BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines has played the trick of a thief crying "Stop thief" as its Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario accused China on Sunday of a "massive" military buildup in the South China Sea.
It is, however, the Philippines that has been continuously undermining the stability of the South China Sea and increasingly militarizing the region.
Rosario made unwarranted charges at a time when the Philippines was jointly holding a military exercise with the United States in waters just 108 km away from China's Huangyan Island (also known as Scarborough Shoal). The joint exercise, which involved offensive subjects like amphibious landing, capturing islands as well as jungle warfare, had a clear imaginary enemy.
In another belligerent move, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday voiced hope to boost joint military exercise with the United States in the future as well as willingness to give the United States and Japan greater access to its military bases, including the Subic Bay Freeport, a former American naval facility some 200 km north of Manila.
The international community may still remember the Philippine Coast Guard's officers' shooting and killing of 65-year-old Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-Cheng. The atrocity, which occurred 164 nautical miles southeast of Taiwan on May 9, is a flagrant violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and has been greeted with condemnations from all over the world, including the Philippine media.
Rosario may have forgotten the incident that happened on April 10, 2012, when a Philippine warship entered waters off the Huangyan Island in the South China Sea and cited "protecting sovereignty" as an excuse to harass Chinese fishermen who were taking shelter from a storm in the lagoon.
The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory, and its sovereignty is indisputable. The Philippines' provocation was just one example of a flurry of dangerous moves taken by Manila that exacerbated tensions in the South China Sea.
The Philippines also illegally seized the Ren'ai Reef of China's Nansha Islands in 1999 and brought the disputes with China to international arbitration. The unilateral action violated both the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Currently, the Philippine government is seeking to exploit the backing of foreign forces to justify its territory claims. But it will surely turn out to be a strategic miscalculation as outside meddling in regional affairs will only backfire.
The philippines' groundless territory claims will definitely lead to a dead end. It is high time that Manila considered the situation and refrained from undermining regional security and stability.
Manila needs to work with China and other ASEAN members to play an active role in creating a harmonious stable regional environment and make joint efforts to turn the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.