BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam and the Philippines are uniting in opposing China over disputes in the South China Sea as the two have vowed to enhance maritime and defense cooperation to address security challenges.
But seeking an ally is inconducive to easing such tensions and maintaining peace and stability in the area.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III agreed on Wednesday in Manila to work toward forging a "strategic partnership."
The Vietnamese leader's visit to Manila took place amid frictions between Vietnam and China over a Chinese oil rig in China's Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, and subsequent riots in Vietnam which left four Chinese nationals dead and more than 100 others injured.
Everything indicates that Vietnam and the Philippines are determined to come together to confront China over disputes.
However, rather than having a calming effect, the two countries' joint opposition only serves to embolden them to create more trouble, thus posing further threats to regional stability.
Their latest moves seem to have been influenced by the support of certain big powers. But allies do no good in solving disputes between two parties.
In recent years, the Philippines has been trying every means to seek regional allies as the dispute has worsened. In 2012, it planned to hold a meeting of four parties -- itself, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia -- over the South China Sea issues. But the meeting had to be called off after Brunei and Malaysia reportedly refused to attend.
The moves have violated the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and bilateral consensus regarding the settlement of dispute between China and the two countries.
In a joint conference with Aquino, Dung claimed the current situation was caused by China and called on the international community to condemn it.
The Vietnamese prime minister was confusing right and wrong in an attempt to solicit sympathy and support.
The facts are quite clear. It is Vietnam that violated China's sovereignty and international law by dispatching ships, including warships, to Chinese territorial waters, where China started oil drilling work 10 years ago.
It is Vietnam that irrationally launched the provocation and endangered peace and stability in the South China Sea, by allowing its vessels to ram Chinese ships as many as 171 times.
Its call for international pressure reveals its collusion to complicate and aggravate the situation in order to grab more illegal interests.
Regardless of China's opposition, the Philippines filed a formal plea on the South China Sea dispute to an international tribunal in late March. In early May, Philippine police detained 11 Chinese fishermen and their boat near China's Half Moon Shoal in the South China Sea.
Meanwhile, China has exercised utmost self-restraint and insisted on settling arguments peacefully through direct negotiations.
The provocative actions of Vietnam and the Philippines are unfavorable to a peaceful and durable solution. They definitely run against their commitment to seeking ways of building trust and confidence and the spirit of cooperation and understanding.
Dung reportedly said Vietnam is considering various defense options, including legal actions in accordance with international law, regarding the dispute.
Vietnam should be seriously warned against following the trail of the Philippines and taking further provocative steps. Doing so would only complicate the situation, affect the region's stability and prove futile in solving the dispute.