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Commentary: Do not deliberately create disputes on issue of South China Sea

By Wu Liminga (Xinhua)

14:24, April 24, 2012

File photo of the U.S.-Philippine joint military drill (Xinhua/ AFP)

BEIJING, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Earlier this week, a Philippines warship entered waters off 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.

A standoff ensued after two Chinese surveillance ships arrived in the waters to prevent the arrest of the Chinese fishermen. The Chinese government has made strong representations to the Philippines on this matter.

The face-off is just one example of a flurry of dangerous moves taken by Manila concerning the issue of the South China Sea.

These acts have seriously violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed by China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2002, which set a principle of resolving disputes through bilateral dialogue.

However, a handful of countries in the past two years have sought to use the backing of external forces to behave in excess of what is proper in the South China Sea, which both infringes China's sovereignty and violates the consensus on maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea and avoiding further complicating and amplifying the situation.

It is well known countries surrounding the South China Sea, including the Philippines, have vowed to conform to the DOC, while resorting to outsiders instead of bilateral talks in their efforts to resolve disputes in the region, in effect eating their words.

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