China questions US-Philippines drills

January 23rd, 2012 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 23 (IANS) China has raised concerns about “the real intentions” behind the US-Philippines plan to hold joint military drills near the disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Since the US announced its “return” to the Asia-Pacific region with much fanfare last year and rolled out a new defence strategy Jan 5, countries in the region wonder what all this fuss would mean to them, a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily said Monday.

Describing the US as the world’s sole superpower, it said Washington could “become a destabilizing force in the region itself if it puts its power in the wrong places.

“The US and the Philippines have claimed that their proposed war games are not directed against other countries in the region, but the motive behind the planned joint drills is really dubious,” said author Liu Tian.

“As to the issue of the South China Sea, the priority for all parties is to shelve disputes and refrain from taking radical measures to escalate the situation.”

The commentary asked the US, “as an outside power, should work with all parties concerned to prevent tensions from getting out of control, rather than support one side or the other.

“Instead of trying to arm the Philippines and stoking tensions, the US should restrain the activist and provocative moves by its so-called ally.

“After all, it is in the interests of all parties to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which has been considered as a major engine driving the global economy.”

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