The United States is sounding alarms over land reclamation projects in the Philippines that are backed by a blacklisted Chinese contractor and in close proximity to the country’s U.S. Embassy, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The years-long project seeks to construct artificial islands in Manila Bay near the highly-protected U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, according to the AP. Embassy officials said the U.S. is disturbed that the project is backed by the Chinese Communications Construction Co. (CCCC), a blacklisted Chinese Communist Party (CCP) company that has helped militarize other artificial islands in the long-contested South China Sea, according to the U.S. Georgia Embassy.
American Embassy spokesperson Kanishka Gengopadhyay said that the U.S. is “concerned” about the project’s ties to CCCC and the destructive environmental impact the project will have on the region, according to AP.
“We have expressed concerns about the potential negative long-term and irreversible impacts to the environment, the resilience to natural hazards of Manila and nearby areas, and to commerce,” Gangopadhyay said in the statement, according to AP.
“We are also concerned that the projects have ties to the China Communications Construction Co., which has been added to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List for its role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize artificial islands in the South China Sea,” he said. (RELATED: China Flies 25 Fighter Planes Into Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone)
Multiple subsidiaries of Chinese Communications Construction Co. (CCCC) were added to the entity list by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 2020. The companies on the entity list are sanctioned from trading with any U.S. companies without obtaining a hard-to-obtain special license, according to the AP.
China has refused to acknowledge the U.S. sanctions and declared them illegal, the AP reported.
One of CCCC’s subsidiaries, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., has built three other artificial islands at the bay near Pasay City in Manila, where the U.S. Philippines Embassy is located, AP reported. These islands were built illegally through excessive dredging and in Manila’s sovereign waters, argued retired Philippine Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, according to the AP.
“They clearly violated Philippine environmental laws,” Carpio told the AP. “Worse, they helped China seize Philippine island territories and maritime zones.”
A 2016 decision set up through the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea voided China’s long-disputed claim to the South China Sea, but China ignored the decision and continues to defy it, according to the AP.
China has turned seven contested reefs in the South China Sea into fully missile-defended bases, AP reported. Attempts to challenge China’s claimed-sovereignty over the passage have been met with hostility – in early June, a Chinese Coast Guard ship aggressively cut off an American destroyer vessel traveling through the region, nearly causing a collision.
The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.