China came under renewed criticism over its rising profile in the South China Sea at Asia-Pacific summit when Philippines President Benigno Aquino III warned China that “the world is watching” you, reports Reuters.
Whether China would behave as a responsible power in the simmering standoff over maritime territory, is the question in this context. "The world is watching and expects no less from a responsible global leader," Aquino said.
"We are hopeful that China would honour its word and respect the rule of law," Aquino said. His comment referred specifically to a dispute with China over maritime territory, which Manila is bringing before an international court.
Beijing has vowed not to take part in the case, saying the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague has no jurisdiction over a matter concerning Chinese sovereignty.
The issue has increasingly loomed over the regional diplomatic and security outlook, with China accused of upsetting the status quo by moving to enhance its presence in the South China Sea.
The maritime issue has become the stage for a big-power confrontation between China and the United States, which warns that Beijing’s actions could threaten freedom of navigation.
US President Barack Obama, who also attended both summits this week, has called on China to halt its land reclamation.
President Xi Jinping's first visit to the Philippines earlier this week was marked by embarrassing moments when he was given a cold shoulder by his host, Philippine President Benigno Aquino, during this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum, including at a banquet when they sat side by side.