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China afraid of American intervention – Taiwanese

TAIPEI: The People’s Republic of China (PROC) would not attempt to launch any move to worsen its territorial dispute with the Philippines over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal because it fears a possible intervention from the United States (US).

According to Arthur Ding, acting director of the Institute of International Relations at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, China wouldn’t want the shoal tensions to escalate because it is still in the process of improving its relationships with the member-countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).

He said that in case China makes a drastic move to confront other claimants of the disputed area, it will jeopardize its relations with Asean countries and will be an opportunity for the US to further get into the picture and establish its presence in the region.

He likewise said that China has been very careful with its actions on how to deal with the territorial dispute since it “can foresee the consequence if take actions.”

Because of this, Ding expressed optimism that the dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) will not worsen and be solved peacefully.

“China does not want to alienate and jeopardize relations with neighboring countries and for the US to have an excuse to get more involved in this region,” he told a group of foreign journalists.

That is why, Ding said, the Taiwanese government has always been seeking for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the territorial conflict in the South China Sea.

“There’s no doubt [that] there’s so many tension, probably some kind of frictions in South China Sea, which is claimed by different countries, Taiwan included. I don’t see the likelihood for the tension to escalate into a kind of major conflict, but it will be settled peacefully,” he added.

Apart from the Philippines and China, Taiwan had also been claiming sovereignty over the Panatag Shoal, which the Chinese call Huangyan Island.

Newly-inaugurated Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Sunday reaffirmed his government’s position that the disputed shoal is part of their territory.

To arrest the tensions, Ma had suggested a joint exploration of resources in the disputed area.

Tensions in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea started when Chinese vessels prevented a Philippine navy ship from arresting Chinese fishermen who were found exploiting marine sources in the area.

Ritchie Horario | The Manila Times | May 2, 2012 | Article Link


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