According to the Philippine official, the aggressive stance taken by China in dealing with various territorial disputes in the South China Sea region is affecting the stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region. He said that uncontrolled Chinese aggression can result in full blown military conflicts, which can cause huge damage to the regional peace. Del Rosario was attending the ASEAN Regional Forum, where senior officials from China and the US were also present.
A diplomatic standoff between China and Philippines is ongoing since April 10 over the island of Scarborough Shoal, and is showing no signs of improvement. Recently the Philippine Armed Forces had pulled out its vessels from the region as a goodwill measure. China appreciated the step taken by Philippines, but declined to call back its own naval vessels from the disputed territory.
The disputed island is recognized by the United Nations as a part of Philippines, as it lies within 200 miles of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However China refuses to recognize the Philippine sovereignty over the area and claims that the entire South China Sea region is under its sovereignty. Even the islands, which are lying very close to the coastlines of other nations, are claimed by China as a part of its territory.
Meanwhile Vietnam and Japan launched their own complaints against the Chinese aggression this week. However, defence analysts warn that criticism from the international bodies like the United Nations and the ASEAN are unlikely to change the Chinese behaviour, as it has largely ignored the criticism over its use of force during the past.