Chinese Coast Guard exercised professional restraint in dealing with trespassing Philippine coast guard vessel: FM
Published: Feb 13, 2023 10:33 PM Updated: Feb 13, 2023 10:27 PM
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: VCG

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: VCG

The Chinese Coast Guard vessel exercised professional restraint during on-site operations, facing a Philippines Coast Guard vessel entering waters near the Ren'ai Reef in the South China Sea on February 6 without permission, Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

Chinese coast guard vessels carried out the above operations in accordance with China's domestic law and international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, safeguarding China's sovereignty and maritime order, Wang added.

The Philippine Coast Guard accused a China Coast Guard ship of pointing a "military grade" laser at some of its crew, temporarily blinding them, aboard a vessel in waters of the South China last week, according to a report from CNN.

The Chinese ship also "made dangerous maneuvers" in approaching within 150 yards (137 meters) of the Philippine vessel, the Philippine Coast Guard alleged in a statement posted on its official Facebook page, with photos purporting to show the laser's green beam.

The Ren'ai Reef, a ring reef among China's Nansha Islands, is 15 kilometers long from north to south, and 5.6 kilometers wide from west to east. As part of the South China Sea, the Ren'ai Reef has been part of Chinese territory since ancient times.

However, the Philippines has frequently engaged in provocative actions on the reef during the past decade, violating China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, and further provoking potential insecurity to regional stability.

"We hope that the Philippines can earnestly respect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights in the South China Sea and refrain from taking any actions that may escalate disputes and complicate the situation," Wang said, noting that both sides are in communication through diplomatic channels.

Global Times