It has been thought that China’s actions will lead to no consequences. But Beijing was emboldened with the arrival of Joe Biden at the helm of affairs in the USA and his lenient approach concerning China. However, the Philippines has issued a threat to China in regards to its new Coast Guards law, which allows it to shoot at vassals in territories claimed by the Communist regime.
Philippines Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr vowed this week that any Chinese response would bring serious consequences, reported The ASEAN Post. “So far there has been no incident. If there is an incident, I can assure you there will be more than just a protest,” Locsin told local media, after issuing a formal diplomatic protest against what he called a ‘verbal threat of war’ by China.
Last month Beijing passed the Coast Guard Law, also known as the “open fire” law. Under its terms, China’s navy and coast guard are ordered to take all necessary measures “including the use of weapons” to defend its sovereignty in the disputed waters.
These are some harsh and straight forward statements coming from Manila, given the fact that these allies of the USA are still absorbing the fact that Washington under the Biden administration has abandoned its responsibility in the region.
The Philippines Foreign Minister added, “Initially I said, you make a law, a domestic law that’s nobody’s business, however, on reflection, you realise that this law can be applied to areas that they claim are theirs … they will fire if there’s resistance. That to me is a threat of war.”
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, throughout his term, had been very closely associated with China. His transformation from a China apologist to its most consistent critique and now back to a China hugger has resulted in frustration among the population. Trillions of dollar worth of projects have largely remained unsuccessful. Thus, now a Philippines’ provincial government has taken matters into its own hands and has cancelled the bid awarded to a Chinese firm which had been blacklisted by the United States.
A Philippines’ province has cancelled a decision to award $10 billion airport project to a consortium led by a Chinese state firm, dealing a blow to President Rodrigo Duterte’s infrastructure ambitions and his policy shift towards Beijing.
The Chinese ‘open fire’ law has attracted criticism from many countries including Japan. These laws could “shake the order based on international law”, said Japan’s Defence Ministry. This law is a very serious escalation of issues in East Asia and the South China Sea. While China’s embassy in Manila defended the new law, insisting that it conforms to international conventions, but, this particular law is very clear in its intent. Thus, it will be threatening the concerned countries and the fact that the Philippines has come out in open criticism, means it will not sit back and let China have its way without consequences.