China again urges the Philippines to immediately tow away the grounded warship from Ren'ai Reef -- part of China's Nansha Islands
Published: Aug 08, 2023 10:37 AM Updated: Aug 08, 2023 10:32 AM
China Coast Guard drives away Philippine vessels intruding into waters of China's Nansha Islands

China Coast Guard drives away Philippine vessels intruding into waters of China's Nansha Islands

China has again urged the Philippines to immediately tow away a grounded warship from Ren'ai Reef which is part of China's Nansha Islands and restore the original status of the reef, according to a spokesperson from China's Foreign Ministry on early Tuesday in response to recent accusations from the Philippine foreign ministry over its illegal sending supplies to the reef.

The spokesperson stressed that Ren'ai Reef is part of China's Nansha Islands. Though the Philippines has repeatedly made clear promises to tow away the warship illegally "grounded" on the reef, it has not only failed to tow away the warship, it has even attempted to repair and reinforce it on a large scale to achieve permanent occupation of the Ren'ai Reef 24 years after the issue first came to a head.

The spokesperson criticized Philippines' actions of seriously violating international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN members.

The second response from the ministry on Tuesday over the Philippines' disregarding China's repeated negotiations and requests to stop bringing construction materials to its "grounded" warship came after two responses from the China Coast Guard (CCG) .

Over the so-called South China Sea arbitration mentioned by the Philippine side in an attempt to justify its illegal action, the spokesperson once again presented China's clear and firm position, saying the so called arbitration violates international laws including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and is illegal and invalid. China does not accept or recognize the arbitration, nor does it accept any claim or action based on the arbitration .

The Chinese spokesperson from the foreign ministry made clear that the cause of the current situation in the Ren'ai Reef is because the Philippine side ignored China's goodwill and sincerity, and insisted on transporting construction materials to the warship "grounded" on the reef.

For a period of time, China has communicated with the Philippines over the Ren'ai Reef on multiple occasions through diplomatic channels, clearly requesting the Philippines not send construction materials for large-scale repairs and reinforcements to the illegally "grounded" warship, and also suggesting that the two sides discuss and control the Ren'ai Reef situation as soon as possible, the spokesperson noted.

The on-site operationtaken by the China Coast Guard (CCG) to defend China's sovereignty and marine interests was professional and restrained, which is beyond reproach, the spokesperson stressed.

During Tuesday's statement, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson again called on to properly handle maritime issues with the Philippines through dialogue and consultation to jointly safeguard bilateral relations and stability of the maritime situation.

The Philippines is an important maritime neighbor of China, and China and the Philippines have reached important consensus on managing maritime disputes, the spokesperson said.

One day earlier on Monday, a spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the US' endorsement of the Philippines' illegal provocative actions. The US is blatantly seeking to support the Philippines' violation of China's sovereignty, and its plot is doomed to fail, the spokesperson said.

The South China Sea arbitration case is a political farce manipulated behind the scenes by the US under the guise of law, the spokesperson noted.

In the meeting between Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian and the Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro on Monday, Huang elaborated on China's consistent position on the issue of Ren'ai Reef and the cause of the recent incident on the Ren'ai Reef.

Huang pointed out that it is the Philippines that has repeatedly taken unilateral actions that undermine the existing consensus over the issue and challenged the status quo relating to management and control over the area.

Ambassador Huang stressed that at the beginning of this year, the two heads of state reached consensus on properly handling differences through dialogue and consultation and hoped that the Philippines would work with China to meet each other halfway, stop all unilateral actions and prevent the situation from escalating or even getting out of control.

The use of hype and the introduction of third-party actors will not help solve the issue, and will only complicate the situation, Huang told Lazaro.

Global Times