The Philippines' repeated reneging on its promises and making provocations the real cause of the current maritime tensions: Chinese FM
Published: Apr 01, 2024 10:24 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

The Philippines' repeated baseless accusations against China are merely attempts to cover up their own breaches of commitments and provocations in the South China Sea issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday, refuting the country's accusations against China of "intimidating smaller countries."

On Friday and Saturday, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine National Security Council (NSC) assistant director general Jonathan Malaya, accused China of "patronizing" and "intimidating smaller countries," saying that China is "in for a rude surprise" if it thinks it can intimidate Filipinos.

In response to the statements, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing on Monday that Nansha Qundao, including Ren'ai Jiao, has always been China's territory. The scope of Philippine territory is defined by several international treaties. China's Nansha Qundao lies beyond the limits of the Philippine territory.

The Philippines tries to hide the fact that it has broken its promise to China, violated China's sovereignty and kept provoking China. This is the only viable explanation for the Philippines' string of false accusations against China, Wang said.

Wang pointed out that the truth on the Ren'ai Jiao issue is that the Philippines went back on its words. It made a serious promise to tow away its illegally grounded warship, but 25 years on, the Philippine vessel is still there.

What's more, the Philippines breached the understanding between the two sides on properly handling the situation on Ren'ai Jiao, Wang said.

According to Wang, the Philippines promised it will not reinforce the grounded warship and will inform China in advance of resupply plans. Out of humanitarian considerations, China made special provisional arrangements for Philippine vessels sending living necessities to the warship quite a few times. However, the Philippines refuses to honor its promise and made attempts to send construction materials for large-scale repair and reinforcement of the warship in order to permanently occupy Ren'ai Jiao.

The Philippines violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) jointly signed by China and ASEAN countries, Wang said.

According to Wang, the Article 5 of the DOC stipulates that the parties undertake to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features.

Wang also pointed out that Ren'ai Jiao is uninhabited, and parties should maintain its state of hosting zero personnel and facilities. However, not long ago, the Philippine military spokesperson openly vowed to build permanent structures on Ren'ai Jiao. The Philippines has also repeatedly sent people to step on China's Tiexian Jiao and other uninhabited islands and reefs that belong to China in the South China Sea, which seriously contravenes the principles of the DOC.

The Philippines, backed by external forces, has been going back on its words and making provocations. This is the real cause of the current tensions at sea. Nothing will hide the truth, and no one should turn black into white. The Philippines needs to immediately stop violating China's sovereignty and its provocations, and return to observing the spirit of the DOC. China will not waver in its resolve to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Wang said.

Global Times