May 26, 2015 (EIRNS)–A Xinhua editorial today warns the Philippines that “Manila will not benefit from playing with fire over South China Sea.”
Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin said Monday that the Aquino government is seeking a “stronger commitment” from Washington, including more military hardware and expanded US military actions, “because right now we are being oppressed” by Chinese construction on contested islands, claiming that China was interfering with freedom of navigation.
Xinhua, an official government paper, editorializes that “Manila’s continuous attempts to drag the United States and some other countries further into the South China Sea disputes are irresponsible and counterproductive, and will only exacerbate the already complicated situation…. By playing up the `China threat’ and continuously taking provocative actions, Manila has always ignored the common interests of countries in the region.
“Manila’s recent attempts to plead support from Washington on the South China Sea issue is best described by a Chinese fable: The fox seeks authority in the forest by parading behind a tiger. Manila should understand that acting like a crying baby and begging for support from the United States and some other countries would never help solve the issue, which should and could be properly handled only by the parties directly concerned.
“In addition, it can hardly be accepted as coincidence that Manila would become provocative on the South China Sea issue whenever U.S. officials are trying to sow the seed of discord and embolden its Asian allies like the Philippines in a larger strategy of Washington to contain China,” pointing to last week’s US Navy/CNN provocation, flying the P-8A near the Chinese construction site in the Spratly/Nansha islands, and VP Joe Biden calling China the “destabilizing factor” in Asia.