China is speaking out of both sides of its proverbial mouth. China loudly declares that it has no violent intent in an area which includes the Philippines, islands of Vietnam, and others, yet China has taken very provocative, even warlike action in South China Sea waters (also called the West Philippine Sea).
Speaking in Singapore, Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said that “China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.” In a speech to an Asian security summit in Singapore, in response to allegations of Chinese military aggression in the South China Sea, he made the claim that freedom of navigation and overflight in that region had never been impeded .
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs sent a message to the Chinese embassy on June 2, 2011, protesting activities of Chinese vessels, citing repeated incidents of Chinese aircraft and naval vessels entering Philippine territory and taking provocative acts, including the use of naval gunfire, against unarmed fishing vessels. In March of 2011, the Philippines filed a protest with the United Nations regarding Chinese vessels harassing a survey vessel in the same area. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said these actions by China hamper “normal and legitimate fishing activities of the Filipino fishermen… and undermine the peace and stability of the region.” They said such behavior could lead to “unfortunate incidents.”
China’s provocations are not limited to the Philippines. In the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, on Sunday, June 05, students and other young people demonstrated near the Chinese Embassy carrying signs reading, "Stop Chinese Invasion of Vietnam's Islands." Demonstrators sang the Vietnamese national anthem as they marched through the streets of Hanoi. The specific charge is that on May 26, China destroyed a cable on a Vietnamese state owned boat, representing PetroVietnam, and doing seismic research.