News Jan 04, 2016 10:23 PM EST

Philippine Follows Vietnam in Protesting China’s Proclamation Over Spratly Islands

By Staff Reporter

The Philippine government on Monday has denounced China's recent test of a newly constructed runway on Spratly, one of the seven islands in the South China Sea. The government has also condemned China's bid to intensify tension and uncertainties in the region.

Referring the test as China's effort to violate its sovereignty, Vietnam, last week, has lodged formal protest against the test at Fiery Cross Reef to the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam. Hanoi has also called for immediate seizure of such operations. However, China has already rejected Hanoi's protest and is likely to dismiss Manila's concern as well.

A civil aircraft has been deployed in the island of Yongshu Jiao to determine its civil aviation feasibility. The island has also been claimed to be China's own territory, reports Yahoo News quoting Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The disputed Spratly islands are subject of overlapping claims by the neighboring Vietnam and Philippines. Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei also claim for the potentially oil or gas-rich offshore territories of the islands.

The test flight has been reported to take place after a fruitless visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping in November to Hanoi. The visit is believed to be partly designed to address the souring relationship between the two countries over territorial disputes, reports MarketWatch.

China's actions have been portrayed against the common conception of the high-ranking leaders of the two countries. Those are also against an agreement on basic principles for solving maritime issues between Vietnam and China, reports the Wall Street Journal quoting a statement addressed by Le Hai Binh, spokesman of Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, furnished in the latter's official website.

The US, a close ally of Philippines, has reacted with concern over Chinese test flight in the disputed territory and underscored the need to finish work on a regional code of conduct. Pooja Jhunjhunwala, State Department spokeswoman has called for inconsistency over regional commitments and also urged to refrain from any activity that may complicate or escalate disputes.

However, the concern expressing US has itself flown two B-52 bombers over Spratlys. Apparently moved by the US effort, China has propelled up runway building operations in a bid to use the new facility to strengthen its territorial claims as well as establish supremacy over one of the world's busiest shipping routes.

Philippine government on Monday, has denounced China's effort to conduct test flying on disputed islands of Spratly. Earlier, Vietnam has reported to lodge formal complaint over the issue to the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam. China is believed to be moved by the US efforts to fly bombers over the potentially oil/ gas enriched islands aiming to proclaim supremacy over the China Sea territory.


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