Former diplomat: Philippines, U.S.,behind South China Sea tension

A former Philippine diplomat has said his country and the United States were behind the intensifying tensions in the South China Sea.

Alberto Encomienda, former secretary-general of Maritime and Ocean Affairs Center at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, said the Phillipines had ignored China’s negotiations efforts.

He said “China has been for the negotiations all along, but from the beginning we are not.”

He also said Washington encouraged Manila to take a sort of legal action on the South China Sea issue during Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s visit to the U.S. in June 2012.

He said “During Aquino’s first state visit to the U.S., the phrase ‘rule of law’ was emphasized. Everything that came up as the Philippines’ South China Sea position afterwards has something to do with ‘rule-based’ and ‘legal framework.’ But these are rule basis determined by the U.S,”

In 2013, the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration case against China over the dispute before an international tribunal in The Hague, bringing the regional issue to a world news highglight.

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