The Pentagon reaffirmed its call for peace in the Philippine Sea and refrain from putting military bases in the territorial waters.
Previous reports stated that China, which is one of the countries claiming ownership on the islands, is conducting militarization on one of the islands and posed threat to the countries surrounding the waters. China is emphasizing their military presence in the Southeast and is ready to defend its claim on the territorial waters insisting on its so-called nine-dash line.
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However, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that there is no confirmation yet whether reports that China has deployed anti-cruise missiles in one of the islands and increased its maritime activities in the Scarborough Shoal, according to Philippine Star.
Pentagon stressed that claimant countries should resolve this issue in a diplomatic and legal way.
China is one of the things that the Pentagon is preparing and allotting budget for, aside from Russia, North Korea, Iran and international terrorism. The security agency is also preparing for the worst. Although still unofficial, US, Japan and Philippines will reportedly hold Balikatan joint exercises, which will be conducted near the territorial waters.
Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III echoed its initial position not to engage in warfare over the sea dispute as conflict will not benefit any of the claimant countries. The Philippines seeks arbitration in The Hague and urges Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to persuade Beijing to sign and abide in the binding code of conduct in the region.
Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan are the countries claiming possession of the territorial waters.