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China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty, maritime rights on Ren'ai Jiao: FM spokesperson

Source: Xinhua | 2023-12-30
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China will firmly safeguard its sovereignty, maritime rights on Ren'ai Jiao: FM spokesperson

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China will respond resolutely to any infringement and provocation and firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said Friday, responding to the Philippines' repeated provocations on China's Ren'ai Jiao.

According to reports, the Philippine armed forces spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar recently said the Philippine government is considering building a permanent civilian structure on Ren'ai Jiao, such as a lighthouse or a marine science research center. The spokesperson also said Ren'ai Jiao belongs to the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, and only the Philippines can build buildings there. In the future, the Philippines will no longer transport military supplies but civilian supplies.

In response to a media query, spokesperson Mao Ning told a daily news briefing that Ren'ai Jiao is part of China's Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands). China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao, including Ren'ai Jiao and its adjacent waters, which were established in the long course of history and are solidly grounded in international law, including the UN Charter.

Mao said the Philippines' claims on Ren'ai Jiao violate the principles of international law, and are legally untenable.

Noting that Ren'ai Jiao is an uninhabited reef, Mao said according to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and the ASEAN countries, all parties should maintain the status of Ren'ai Jiao that there are no people or facilities on it. "The Philippine side has repeatedly broken its commitments, infringed China's rights on Ren'ai Jiao, and complicated the situation," Mao added.

The Philippine armed forces spokesperson's recent remarks are a major move to break the status quo of Ren'ai Jiao, Mao said, adding that China will resolutely respond to any infringement and provocation and firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights. 


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