- A U.S. official said that China risks terrible reputation damage over the territorial dispute
- He said that China could not remain part of the UNCLOS if it does not follow its precepts
- A Chinese official warned the U.S. to be careful in dealing with the issue and in sailing near the disputed islands
Officials from the United States of America have warned the Chinese government that the latter could face terrible damage to its global reputation if it will continue its stance in the territorial dispute covering the West Philippine Sea.
In an article written by David Brunnstrom for Reuters that was wired to GMA News Online on April 29, 2016, it was disclosed that the US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that China could not remain part of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) if it rejects the body’s precepts.
“China has a decision to make. If it ignores the decision, it risks doing terrible damage to its reputation, further alienating countries in the region and pushing them even closer to the United States,” Blinken said.
The state official also added that the U.S. is serious in strengthening the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which serves as a central coordinating body for its 10 member-countries.
According to Blinken, ASEAN “might feel some greater strength in numbers” if its members will work together to address issues related to territorial disputes.
“We are looking to ASEAN, as it did most recently at that summit, to express its support for these basic principles and we would like to see that happen when the arbitration decision is issued as well,” he added.
Last month, the People’s Republic of China asked the USA to exercise caution in dealing with the issue and in sailing at the West Philippine Sea.
“As for the US ships which came, I can only suggest they be careful,” said Yang Yujun; China’s spokesperson for the defense ministry.