China Deploys Aircraft Carrier to Intimidate the Philippines

China deployed its second aircraft carrier Shandong off the Philippine coast last week, marking the latest provocation against Manila as tensions rise over a shoal in the Philippines section of the South China Sea.

Shandong was seen patrolling the waters about 200 nautical miles (230 miles) from Luzon, which is the extent of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Ni Lexiong, defense professor at Shanghai University, said Shandong’s passage was meant to act as a deterrent to the Philippines and United States while underlining “China’s determination to protect territorial sovereignty.”

Disputed waters: In recent months, China has repeatedly targeted Philippine military personnel in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal. In one case, the Chinese Coast Guard rammed a small Philippine vessel, severing a Filipino’s thumb. The Chinese then acted like “pirates,” wielding axes, long knives and spears to damage Philippine boats.

International law designates the area as part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, but China rejects international law and claims almost the entire South China Sea as its own.

The Trumpet says: One third of global shipping passes through the South China Sea, making it a vital region for maritime trade. Chinese aggression will continue to intensify in these vital waters as the U.S. has shown itself to be an unreliable ally of the Philippines.

China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.
—Gerald Flurry, Trumpet editor in chief, “China Is Steering the World Toward War