WASHINGTON — As is the status quo of the Obama administration, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry offered weak support and backing of longtime ally the Philippines of their fight against Chinese expansion in Asia.
Reuters reported that China is aggressively laying claim and expanding its presence in the South China Sea among mineral-rich island chains, something that Vietnam and the Philippines are resistant to allow.
The Philippines is seeking an arbitration case against China’s incursion into what it sees as its territory before the United Nations. Vietnam was recently bullied over another island chain by China, but has not sought United Nations intervention. And China is currently challenging Japan’s claim to the disputed Diaoyu or Senkaku island chain.
Other countries affected by China’s claims over the South China Sea islands are Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia. The region is rich with oil and natural gas, some of which can be found underwater.