No 'blind eye' to Philippine provocations

2023-12-29 08:48:08China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Ren'ai Reef (File photo/

Ministry rejects Manila's claims on Ren'ai Reef, calls its actions dangerous

China "will not turn a blind eye" to the Philippines' repeated provocations and harassment in the South China Sea, although the nation is always committed to resolving differences through dialogue and consultation, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said.

Wu Qian, the spokesman, made the remarks on Thursday at a news conference in Beijing, rejecting the groundless accusations made by the Philippines regarding China's Ren'ai Reef.

Several Philippine officials have recently claimed that China Coast Guard vessels used water cannons to attack Philippine ships near the reef and rammed at least one of them, triggering regional tensions.

In addition, the Philippine side has accused China of using a "long-range acoustic device" and a laser weapon to attack crew members on Philippine ships.

Calling these allegations completely false, Wu said the Philippine side, in disregard of repeated warnings from the Chinese side, insisted on sending vessels to intrude into the adjacent waters of China's Ren'ai Reef and provocatively rammed a China Coast Guard vessel.

"Such behavior is very dangerous and extremely unprofessional," Wu said, emphasizing that China Coast Guard took necessary law enforcement measures, which were totally justified and legitimate.

He said that although the Philippines claimed it was transporting humanitarian supplies to its grounded warship near the reef, those Philippine resupply vessels actually carried journalists, who propagated plenty of disinformation. "In my view, it was not a humanitarian mission at all, but playacting in the name of humanitarian aid."

Wu said the Philippines' allegation that China used so-called sonic and laser weapons is entirely groundless, adding that China has no intention or need of using such devices.

"China is always committed to resolving differences through dialogue and consultation and making joint efforts to maintain maritime stability, but we will not turn a blind eye to the Philippines' repeated provocations and harassment," he said.

The spokesman also rejected as unfounded the accusations made by the United States regarding China's actions in the South China Sea, and demanded that the US immediately cease meddling in South China Sea affairs.

Recently, the US Department of Defense said the US and Philippine military are maintaining close consultation, reaffirming the US' "ironclad" commitment to upholding its obligations under its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines.

Wu said that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, including Ren'ai Reef, and their adjacent waters. He pointed out that the US, to serve its own interests, encourages and provokes the Philippines to infringe upon China's rights and interests, while attempting to coerce China by using the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

"The issue of Ren'ai Reef is a matter between China and the Philippines, with no involvement of any third party," he said. "We urge the US to stop inciting and supporting the Philippines' provocative actions, and to take practical actions to uphold regional peace and stability."

Responding to a question on the recent video call between the chiefs of staff of China and US militaries, the spokesman said it has yielded "positive and constructive outcomes".

Last week, General Liu Zhenli, chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, held a video call with General Charles Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military.

"The two sides exchanged candid and in-depth views on implementing the important military-related consensus reached between the two heads of state in San Francisco, and on other issues of common interest," Wu said. "Going forward, we expect the US side to work with us in the same direction and take concrete actions on the basis of equality and respect, in order to promote the sound and steady development of China-US military ties."

Wu also slammed the comments made by the defense authorities of the Taiwan region, who recently claimed that during the Taiwan regional leader election next year, the Taiwan military will remain on high alert, and closely observe the dynamics of the People's Liberation Army.

Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party authorities have deliberately hyped up the so-called mainland military threat and played up tensions for the sake of seeking electoral benefits, Wu said, noting that "the PLA is in control of all dynamics of the Taiwan military".

"We will, as always, take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.

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