The dispute between the Philippines and mainland China over the sovereignty of Huangyan Island continues to escalate.
The Chinese regime is increasing military build-up in the area.
And now China has also started stricter inspection of fruit imported from the Philippines. Many believe the Chinese regime is trying to force the Philippines to back down from the conflict through economic pressure.
The chairman of the Philippine’s Banana-Growers and Exporters Association says some bananas exported to China have already failed inspection.
China is the largest buyer of Philippine bananas, and last year, the total bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded 30 billion US dollars, the highest on record.
The China-Philippines confrontation has persisted for more than a month. In the past week, Chinese shipping near Huangyan Island has increased from 14 to 33 ships.
Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Fu Ying has already warned the Philippines, “if the situation continues, it will eventually lead to war.”
But some China analysts say the motives behind the conflict are not about sovereignty disputes. China commentator Henghe told NTD that, in reality, the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, is trying to use foreign conflicts to cover up its own internal crisis.
[Henghe, China Analyst]:
“That is to say, when the situation in China is bad, very unfavorable for the CCP rule, like during a crisis, the CCP needs something to divert attention…which will force some active people in China to stop talking.”
The BBC reported, while meeting in Washington on May 9, Philippine Defense Secretary Gazmin received support from the US if war breaks out in the South China Sea, the US will protect the Philippines according to the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951.