Chinese bombers in South China Sea “serious concern” for Philippines ? Roque
Malacanang on Monday raised grave concern over the landing of China's bombers in South China Sea.
"We express our serious concerns anew on its impact on constructive efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque regarding the issue.
He said even if the government does not feel that China is a threat, the deployment of weapons in the artificial island could create problem.
He also reiterated the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities int he disputed South China Sea.
"For as long as there are weapons there, there could be mistakes in the discharge of these weapons and any threat of the use of force in one of the world’s busiest sea lanes, which happens also to be the sea lane where our oil supply passes through and bulk of our exports and imports pass through is a reason for concern to us," Roque explained.
"Now we also would like to highlight an ASEAN declaration, a statement that we?that was adapted in the recent summer [summit] in Singapore and this reiterates the importance of non-militarization and self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could further complicate the situation in the West Philippine Sea," he added.
Roque assured the public that the Duterte administration is addressing the issue diplomatically.
"We have always expressed serious concerns, it’s not as if we take it sitting down. But again, we go back to what the President has said - the realities that they are there," he said.
He said the Philippines is in no position to physically stop China in its militarization but the government is taking all initiatives to address the situation.
"Now the Philippines reaffirms the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, avoid actions that would escalate tensions and peaceful resolutions of disputes in accordance with international law including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and like the other issues that have been reported by a major daily, we will bring this issue again in the bilateral mechanism that we have agreed upon with China," he added.
Roque said the Philippines will bring up with China the recent Chinese activity in the disputed waters during the meeting of the bilateral consultative mechanism in June. Ella Dionisio/DMS