US reacts to China’s control over the West Philippine Sea

The United States of America (USA) stated that China should ‘cease bullying behavior’ for controlling the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea.

WPS or the South China Sea has become a great issue over these past few years. However, the ruling of the Arbitral Tribunal in 2016 sided the Philippines against China. The Philippine government should have the power over the disputed territory.

west philippine sea
Photo credit: Voice Of America News

On the other hand, contrary to that decision, China showed otherwise. The previous statement from the Malacanang Palace admitting that China was in control of the WPS/SCS through a statement from Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo became controversial.

In line with this matter, the US said that China should stop this kind of act which is categorized as “bullying”. Based on the report from GMA News Online, the US State Department said this in a statement: “The United States is concerned by reports of China’s repeated provocative actions aimed at the offshore oil and gas development of other claimant states.”

This is the response of the US following the reports that the vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 was spotted off Vietnam this week. The statement also said, “In this instance, (China) should cease its bullying behavior and refrain from engaging in this type of provocative and destabilizing activity.”

West Philippine Sea
Photo lifted from Business Mirror

Based on the report, this action of the Chinese government does not just threatens the regional energy security but also undermines the free and open Indo-Pacific energy market.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said earlier this week that the ship, when it was off Vietnam, was conducting normal activities and accused the US officials of making an issue against Beijing out of this, based on the report.

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