DFA: 100 protests filed vs China; Philippines keen on United Nations ruling

DFA: 100 protests filed vs China; Philippines keen on United Nations ruling

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano pinned the blame anew on the Aquino administration for China's continued militarization in the West Philippine Sea, saying the present administration only "inherited" the present issue in the disputed waters.

Responding to a question about the U.S. Navy deploying warships and conducting a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea near Paracel Islands on May 27, Dr Lean said he wouldn't say the U.S. reaction was weak, but rather that it could be more robust.

Philippines island construction: the island nation itself "has started repairing a runway and upgrading other facilities on Thitu Island, the South China Sea territory that was previous year the scene of a stand-off between Chinese and Philippine vessels", according to the South China Morning Post.

But Mattis said, there is only one country that seems to take active steps to rebuff or state their resentment over the USA recent freedom of navigation operations in the worldwide waters.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Washington will continue to confront China's militarization of man-made islands in the South China Sea.

"Yes, we have differences with them (China), but we have made gains".

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The islands are part of territories in the South China Sea contested among China and its neighbors.

Mattis also said the USA would continue to "confront what we believe is out of step with worldwide law, out of step with global tribunals that have spoken on the issue".

They would be China's signals to warn the U.S.

China always asserts that its actions are defensive in nature, arguing that the deployment of various weapons systems do not constitute "militarization" and are, therefore, not a violation of past agreements.

The five islands are outside the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines and are more than 100 kilometers from the three reefs that allegedly have been militarized by China.

Previously in a speech in Davao City in February, he said: "This is not the time to be fighting over the South China Sea because it will only lead to war". "But it's worldwide waters, and a lot of nations want to see freedom of navigation".

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Also last week, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said that Japan had helped to boost the Southeast Asian nation's maritime defence capability in the disputed waters.

Citing an unnamed USA intelligence source, news channel CNBC said that China had in April installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three of its outposts in the South China Sea.

In a House briefing on Wednesday, Duterte's top security adviser said filing a diplomatic protest against China for its landing of bombers on Woody Island in the Paracels being claimed by Vietnam, but not by the Philippines, was unnecessary.

Before Singapore, Mattis is in Hawaii, where he will participate in a change of command ceremony at Pacific Command headquarters.

The government will use the global tribunal ruling invalidating China's claim over the entire South China Sea "at the proper time", National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said.

Harris has been nominated to become the next USA ambassador to South Korea.

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