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WASHINGTON – China has been warning the United States about getting involved in the dispute it has with countries in the region over access rights to various islands and maritime energy resources in the South China Sea – which China claims as its own, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Combined with that, the U.S. has announced that it intends to place more policy emphasis on Asia and is committing additional military forces to the region to underscore the right of international passage through the South China Sea despite what Beijing says.

Now, the U.S. is going to set up an advance command post on the Philippine island of Palawan which faces the South China Sea.

There are several countries – including the Philippines – in the region that have an increasing and potentially confrontational dispute with Beijing over access rights to the vast energy resources in the South China Sea, along with various islands, such as the Spratly Islands, which Palawan is near.

The U.S. Marines will set up the command post as a joint operation with the Philippine marines and will turn one of the bases into a joint marine operational command and modify the airstrip to handle U.S. military transport aircraft.

China has sought to assert its authority over the Spratlys in the past and has sent its own naval vessels to the area.

Now, China is planning to order its militiamen to pose as fishermen whose vessels have been challenged by naval vessels of the Philippines and Vietnam in recent confrontations. The move is expected to escalate potential encounters into a possible military action, an assertiveness which the Chinese have promised in recent writings. Under Chinese doctrine, the militia units can be commanded to undertake offensive actions.

Beijing continues to assert sovereignty over the Spratlys and other islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters but wants to resolve the various claims on a bilateral basis with the countries involved.

However, that hasn’t worked out and China, sitting on the United Nations Security Council, has refused to allow the dispute of the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries to come before the international body for resolution.

The indication is that China’s continued assertiveness will only further aggravate an already tense standoff that Beijing has with its regional neighbors.

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