- - Monday, January 16, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Philippines may be getting more wary of growing too close to China as the communist giant continues to weaponize islands in the South China Sea, some within the 200 miles exclusion zone of the Filipino mainland. A protest was sent to the Chinese embassy by Manilla after confirmation by the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies that anti-aircraft weapons had indeed been positioned near the island nation by the Chinese military.

The PI was careful not to anger its new-found friend, “I just want to assure the Filipino people that when we take action at engaging China in this dispute, we do not want to take such aggressive, provocative action that will not solve the problem,” foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay said.

“We cannot engage China in a war,” Mr. Yasay added, but “when there are reports about the buildup of weapon systems in the area during our watch, we made sure that the interests and rights of the Philippines are properly protected,” reports Reuters.

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the new American secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said last week before Congress that China should be denied access to the area in question. Mr. Yasay said the Philippines wants “no part in that.”


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