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China Warns Against Joint Exercises in South China Seas

A general view of the third international workshop on the South China Sea, Hanoi, November 4, 2011.
A general view of the third international workshop on the South China Sea, Hanoi, November 4, 2011.
Shannon Sant

Chinese officials in Beijing are warning against any joint military patrols or exercises between Vietnam and the Philippines in the disputed South China Sea. 

Vietnam and Philippines military officials have discussed conducting joint exercises in the disputed region in meetings earlier this month. The exercises could include joint patrols of the Spratly Islands, which both countries and China claim as their own.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei warned against any exercises in the Spratlys, which China calls Nansha.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, he said, and the adjacent waters. Hong also said China is opposed to foreign countries’ violation of China’s sovereign rights and interests.

There have been a series of run-ins involving fishermen, military patrols, and other vessels in the disputed region in recent months, increasing tension over the competing territorial claims. Philippine and Vietnamese officials have discussed establishing a communication hotline for possible disputes, as well as sharing shipbuilding expertise.  

A visiting professor at the National University of Singapore, Huang Jing, a China foreign policy analyst, said Beijing is unlikely to back down on its claims to the resource rich waters.

“China is getting stronger and stronger, the so called peaceful rise, and the rise of nationalism in China on the one hand, and also the increasing demand for external resources and the market so all of a sudden the territory dispute in the South China Seas has become a kind of priority in the policy discussion and internal debate,” Huang Jing said.

China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim South China Sea territories. China has claimed the largest portion of territory

The various claims are expected to be on the agenda during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit Friday to Cambodia. The country is the head of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and Philippine officials have said they are frustrated by Chinese efforts to block discussion of the South China Seas issue in the organization.  

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the focus of Hu Jintao’s visit will be strengthening China’s ties to Cambodia, where Chinese investment has grown rapidly in recent years.

China hopes through this visit China-Cambodia friendly relations and cooperation will be promoted, practical cooperation will be deepened and people to people exchanges will be enhanced, said Hong. He added that Beijing hopes for greater coordination in international and regional affairs.

China says its territorial claims in the South China Sea stem from 2,000 years of history when the Spratly Islands were an important part of China. Vietnam says China did not lay claim to this territory until the 1940s.   

The contested waters are rich in oil and natural gas reserves and serve as one of the busiest shipping lanes in Asia.

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by: 啊哈哈
March 31, 2012 2:09 AM
China want to peace.

by: Cả Thộn
March 30, 2012 2:06 PM
Chinese determines to take almost entire South China Sea ilegally while Vietnam and Philippines also determine to defend their ligimate territorial waters. Tell me, what is going to happen?

by: Chinese don't even know their own history 2
March 30, 2012 11:56 AM
In 1802 Viet people wanted to revert to old name Nam Viet,but Qing emperor objected,fearing Viet people might reclaim South China,so Viet people called their country as Viet Nam instead.Rome ruled Europe,doesn't mean Italians own it.Similarly,Hans ruled Central Plain & Nam Viet,doesn't mean Chinese own the whole area.Historically,the Southern Chinese are the descendants of the Vietnamese.That is a fact whether they like it or not.So how could South China Sea belong to them in ancient time???

by: China is Asia's biggest threat
March 30, 2012 11:15 AM
China has been preparing for wars.It has been carrying out military drills in the South China Sea,clearly sending out threats to their smaller neighbours.It is only fair for these smaller countries to unite together to fend off this threat.China never enjoyed Japanese occupation.Why should they try to impose themselves on others.The Yanks should have let the Chinese rot under Japanese boots.They didn't deserve the salvation

by: China's stupid claim
March 30, 2012 11:04 AM
Cut out the craps. The South China Sea is not part of China.By claiming the whole area using some 2000 year old maps,is loads of rubbish.Likewise,Rome could claim most of Europe & North Africa then.As long as the ASEAN countries unite beside USA & Japan,China could do sod all about it.Greed would lead to the end of China

by: michael qian
March 30, 2012 4:58 AM
It's strange to see someone say china is bullying his neighbours.On the countrary,people in china always complain the government is too weak to deal with its greedy neighbours.There is an admonition to those who want to divide china to several countries,"Never try to stop a car with a mantis's arm'.We love peace,but that does not mean we are afraid of war.

by: Genghis Khan
March 30, 2012 12:58 AM
China is again bullying small neighboring countries. Chinese have not learned ethics and manners yet. They don't know that even if they challenge all other countries, they never win and instead China is again divided into several sub-countries. Maybe, that is much better for each Chinese.

by: HN
March 29, 2012 8:32 PM
China forget the ants will eat the "fish". The main reason China is bully the small countries because it is scary about someday China will be apart which will create China only Beijing and Shanghai areas.
China will create war to ease its angry citizens.

by: Davids
March 29, 2012 6:38 PM
A poor Vietnam,do you really forget a vivid lesson occured in 1979 with our courageous PLA? Do you would face it again?

by: Davids
March 29, 2012 6:34 PM
A poor Vietnam,do you really forget a vivid lesson occured in 1979 with our courageous PLA? Do you would face it again?
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