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China exposes Philippines' reneging on South China Sea commitment


The repeated and unreasonable accusations made by the Philippines against China are "nothing but an attempt to cover up the fact that the Philippines itself has reneged on its commitments on the South China Sea issue," spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remark at a regular news briefing when asked to comment on the Philippine Defense Department's recent statements on the South China Sea.

Elaborating that "Ren'ai Jiao has always been China's territory," Wang said the territorial scope of the Philippines is determined by a series of international treaties and that Nansha Qundao is not within the Philippines' territorial scope.

Wang pointed out that the Philippines has made a solemn promise to tow away the military vessel illegally grounded at Ren'ai Jiao, noting that 25 years have passed, and the Philippines has still not towed away the warship.

Noting that the Philippines has violated the understanding reached between the two sides on the proper management of the situation on Ren'ai jiao, the spokesperson said despite the Philippines' commitment not to reinforce the grounded warship and to notify China in advance of any plans to resupply it, China, out of humanitarian considerations, has made temporary special arrangements for Philippine vessels transporting necessary supplies to the warship multiple times.

"However, the Philippines continues to send government vessels and warships to forcibly enter Ren'ai Jiao, attempting to transport construction materials for large-scale repairs and reinforcement of the warship in order to achieve permanent occupation of Ren'ai Jiao," Wang said.

The Philippines has violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, which was signed by China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, Wang said, adding that according to the fifth article of the Declaration, the related parties undertake to refrain from actions that would complicate and widen the dispute and affect peace and stability, including actions to refrain from taking up residence on islands, reefs, shoals, sands or other natural formations that are currently uninhabited.

"However, not long ago, a Philippine military spokesman openly claimed that the Philippines planned to build a permanent structure on Ren'ai jiao, and the Philippines has been sending people to Tiexian Jiao and other uninhabited islands in the South China Sea, which is a serious violation of the spirit of the Declaration," Wang said.

The Philippine side's reliance on the support of external forces, its perfidy and repeated provocations are the root cause of the tense maritime situation, Wang added.

In response to the Philippine president's order to his government to "strengthen maritime security coordination," Wang said that no matter "what kind of policy the Philippine side introduces, it must not affect China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests."

Wang expressed the hope that the Philippine side will abide by its commitments, relevant understandings and consensus reached between the two sides, and the provisions of the Declaration, stop its infringing and provocative acts, stop soliciting the intervention of extraterritorial forces in the affairs of the South China Sea, and return to the right track of properly managing the situation through negotiations and consultations to assume its due responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.

(Cover: China's Foreign Ministry. /CFP)

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