China refuses diplomatic solution to its aggression in South China Sea
China warned Japan on Friday to stay out of a growing dispute with its neighbors over the South China Sea, as the Philippines implicitly accused Beijing of delaying talks aimed at a solution.I don't think a lawfare approach will quell Chinese aggression. They are determined to claim anything that is on an old Chinese map despite the changed circumstances since the ancient map was drawn. They don't fear the US or its allies, because of the weakness Obama has shown in dealing with them.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, rejecting rival claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in one of Asia's most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint. It also has a separate maritime dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expressed concern about regional tensions that he said were stoked by China's "unilateral drilling" after China moved a giant oil rig into disputed waters, a moved denounced by the Philippines, Vietnam and the United States.
"The relevant Japanese statement neglects reality and confuses the facts, and takes a political motive to interfere with the situation in the South China Sea for a secret purpose," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily briefing.
"We require the Japanese side to consistently take realistic actions to protect the region's peace and stability."
The Philippines blamed a slowdown in talks on ending the disputes on "construction" changing the ground rules, an apparent reference to China.
A Malaysian diplomatic source said China was deliberately slowing down the talks.
"China has been reluctant to even talk about the code of conduct," the diplomatic source said. "It's a carrot to dangle in the distance. We are dealing with a superpower."
In Vietnam, emotions have run so high a 67-year-old woman killed herself by setting herself on fire, local government officials said.
The woman set herself ablaze at about 6 a.m. in front of the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Le Truong Hai Hieu, a senior city official, said by telephone.
"She carried banners saying 'Against China in Vietnam's sea' and 'I will bless Vietnam's marine police'," Hieu said.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said his government was considering various "defense options" against China, including legal action, following the deployment of the oil rig.
Dung's comments, given in a written response to questions from Reuters, were the first time he has suggested Vietnam would take legal measures, and drew an angry response from China.