China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said the bilateral arrangement between allies the Philippines and the United States “should not harm the interests of a third party.”
She said the
She also advised US officials to “be discreet in word and deed and do more for peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific, rather than the opposite.”
Greenert told students at a state defence college during a visit to
“Of course we would help you. I don’t know what that help would be, specifically. I mean we have an obligation because we have a treaty,” he added.
His remarks, one of the strongest
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also on Friday stated
Wang said the overall situation in the
The freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea was, is and will always be, unquestionable, he said, noting that all countries enjoy the lawful right to free navigation in the South China Sea.
The existing disputes in the South China Sea were caused by some countries’ illegal occupation of islands belonging to China since the 1970s, he said apparently referring to the Philippines.
He said that recent unfounded and untrue rumors had magnified disputes in the
“This is unacceptable,” Wang said.
China’s claim conflicts with that of the Philippines, which has a 1951 treaty with the United States that officials say bind the two partners to defend each other in case of external attack.
But Admiral Greenert said that he wanted to send a “clear signal... that aggressive behavior outside of international norms is contrary to good order.”
“You may have seen some statements coming from our policy makers exactly in that direction. You will see more of that from us,” he added.
He also said that the US Navy would increase its presence in the Western Pacific region from the present level of about 50 ships to 60 ships by 2020.
In December, during a visit to the
Greenert also praised the
He urged the
Greenert said during his visit to the National Defense College of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo the development of maritime domain awareness capabilities of nations with conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea will do much to ease the tensions in the region.
“I would work on maritime domain awareness, in other words I would work to be sure that we had a clarity of what’s going on out there in and around the
He added interoperability (with other powers in the region) should be attained.
“Use the easy stuff first to share information on what we see out there so whatever you see you want, as I’m saying, make sure your headquarters understand that, thoughout your headquarters in Manila but also out there at your fleet headquarters (and) then be willing to share that with Vietnam, Malaysia whomever and work toward that,” the US admiral stressed.
Greenert said that all countries with stakes in the sea dispute must be able to communicate with each other to get assistance or force multipliers.
“I think (developing) maritime domain awareness will be tough, and then underpinning it all is training your people so getting a solid baseline of professional officers,” he added.
Greenert’s three-day official visit with the Philippine Navy which started last Feb. 12 ended yesterday.