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China urges U.S. to stop using Philippines as 'pawn' in South China Sea


 , Updated 18:42, 06-Mar-2024

China on Wednesday urged the United States to stop using the Philippines as a "pawn" in the South China Sea.

"China urges the U.S. not to use the Philippines as a pawn to stir up trouble in the South China Sea. The Philippines should not let itself be at the mercy of the U.S.," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press briefing in response to a question about whether the United States' condemnation of China's actions was "provocative."

Four Philippine vessels on Tuesday trespassed into the waters adjacent to Ren'ai Jiao, part of China's Nansha Qundao in the South China Sea, to send construction materials to an illegally "grounded" military vessel on the island. In response, the Chinese Coast Guard took the necessary measures against the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law, according to a spokesperson for the guard on Tuesday.

Ren'ai Jiao is a bilateral issue between China and the Philippines, Mao said, adding that any third party, including the United States, should refrain from stirring up trouble, let alone intervening.

"China's resolve to defend its legitimate rights and interests is unwavering, and the Philippines' rights-infringing and provocative attempts will not succeed," said Mao.

(Cover: A file photo of Chinese Foreign Ministry. /CFP)

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