China adopting new security concept to resolve the tension in West Philippine Sea

BEIJING (MindaNews/10 January) – China on Monday said they are adopting a “new security concept” that focuses on peaceful negotiations as a paramount solution to resolve the territorial disputes in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China’s government propaganda arm ran several news stories and commentaries on Monday, quoting Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin reiterating China’s position on the disputes days after the Philippine government has issued a formal complaint to Beijing’s embassy in Manila following the intrusion of its three vessels in the Philippine waters near the disputed area.

The Philippines’ Foreign affairs Department has announced on Sunday about its complaint over the Chinese intrusion, which is seen as the latest incident in the tense regional row in West Philippine Sea.

The statement said they have sent a formal complaint letter last January 5 after spotting “two Chinese vessels and a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ship at the vicinity of Escoda (Sabina) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on December 11 and 12, respectively.”

The Escoda Shoal is located 123.6 nautical miles from Palawan and is within “Philippine sovereignty and maritime jurisdiction,” the statement added.

Liu did not give much details of the new concept but said it involves “mutual trust, reciprocity, equality and coordination, and endeavored to join hands with other Asian countries to create a regional environment featuring peace, stability, equality, mutual trust, cooperation and win-win resolutions.”

Without directly commenting on the recent incident, Liu said that China is pushing for a dialogue to “peacefully resolve disputes over the sovereignty of some islands in the South China Sea and the demarcation of parts of the sea.”

In a commentary published by the state-owned China Daily newspaper, Liu was quoted as urging other claimants to set aside the “cold war mentality” in dealing with territory issue, and called on outsiders, without naming any countries, not to intervene.

“To address emerging problems, relevant sides have to firstly strengthen mutual trust in this diverse and complex region,” he said.

The statement came as United States President Barrack Obama made an announcement last week that the US will increase its presence in Asia.

The Philippines, along with Japan and South Korea, is one of the strongest allies of the US in Asia.

China and other claimants, which also include Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia, have signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea during a meeting with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in July last year. The agreement compels countries involved to use the framework as guidelines to put an end on the dispute. (Darwin Wally T. Wee / MindaNews)