MANILA, PHILIPPINES — 21 leaders from different countries are gathering in Manila for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. The main agenda of the meeting is focused on business and economic issues, but terrorism and South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) disputes and climate change is also to be in focus.
China is not happy about Japan’s remarks about South China Sea disputes.
Japan has expressed obections in China’s move expanding its claim in the South China Sea saying the Chinese are violating international law and threatening freedom of navigation and flight in the region. Japan also sparred with China over their claims to uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China was “dissatisfied with the remarks and actions of the Japanese side.” accusing Japan of trying to stir tensions over an issue it is not directly involved with.
Japan, PH to agree on framework for military aid
The Philippines and Japan will agree this week on a deal paving the way for Japan to supply Philippines with military equipment, including aircraft that could be use to patrol the disputed South China Sea.
The agreement will be announced after Abe and President Benigno Aquino III meet on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Manila.
Tokyo has no claims over the disputed South China Sea but is worried about China’s expanding territorial claim.
In signal to China, Obama to give 2 ships to Philippines
Meanwhile President Barrack Obama’s visit in the Philippines highlight’s US support in the country. Obama says the U.S. will transfer two ships to the Philippine Navy as part of an effort to boost maritime security and honor a U.S.-Philippine defense treaty, a clear message to China to not expand its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Obama said that the U.S. will transfer a research vessel and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to help maritime security in the Philippines. Obama announced plans for $250 million in maritime security assistance to allies and partners in the region over the next two years.
The South China Sea disputes are not the main Agenda of APEC but still drawing attention.