[Epoch Times November 22, 2021](Epoch Times reporter Zhang Ting comprehensive report) Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted the 30th Anniversary Summit of China-ASEAN Dialogue on Monday (November 22). He told ASEAN leaders that Beijing will not seek hegemony and will not bully neighboring countries, and must work together to maintain stability in the South China Sea (also known as the South China Sea). But these remarks did not seem to convince the participating countries. The Philippine President condemned in person that he “disgusts” the recent conflict between the Chinese coast guard ship and the Philippines in the South China Sea and that it needs to be resolved in accordance with the rule of law.
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Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are in dispute with multiple Southeast Asian regimes. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have also made sovereign claims in the region. Since the beginning of this year, the CCP has intensified its provocative activities in the region. These actions aroused warnings from the United States, Japan and other countries.
Although the special summit held on Monday was to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, the summit also highlighted the ongoing disputes between Beijing and ASEAN member states. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has raised “serious concerns” about the South China Sea.
At the summit, Xi Jinping stated that to jointly “maintain lasting peace in the region,” China “will never seek hegemony, let alone bully the small with big ones.” China “will always be a good neighbor, good friend, and good partner of ASEAN.”
At the summit hosted by Xi, Philippine President Duterte rarely condemned Beijing’s provocative actions in the South China Sea. He said that he was “disgusted” by the recent conflict between the Chinese (CCP) Coast Guard ship and the Philippines in the South China Sea, and said that the rule of law is the only way to solve the problem. He was referring to the 2016 international arbitration award, which confirmed that the CCP’s maritime claims had no legal basis.
“We are disgusted by recent events,” Duterte said at the summit. “This is not conducive to the relationship between our two countries.” Duterte also said that this water area is a “strategic challenge” and the Philippines will ” Seriously concerned about other similar developments.”
Duterte has been criticized in the past for failing to condemn the CCP’s actions in disputed waters.
On November 16, the Chinese (CCP) Coast Guard blocked and used water cannons to attack the Philippine supply ship heading to Renai Reef (Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Renai Shoal, Second Thomas Reef) in the South China Sea.
The Philippines strongly condemned China‘s actions on November 18. Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin said, “China (the CCP) has no law enforcement power in these areas and their surrounding areas. They must pay attention and step back.” In a statement, Lochin reminded the CCP that official ships were Protected by the Mutual Defense Treaty.
The United States issued a statement on November 19 warning that the CCP’s actions were “dangerous, provocative and unreasonable.” Armed attacks on Philippine ships will trigger the United States to implement the mutual defense commitments in the “U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”
The U.S. State Department also stated that on July 12, 2016, the arbitration tribunal formed in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued a consistent and lasting ruling, resolutely rejecting China’s (CCP)’s treatment of Ren’ai Reef and its determination as exclusive to the Philippines. The claim that some waters in the economic zone have historical rights. “According to the treaty obligations under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, China and the Philippines are legally obliged to abide by this ruling. China (the CCP) should not interfere with the legal activities of the Philippines in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
The ASEAN member states include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. But Myanmar did not attend the summit on Monday.
Editor in charge: Lin Yan#