Have US military deployments brought turmoil or security? Chinese FM comments on US moves in Philippines
Published: Apr 06, 2023 09:16 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Given the long list of turmoil, division and devastation left behind by the US military around the world, countries around the South China Sea should think carefully about what consequences the increased US military deployments in the region could have, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in response to the additional US military deployment in the Philippines.

When asked about the latest announcement of US-Philippines military cooperation near the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stressed at a routine news conference on Thursday that historically, US forces have left behind a volatile and divided mess wherever they have gone.

"Will increased US military deployment in one's country or the region truly help protect sovereignty and security as well as regional peace and stability or rather cause grave irreparable consequences?" She asked, adding that these questions deserve deeper reflection by regional countries.

The Philippines' Department of National Defense chief Carlito Galvez Jr. on Wednesday said that the addition of four sites under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US will further boost the country's capabilities to protect national interests and contribute to collective defense in the region, 

In this regard, Mao stressed that the Taiwan question is China's internal affair and its resolution is a matter for the Chinese. It is not the Chinese side that is heightening tensions in the Taiwan Straits, but precisely the Taiwan secessionist forces in the island and certain countries that support them, Mao said.

"We hope regional countries could see clearly who is fueling tensions across the Taiwan Strait for what purpose and will not pull someone else's chestnuts out of fire at their own expense," she said.

When the Philippines announced the new sites, it said the move was also intended to protect the busy sea lanes of commerce in the South China Sea, which Mao said she believed the concern is really uncalled-for.

There is never any issue with freedom of navigation and safety in the South China Sea. China and ASEAN countries are committed to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and steady progress in the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consultations. We have both the will and the capability to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. There is no need for unwanted interference by forces outside the region.

Mao on Tuesday said during a news conference that facts are very clear that the US has been increasing its military deployment in the region driven by a zero-sum mentality in pursuit of selfish interests. 

"This would only lead to more tensions and less peace and stability in the region," she said. "Regional countries need to think about what is right for the region and mutually beneficial so as to make a choice that serves regional peace and stability as well as their own interests."

Global Times