Philippine S. China Sea claims opposed

2024-01-26 09:52:17China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Ren'ai Reef. (File photo/

China resolutely opposes the Philippine side conducting any form of construction on China's islands or reefs in the South China Sea that the Philippines have illegally occupied, a defense spokesman said on Thursday.

Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remark at a news conference in Beijing in response to recent comments made by senior Philippine military officials.

There are media reports saying the chief of staff of the Philippine Armed Forces claimed the Philippines is planning to develop South China Sea islands and acquire more ships and radars.

Some analysts have said the Philippine side intends to build outposts in the South China Sea.

Wu said China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, which he stressed is fully backed on a historical and jurisprudential basis.

He emphasized the root cause of the current difficulties in the China-Philippines relationship. "The Philippine side has, in collusion with outside powers, broken its promise and kept making provocations in the South China Sea, and undermined the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of the Chinese side.

"We urge the Philippine side to respect history, recognize the reality and to not go further down the wrong path," said Wu.

The spokesman noted that China is willing to work with the Philippines to resolve differences through bilateral dialogue and consultation.

However, he stressed that China will take firm countermeasures if the Philippine side insists on taking its own course.

Last week, Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong co-chaired the eighth meeting of the China-Philippines consultation mechanism on the South China Sea with Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro in Shanghai.

Both parties exchanged their views on the situation in the South China Sea and their respective maritime concerns, according to a news release by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

They also emphasized that peace and stability in the South China Sea are in the common interests of both China and the Philippines, and are also the common goals among regional countries.

Both sides reiterated that the South China Sea dispute does not make up the entirety of bilateral relations and believed that maintaining communication and dialogue is crucial for upholding peace and stability at sea, the ministry said.

The parties agreed to further improve the maritime communication mechanism and handle maritime emergencies effectively, especially the situation around the Ren'ai Reef, it said.

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