For its part, Gong Jianhua writing for the China Daily highlighted China's being "not a formidable sea power" and that...
[...] without a formidable navy and sufficient emphasis on maritime interests, China is in an unfavorable position. To become an influential power, China has to transform from a "continental power" to a "maritime power". And the South China Sea dispute is a real test for it to achieve that goal.
Gong also cited how the Philippines along with Vietnam "and some other countries" are taking actions "not conducive to a peaceful settlement of the dispute."
The Philippine government had earlier called attention to several alleged territorial intrusions involving the Spratlys involving Chinese military vessels and aircraft, and contrary to claims made in the China Daily, China is reportedly in the midst of a naval capability build up...
China's development of naval vessels and anti-ship missiles has heightened concerns among the US and regional states with competing territorial claims in the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. At stake is control of energy deposits below the waters that companies such as ExxonMobil, Talisman Energy and Forum Energy have signed deals to explore.
Incidents will likely increase as China boosts the number of maritime surveillance vessels operating in the sea, said Gary Li, an analyst with Exclusive Analysis, a London advisory firm. ''We're very likely to see a much more aggressive patrolling of the area [by China],'' he said.
A specific acquisition reported in by Reuters is the looming launch of China's first aicraft carrier.
For its part, the Philippine military is also set to "beef up" its naval and air capability, presumably to meet the threat...
In the Communication News and Exchage (CNEX) Forum at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) today, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr., said that the AFP is planning to acquire an additional two Hamilton thundercats and a radar system to strengthen its military capability.
The AFP recently acquired the US vessel frigate Hamilton, renamed “Ex-Hamilton” during the signing of the certificate of transfer of the vessel to the government of the Philippines from the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The vessel is expected to arrive in the country this September and will be deployed off the shores of Palawan to protect the country’s oil platform and oil exploration activities at the Palawan and Sulu seas.
A frigate is a warship built for speed and manoeuvrability; it is a surface combatant ship and is going to be the 15th ship in the Philippine Navy (PN) inventory.
In the meantime, both parties are claiming to be staunchly advocating peace.