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China urges Philippines to stop provocations in South China Sea

Source: Xinhua | 2024-04-02
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China urges Philippines to stop provocations in South China Sea

BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- China urges the Philippines to immediately stop violating China's sovereignty and its provocations on Ren'ai Jiao, and return to observing the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remarks when asked to comment on a statement made by the Philippine department of national defense on March 29 and remarks on March 30 by the Philippine National Security Council assistant director general Jonathan Malaya concerning the South China Sea issue.

Wang pointed out that Nansha Qundao, including Ren'ai Jiao, has always been China's territory. The scope of Philippine territory is defined by several international treaties, while 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.

He said 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."

The Philippines breached the understanding between the two sides on properly handling the situation on Ren'ai Jiao, Wang said. The Philippines promised it will not reinforce the grounded warship and will inform China in advance of resupply plans. 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 has also violated the DOC jointly signed by China and ASEAN countries, Wang said. Ren'ai Jiao is uninhabited, according to Article 5 of the DOC, Parties should maintain its state of hosting zero personnel and facilities. However, most recently, the Philippine military spokesperson openly vowed to build permanent structures on Ren'ai Jiao.

Wang also pointed out that 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 has seriously contravened 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," Wang said, emphasizing that 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," said Wang.

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