Teodoro: China’s ‘expansionist policy’ escalating tension in SCS

Gen. Romeo Brawner and Sec. Gibo Teodoro. Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defense.


Defense chief Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Thursday said the “expansionist policy of China” is the actual reason why the tensions with China and other nations tend to escalate over the claims in the South China Sea.

“It is the expansionist policy of China that is actually escalating the tensions not only between the United States but with Vietnam and other actors, and their 10-dash line actually is the best proof that they want to escalate tensions within the area,” Teodoro said in an interview over the ANC.

Teodoro also insisted that the conflict between China and Taiwan has nothing to do with the Philippines.

“Because now even Brunei is affected, and India is affected, Nepal is affected and the Taiwan issue for me—we have repeated time and time again that the Taiwan issue is a Chinese issue, not us. Of course, the whole world is watching because supply chains are affected, even the Russia-Ukraine war affects us,” he said.

Teodoro lamented that China’s activities over the Scarborough Shoal made the issue more complicated in the SCS.

“What is the real issue here—the real issue is Scarborough—the harassment activities by China,” he said.

“For us, by asserting our rights over Philippine registered vessel BRP Sierra Madre and other activities because they do not recognize our 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone, they do not recognize our other claims,” he added.

Teodoro said the Philippines is not trying to contain China but enforcing international law over the West Philippine

“Now China keeps on saying that we are containing them. If you use the word contain that means to say, you have an intention to expand, so it disingenuous for them to use that term for me,” he added.

“Now what I want to underscore to our people though is we are not being xenophobic, I mean bonafide trilateral relations with trade industry, technology transfer with China is welcomed and we really need it however we must really be arm’s length, follow the best practices, follow sustainability and actually whatever investments come here should employ Filipinos and not employ foreign nationals en mass,” Teodoro said.

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