World / Asia-Pacific

Manila will not benefit from playing with fire over South China Sea

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-26 17:43

BEIJING - Manila's continuous attempts to drag the United States and some other countries further into the South China Sea disputes are irresponsible and counterproductive, and will only exacerbate the already complicated situation.

Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin said Monday that his country is seeking a "stronger commitment" from Washington in light of what he claimed the disruption of the freedom of navigation and the freedom of flight in the South China Sea as a result of China's construction activities there.

Furthermore, Gazmin will join Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on a three-day visit to Japan next week to discuss the transfer of Japanese military equipment to the Philippines to boost maritime security.

In fact, it is not the first time that Manila has cried wolf to cover up the reality that it has been a real troublemaker in the South China Sea.

By playing up "China threat" and continuously taking provocative actions, Manila has always ignored the common interests of countries in the region.

Earlier this month, the Philippine military invited foreign journalists to visit Zhongye Island, part of China's Nansha Islands, by military aircraft.

Meanwhile, Gregorio Pio Catapang, the Philippine military chief, said his country welcomed a possible US move to assert freedom of navigation around Chinese-made artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Manila's recent attempts to plead support from Washington on the South China Sea issue is best described by a Chinese fable: The fox seeks authority in the forest by parading behind a tiger.

Manila should understand that acting like a crying baby and begging for support from the United States and some other countries would never help solve the issue, which should and could be properly handled only by the parties directly concerned.

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