Observers said they were concerned about accidental clashes, as Beijing and Washington increasingly confront each other. Although a U.S. offensive could spark a severe escalation into an all-out war, they viewed the possibility of it happening as low, especially without the Philippines’ agreement.
The shoal, 120 nautical miles west of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, is contested by Manila and Beijing. It used to be a shooting range for the U.S. military when it was stationed in Subic, Philippines.
According to the Chinese Director of Chinese University, an attack on the shoal, which is within the 200 nautical miles of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, could also represent a slap in the face for Manila unless it gives prior consent.
To throw some bombs into an empty lagoon makes no military sense, and it would also upset the Philippines and even other countries in the region. But if it did happen, it would also open the door to a hot conflict, just like attacking the Chinese artificial islands in the South China Sea would mean a full-on war, the director added.
Philippine President told his country’s military that it would no longer be taking part in joint maritime exercises in the South China Sea with other nations. According to the Philippines’ defense secretary, the President ordered him not to involve in naval exercises in the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea except our national waters, within 12 miles of our shores.
The only thing I want to know is what kind of potion China used to hallucinate the country’s top official. And why he doesn’t allow the navy to patrol the 370 kilometers Exclusive Economic Zone (sea boundaries). He just allowed about 12 miles or 22 kilometers away from shore.
China is already under pressure from the United States, so other Asean claimants of South China Sea features are being extremely careful with their words and actions to not explicitly choose a side.
Meanwhile, China’s defense official keep praising the Philippines’ attitude towards China, and they are thankful that the country does not follow what the U.S wants. With the Philipines attitude, it will significantly reduce the chance of the U.S. attacking Scarborough Shoal.
According to the Chinese official, U.S department has recently denounced China’s claims in the South China Sea as “unlawful,” and the American navy and air force have been conducting exercises and reconnaissance with unprecedented frequency and intensity, raising suspicions over whether they are preparing for a sudden attack on Chinese-controlled islands and reefs.