DND asks China to be more careful in its statements on disputed territories
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of National Defense on Thursday urged China to be more “circumspect” in its statements over disputed territories with neighboring countries.
“I believe that statements such as those. They should be more circumspect regarding the giving of statements,” Defense spokesperson Dr. Peter Paul Galvez told reporters at Camp Aguinaldo.
United States defense chief Chuck Hagel told his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan in Beijing on Wednesday that they are ready to help their allies, including the Philippines, over the disputes.
Wanquan said they were ready to resolve the issue in a diplomatic way but made it clear they will not hesitate to use its military to safeguard its territory.
China accuses that the Philippines illegally occupies some of its islands and reefs in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
But Ayungin Shoal and Scarborough Shoal, for instance, are both within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone but it is also claimed by China. Both are flashpoints in the territorial dispute.
China claims most parts of the South China Sea.
The Philippine military, seen as one of the weakest military in Asia, is working towards a minimum credible defense while China is a rising superpower.
“We will do and we will try to achieve what will be necessary to defend the nation,” Galvez said, but reiterated that the Philippines is for a “peaceful resolution” on the issue.
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