NewsChina Calls for Philippines to Cease Provocations in South China Sea Dispute

China Calls for Philippines to Cease Provocations in South China Sea Dispute

Illustrative photo/ Chinese warships
Illustrative photo/ Chinese warships
Images source: © East News | ANDRZEJ WRZESINSKI
1:44 PM EDT, March 25, 2024

The spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Wu Qian, urged the Philippines to stop their infringements and provocations at the Ren'ai Reef in the South China Sea. "This incident was completely instigated by the Filipino side," he stated clearly.

"On March 23, a Filipino warship entered the waters close to China’s Ren'ai Jiao, trying to resupply a stranded illegal warship. The Chinese Coast Guard was then compelled to obstruct these Filipino attempts to breach rights and provoke tensions," the statement declared.

The Chinese representatives reiterated that "the incident was solely caused by the Filipino side, and China’s response to the situation was entirely lawful."

The defense ministry spokesperson called upon the Philippines "to stop making statements that could escalate conflicts and intensify the situation, and to halt all infringements and provocations. China will persist in taking action to resolutely defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," he further noted.

Disputed territory in the South China Sea

An ongoing territorial dispute exists in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines, among others, particularly over the Spratly (Nansha) Archipelago. These islands are contested due to their abundant biological resources, strategic position at the juncture of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and potential oil and gas deposits.

The presence of US warships, navigating through the area, further complicates the dispute. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserts that these maneuvers by the USA challenge China's sovereignty and safety. Conversely, Washington argues that the United States has the right to navigate freely in accordance with international law.

In January, the Filipino Secretary of Defense voiced plans to enhance military cooperation with the United States and its allies in response to China's increasingly assertive actions. The Secretary believes that bolstering military capabilities will more effectively support regional stability.

Also in January, the Foreign Ministers of the Philippines and China committed to fostering cooperation and settling incidents in the South China Sea amicably to lower tensions in the area.

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