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China hints at military action in island row with Philippines

China hints at military action in island row with Philippines

Posted May. 11, 2012 07:21,   


With China and the Philippines locking horns over sovereignty of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, Beijing is showing signs of using military force to resolve the row.

The Liberation Army Daily of China said in a commentary Thursday, “The Philippines` official maps in 1981, 1984 and even in 2006 did not include the island in its territory," adding, “Even if the Philippines plays a trick, the fact that Huangyan Island is Chinese territory cannot be changed.”

“The Chinese government and people will not tolerate whoever that attempts to seize the sovereignty of Huangyan Island and in particular, the People’s Liberation Army will never allow this,” the commentary said. “Seeing China as a paper tiger is a big mistake.” This is the first time for the daily to announce its stance on the territorial dispute since the row was ignited April 8 due to a Philippine crackdown on Chinese fishing vessels operating in waters near the island.

Manila is also showing no sign of giving up. Protesters in Manila set fire to the Chinese flag Tuesday. Juan Ponce Enrile, presiding officer of the Philippine Senate, said Wednesday, “How will you react if a distant neighbor invades your territory carrying swords and spears,” adding, “You have to sharpen your sword as well.”

Despite conflict between both sides escalating, Philex Petroleum Corp., of the Philippines is known to be discussing a partnership with Chinese offshore oil producer CNOOC to develop natural gas reserves in the disputed South China Sea. Experts say the move will ease tension between the two countries.