CHINA’S state media Global Times has accused Manila of “duplicity” in dealing with Beijing over the South China Sea and Taiwan issues.
Global Times, the English-language daily of the ruling Communist Party of China, said the Philippine and Chinese foreign ministries have agreed last Wednesday to improve communication and resolve differences in the South China Sea “through friendly consultations.”
However, it noted that on that same day, Philippine Defense Minister Gilberto Teodoro announced that it was planning “more robust” military activities with the US, citing the threat of a “more aggressive” China in the West Philippine Sea.
“Recently, the country’s actions and words have been filled with duplicity and complexity,” Global Times wrote in its editorial page published Friday.
The newspaper also mentioned the “contradictory” statements from the Philippines, with the DFA saying it is adhering to the one-China policy, and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. congratulating Taiwan’s newly elected president from the pro-independence party.
While these comments were not officially issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, many foreign policy analysts view statements released by the Chinese media as reflective of the sentiments of some members of the influential CPC Central Command as well. China has a strict censorship policy over its traditional and contemporary media.
Global Times noted the “significant internal disagreements” in the Philippine government that “highlighted the behavioral pattern of ‘the Philippines wants it all’ which is gaining from the economic interests from China while aggressively asserting maritime interests through provocative actions.”
“But the trend is discernible – the Philippines is hot-headedly positioning itself as a vanguard, bridgehead, and even cannon fodder for the US,” it added.
It then recalled that since last year, Marcos Jr. has given the Americans access to four additional Philippine military bases, two of which are in Cagayan province which is very close to Taiwan.
The US, Japan and Indo-Pacific “allies” are encouraging and supporting the “belligerent rhetoric” of Manila against Beijing, it said.
“If Manila thinks that the US will help the Philippines maintain its so-called national interests and security, it is solely wishful thinking, as evidenced by the significant reduction in the scale of joint US-Philippine patrols deterred by the routine patrols organized by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command,” it said.
China, it claimed, is “a responsible major power” and “has consistently exercised great restraint in the South China Sea issue.”
“However, the Philippines should not mistake China’s restraint for weakness,” it said as it added that Manila “needs to reassess its position, avoid acting recklessly, and realistically evaluate its military capabilities.”
The DFA has no comment on the Global Times editorial.
Image credits: AP/Louise Delmotte