China antagonised its Southeast Asian neighbours and sown the seeds of mistrust because of its predatory actions on the South China Sea front and debt diplomacy through the Belt Road Initiative
Beijing: China's intimidating attitude, particularly over the South China Sea issue, is backfiring as countries in the region have taken exception to Beijing's stance.
In the last few years, Beijing has aggressively pushed its nine-dash line claims in the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, according to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
The other claimants to the South China Sea islands are Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Further, China has demonstrated an aggressive approach in pressing its territorial claims against its neighbours. Not just the Philippines, other Southeast Asian countries involved in the South China Sea dispute too have objected to Chinese hostilities.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, China has created 3,200 acres of new land in the Spratly Islands since 2013.
Earlier, the Philippines had petitioned against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
Further, the tribunal in 2016 decreed that China had no right to claim ownership of the sea and observed that China had violated international law in constructing the islands.
The South China Sea is not the only instance of how Beijing treats Southeast Asian countries with contempt. Through its flagship 'Belt and Road Initiative,' Beijing has sought to spread its influence in the region, according to the International Forum for Rights and Security.
China's predatory actions on the South China Sea front and its debt diplomacy through the Belt Road Initiative taken together have antagonised its Southeast Asian neighbours and sown the seeds of mistrust, according to the International Forum for Rights and Security.