by Yuan Zhenyu
BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines will start talks Wednesday with the United States on greater U.S. military presence in the region, another move that will not help solve the South China Sea dispute but escalate tensions.
While Beijing insists the issue be resolved through negotiations, Manila shuts all doors to talks and takes a series of unilateral actions.
Earlier this year, the Philippines presented the maritime dispute to a United Nations tribunal for arbitration, saying it had exhausted all political and diplomatic means for peaceful resolution.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is fueling a military confrontation by upgrading its own navy and trying to bring in more foreign troops and resources to counter China.
The United States transferred a former Coast Guard vessel to the Philippines navy last week, and Japan promised the island country 10 new patrol boats.
The Philippines, for its part, unveiled recently a plan to grant the United States, and even Japan, more access to its military bases.
It is known unilateral moves and outside intervention are counterproductive to resolving international conflicts and will not help ease the tension.
Among these moves, increasing a foreign military presence is particularly dangerous at home and abroad.8 The Philippine government is facing domestic criticism for turning the country into a "weapons depot" for U.S. forces. Moreover, this demonstration of the Cold War mindset will only promote an arms race and escalate regional tension.
By contrast, China, while sticking to its lawful rights and territorial sovereignty, is committed to solving disputes through bilateral consultations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said on July 31 China would "use peaceful means and negotiations to settle disputes and strive to safeguard peace and stability," while being prepared to safeguard its maritime rights and interests.
Proper communications between China and the Philippines is important to the two nations' long-term interests and the stability of the Asia-Pacific.
It is time for the Philippine government to come to its senses and return to the negotiating table, where disputes should and can be resolved.