China is increasing naval operations in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. Beijing has plans to build two lighthouses there, a move widely expected to escalate tensions in a region already on edge about China’s controversial island reclamation project. It compares that to construction in other parts of the country like building homes or roads.
China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei claim all or parts of the South China Sea.
Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokewoman, addressed one of those countries.
“I can feel that some people from the Philippines have been getting increasingly agitated. China has already stated its position on this issue,” said Chunying. “I want to politely remind the Philippines that China will not bully small countries. At the same time, we also believe that small countries should not continuously make trouble for no reason. It’s normal for life to have ups and downs. We hope the Philippines can stop inciting and provoking and use the appropriate channels of talking and negotiating to solve these issues.”
By continuing its operations in the South China Sea, Beijing is defying calls from the Philippines and the US to freeze such activities.