Chinese general: Philippines stirs trouble for asking US help
"The role of the Philippines in the South China Sea is actually, in my view, a troublemaker," People's Liberation Army Major General Luo Yuan, known as "The Hawk" among Beijing's military leaders, said in his first interview with foreign media.
Luo said the Philippines attempted to provoke the Chinese government by asking help from the United States, whom he called "biased" over the maritime dispute.
A Chinese news analyst had also called the Philippines a "troublemaker" for seeking help from other nations in pursuing its claims over parts of the potentially oil-rich Spratlys region.
Luo, who is also vice minister of World Military Research Department of the Academy of Military Sciences in Beijing, also took a swipe at India and warned the country not to increase its military power at the Depsang Valley border amid China's incursion since April.
"No other major country in this world has been subjected to foreign aggression and invasion by other major countries, so that is why no other country is more eager than China to become strong," Luo said.
China has kept disputed islets being occupied by Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam under surveillance, as it also claims ownership of the territory. China is claiming almost the entire South China Sea.
In an interview with China Internet Information Center in 2012, Luo claimed that the Philippines has an agenda for making a hard line stance on its claim over Scarborough Shoal (called "Huangyan" by China and "Panatag" by the Philippines).
"The Philippine claim that the Huangyan Island belongs to them is based on their own understanding of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea ... The Philippines is testing whether the international community will accept their actions, and whether China will acquiesce," Luo said.
The military academic added that if the Philippines becomes successful in its campaign over the shoal, it will build confidence in its neighbors to also pursue their claims on parts of the South China Sea, which may eventually force China into losing the islands.
"The Philippines wants to find out whether China will completely rule out military action in any event during this period of "strategic opportunity," or even exchange the island in a peace settlement," he said.
Luo also believes that the country is testing the effectiveness of its relations with the US and see whether Washington will take its side on the standoff.
Luo is also famous for his blogs and social media postings. Among the most contentious posts he had written on Chinese networking site Weibo earned over 200,000 comments, according to a report
"Protect the nation's rights externally, punish the traitors internally," he said in the post.