US presence and military exercises hinder peaceful resolution of South China Sea disputes--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
June 28, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the US and Aquino governments for conducting joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, violating Philippine sovereignty and hindering the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes between the Philippines and China. The naval exercises are part of the US' continuing efforts to build up its military presence in the Asia-Pacific and are clearly acts of provocation against China.

At least three US naval warships--the USS Fitzgerald, the USNS Washington Chamber and the USNS Salvor--are set to participate in the US-RP naval exercises dubbed Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). The exercises are to be conducted near the Panatag shoal off the coast of Zambales which has been the subject of dispute between the Philippines and China.

"The naval exercises are clearly part of the effort of the US to project its military power in the Asia-Pacific and encircle China," said the CPP. "They do not help in efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to the territorial disputes over the Panatag shoal, the Spratlys and other land formations in the South China Sea."

"By actively supporting the US military buildup in the Asia-Pacific and allowing it to use the Philippines as a platform for US naval operations in the region, the Aquino government has made the peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes more difficult to attain," added the CPP. "It is provoking China to be more aggressive in its defense of its territories and push beyond its sea borders."

"In the face of all this, declarations of the Aquino government calling for a peaceful resolution of the South China Sea disputes are mere rhetoric," added the CPP.

"The CPP condemns the Aquino government for allowing US warships to sail at whim into Philippine territorial waters and conduct military exercises in outright contempt of Philippine sovereignty," said the CPP. "Under the Aquino regime, the US military has enjoyed unprecedented access to the Philippines, taking full advantage of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement to establish its permanent armed presence through the rotational docking of nuclear-capable warships and submarines."

"The CPP further denounces the Aquino government for its plans to erect facilities at the Subic port to be used by the US military where it could deploy equipment to service US ships and submarines which regularly dock at the port," said the CPP.