With it’s current attitude towards maritime disputes, China will be having a hard time to find partners. “One of the consequences of, I think, not taking territorial disputes and dealing with them in a multi-lateral and diplomatic fashion is it’s hard to have friends and allies that way,” United States Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a joint press briefing with his Korean counterpart Minister Han at Seoul on April 10.
The American defense official made the comment in reaction to China’s statement that it is enhancing its military defense in West Philippine Sea.
“The United States has long had the position that militarizing these territorial disputes in – of long-standing in the South China Sea is not the way things should be approached,” Carter adds. He also noted that US has longstanding friendship and alliance with “the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, lots of new partners and growing partners.”
The South Korean Defense Minister agreed with Carter’s statement. “Any consideration of military actions in the South China Sea should be respectful of the overall framework, the framework that is respecting the sovereignty of all the relevant nations involved,” he said.