Philippines urged to stop provocations that may escalate tensions at South China Sea
Published: Mar 15, 2024 04:56 PM
Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense. Photo:Ministry of National Defense

Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense. Photo:Ministry of National Defense

China urges the Philippines not to further walk down the wrong path, and to immediately stop any provocative actions that may escalate the disputes or complicate the situation at the South China Sea, Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, said on Friday, also suggesting some non-regional countries to stop supporting the provocative and risky acts of the Philippines and refrain from being a disruptor in the South China Sea.

China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and the adjacent waters, including Ren'ai Jiao. China's resolution and will is unwavering in safeguarding our legitimate rights and interests, Zhang said.

The Chinese side will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend our sovereignty, territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests and firmly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, said the spokesperson.

On March 5, without permission from the Chinese government, Philippine vessels intruded into the adjacent waters of Ren'ai Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao, in an attempt to transport supplies, including construction materials, to the Philippine warship illegally grounded at Ren'ai Jiao, and deliberately collided with China Coast Guard vessels.

In response to the provocation, China Coast Guard took necessary regulatory measures in accordance with the law. The actions taken at the scene were professional, restrained, justified and lawful, said Zhang, noting that China strongly deplores and firmly opposes the provocations and infringements made by the Philippine side.

After the incident, the Chinese side released relevant videos in the first place showing the crystal clear facts to the public. It is the Philippine side that broke the law and infringed upon China's rights, said Zhang.

Nansha Qundao, including Ren'ai Jiao, is beyond the limits of Philippine territory. The Philippine side has yet to tow away the warship illegally grounded at Ren'ai Jiao. Instead, it even attempted to repair and reinforce the warship for permanent occupation of Ren'ai Jiao. Such illegal and void acts severely violate China's sovereignty and are doomed to fail, according to the spokesperson.

It is the Philippine side that broke its promises and took wanton acts; and it is the Philippine side that resorted to deception, said Zhang.

It needs to be pointed out that some big powers outside the region, in disregard of the facts, try to back up the Philippines, stir up trouble and create turmoil in the region. Such moves of using the Philippines as a pawn for selfish gains will find no support, as they go against the common aspiration of regional countries for peace and development, the spokesperson said.

Global Times