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Published: 22:05, December 11, 2023 | Updated: 22:49, December 11, 2023
China lodges representations with the Philippines over provocation
By Xinhua
Published:22:05, December 11, 2023 Updated:22:49, December 11, 2023 By Xinhua

This undated photo shows Huang Xilian, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of the Philippines. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

MANILA / BEIJING - Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian Monday met with Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Ma. Theresa Lazaro and lodged stern representations and strong protests to the Philippine side over its recent infringement and provocation in waters near Huangyan Island and Ren'ai Reef.

Huang stressed that Huangyan Island and Ren'ai Reef have always been China's territories, and that China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and the adjacent waters as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters.

China urges the Philippines to stop its maritime infringement and provocative acts, act in concert with the Chinese side, return to the right track of properly handling differences through dialogue and consultation, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, Huang said. 

ALSO READ: PLA accuses Philippines of undermining regional peace

Separately, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson on Monday urged the Philippines to stop infringing on China's sovereignty and making provocative moves, stop groundlessly attacking and smearing China, and avoid undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks when asked to comment on the recent emergency in waters of Ren'ai Jiao.

READ MORE: Philippines urged to stop provocative actions in South China Sea

Mao said on December 10, one cargo vessel, one official vessel and two coast guard ships of the Philippines, without permission from the Chinese government, intruded into adjacent waters of Ren'ai Jiao in China's Nansha Qundao in an attempt to send construction materials to the illegally grounded warship at the reef.

In disregard of the warnings of the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, a Philippine vessel went headlong towards Ren'ai Jiao's lagoon and dangerously rammed a CCG ship on the scene, Mao added

In disregard of the warnings of the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, a Philippine vessel went headlong towards Ren'ai Jiao's lagoon and dangerously rammed a CCG ship on the scene, Mao added.

"This gravely violated China's sovereignty and jeopardized the safety of the Chinese ships and personnel," Mao said, adding that the CCG took necessary enforcement measures against the Philippine ship in accordance with domestic and international law, which were professional, restrained, justified and legitimate.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lodged serious démarche in strong protest to the Philippine side, said Mao.

"I need to stress that Ren'ai Jiao is part of China's Nansha Qundao. China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao, including Ren'ai Jiao, and their adjacent waters," said Mao, adding that this was established in the long course of history and is consistent with international law including the UN Charter.

It is against the principles of international law and legally untenable for the Philippines to cite the "award" of the South China Sea arbitration, which is illegal, null and void, to claim that Ren'ai Jiao falls within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf and deny China’s sovereignty over it, Mao added.

"The responsibility for the recent emergencies in waters of Ren'ai Jiao lies completely with the Philippines," said Mao, adding that the root cause is that the Philippines has broken its promise and refused to tow away the illegally grounded warship at the reef and attempted to reinforce it on a large scale in an attempt to permanently occupy Ren'ai Jiao.

Mao said China firmly opposes the Philippines' attempt to occupy Ren'ai Jiao and has made clear its solemn position to the Philippine side at various levels and through multiple channels, demanding that the Philippines will not send construction materials to the illegally grounded warship for large-scale repair and reinforcement and putting forward proposals for properly managing the situation.

However, the Philippine side, in disregard of China's goodwill, good faith and restraint, broke its promise and kept stirring up trouble by infringing on China's sovereignty and making provocative moves in waters of Ren'ai Jiao. It has also been spreading disinformation to hype up the incidents, Mao said.

READ MORE: China urges Philippines to abide by consensus on S. China Sea

"This gravely violates international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and seriously infringes on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," said Mao.

"We once again urge the Philippines to stop infringing on China's sovereignty and making provocative moves, stop groundlessly attacking and smearing China, and avoid undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea," she said.

China will continue to do what is necessary in accordance with domestic and international laws to resolutely respond to provocative moves that infringe on China's sovereignty and defend our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Mao added. 


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