MANILA, Philippines - Why does China want to rule the South China Sea?
President Aquino in an interview with Bloomberg TV said he could not help but be puzzled by China's actions that he wakes up with such a “64-dollar question.”
“There are very few days that I don’t start the day asking what does China gain from all this,” the President was quoted as saying during the interview.
Aquino said disputes with neighbors do not help improve one’s economy, as there are “necessary repercussions,” especially since China declared that it wants to deepen economic ties with Southeast Asia and to be seen as a regional partner.
“One would hope that people have learned from the lessons of history that war is futile,” Aquino told Bloomberg TV. “The tensions we were feeling beforehand have increased, given that all of this brinkmanship might evolve into a clash that nobody wants.”
Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo had said China is the largest trading partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and that two-way trade with China may expand 10 percent to 20 percent a year, the report added.
The Philippines has submitted a case to the Hague-based United Nations arbitration tribunal, challenging China’s claims to the South China Sea.
Vietnam also eyes legal action against China after it moved a giant oil rig into an area which Hanoi said is within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The Philippines and the United States also denounced China’s actions.