Former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and President of Philippines Fidel V. Ramos said the country should stop military build up and contribute in preventing war between United States and China. “Today, my humble position is that because nobody wants World War III anymore,” he told Philstar.com, “stop preparing for war, meaning no more military build-up. Start preparing for peace.”
He also said “We must play our role properly to prevent the Chinese and the Americans from warring against each other and we are in a beautiful position to do that because we’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea which are the two greatest oceans of commerce.”
Ramos said the Philippines should instead enhance maritime capability which involves safety of life at sea, safety of open navigation, search and rescue, relief and rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, United States Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 22 that dialogue is the key with China. “It’s not our preferred course to see self-isolating behavior by China, and yes, dialogue is the way – [to have] good results.”
However, the top US defense official said “we will fly, sail, operate everywhere international law permits in the South China Sea, we will make investments that are intended to sustain our military position, despite these developments.”