China firmly opposes U.S. 'instigation of Philippines' infringement in Ren'ai Reef: defense ministry

2023-12-01 08:53:49Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The Philippines illegally "grounded" a warship on Ren'ai Reef and has continuously sent ships intruding into the waters of the area, attempting to reinforce the "grounded" warship, which seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and violates international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. History has shown that the U.S.' interference always makes things worse, Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, said at Thursday's press briefing in response to media reports saying that the U.S. has proposed relevant suggestions to the Philippines.

It is reported that the U.S. has advised the Philippines on the repair of the illegally grounded warship at Ren'ai Reef in the South China Sea.

China firmly opposes the U.S.' interference in the South China Sea issue. China strongly objects the U.S. of instigating and supporting the Philippines' infringement, stirring up trouble, and escalating maritime tensions, Wu noted.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro Jr recently launched a joint statement and made wrong remarks on China's legal enforcement in the waters near Ren'ai Reef.

China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and the adjacent waters, including Ren'ai Reef. The Ren'ai Reef issue is between China and the Philippines, and has nothing to do with the U.S., said Wu.

China strongly condemns relevant countries' wrongful acts of provoking confrontation and undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea, urging them to be prudent in their words and acts. China's military will take resolute measures to safeguard the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Wu said.

Ren'ai Reef has been China's territory since ancient times. It is an integral part of China's Nansha Qundao geographically, economically, politically and historically. This has been established as a widely held international common view and fully accords with provisions on archipelagos in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on October 9.

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