who has been warning China with the cooperation of the United States and other associated countries has once again taken a stand with China while shifting role.
It is surprising to note that President Duterte has taken a stand with China while US aircraft carriers are exercising in ‘Philippine Sea’. Simultaneously ‘Asean’ countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei are in dispute with China on the boundaries in the ‘South China Sea’.