ļ»ļæ½ China opposes 'stoking bloc confrontation' in West Philippine Sea
AS PH-JAPAN-US TRILATERAL MEETING LOOMS

China opposes ‘stoking bloc confrontation’ in West Philippine Sea

/ 06:55 AM April 09, 2024

China opposes 'stoking bloc confrontation' in West Philippine Sea

FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. China expressed its opposition to “stoking bloc confrontation” in the West Philippine Sea, reacting to the scheduled April 11, 2024, trilateral summit of the Philippines, Japan, and the United States. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

MANILA, Philippines — China expressed its opposition to “stoking bloc confrontation” in the West Philippine Sea, reacting to the upcoming trilateral summit of the Philippines, Japan, and the United States.

“Defense cooperation between any countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability,” China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning  said in a press conference Monday where she was asked how China views the April 11 summit at the White House in Washington D.C., as well as the three nations’ plans to deepen ties.

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“We oppose cobbling together exclusive groupings and stoking bloc confrontation in the region,” she also said.

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The trilateral summit will be held amid heightened tension in the region due to China’s continued harassment of Filipino-manned vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, stressed that despite China’s continued aggression within Philippine waters, the upcoming conference is not aimed at Beijing.

The DFA explained that the historic trilateral meeting seeks to fortify cooperation on the economy, maritime security, and climate change between the three allies.

DFA Acting Deputy Undersecretary Hans Mohaimin Siriban also said on April 5 that the summit aims to strengthen peace in the Indo-Pacific Region

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“The elevation of the Philippine-Japan-US partnership into this trilateral cooperation has the peace, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific at the forefront, which is the basis for this trilateral process,” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said on April 4 that Marcos is set to discuss the South China Sea dispute with United States President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during their trilateral meeting.

Año likewise said that the upcoming conference is a follow up on Biden and Marcos’ last meeting in 2023.

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TAGS: West Philippine Sea, WPS

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