Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

China warns Philippine vessels for illegally entering waters in South China Sea

Sun Tianyuan

An aerial shot of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. /CCG
An aerial shot of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. /CCG

An aerial shot of Huangyan Island in the South China Sea. /CCG

The China Coast Guard (CCG) on Wednesday issued warnings to Philippine vessels that had illegally entered Chinese waters in the South China Sea.

Safeguarding China's sovereignty

The CCG said the Philippines' action infringed upon China's sovereignty and seriously violated international law and the basic norms of international relations and urged the country to immediately cease its activities.

The Philippines' illegal intrusions into the South China Sea have become more frequent over the past few months. During a previous encounter on April 30, the CCG expelled a Philippine Coast Guard ship and an official vessel that had entered the waters adjacent to Huangyan Island.

On March 23, the CCG obstructed a Philippine supply vessel and two Coast Guard ships attempting to send construction material to a military ship illegally grounded at Ren'ai Jiao for repair and reinforcement.

The CCG said it will continue to carry out law enforcement activities in waters under China's jurisdiction, as required by law, and resolutely safeguard China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Behind the infringement

Atin Ito, an organization affiliated with the Akbayan Party, a firm advocate of anti-China policies in the Philippines, has committed a fresh infringement on China's sovereignty.

Ding Duo, a deputy director and associate research fellow at the Research Center for Ocean Law and Policy at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told CGTN that the so-called non-profit civil organization has conducted such activities in the South China Sea before.

In December 2023, Atin Ito organized a convoy of some 40 vessels to bring supplies to the Philippine military personnel illegally occupying China's Ren'ai Jiao.

"Atin Ito has a certain political background. The leader of the organization, Rafaela David, is also the chairman of the Akbayan Party. In the Philippines, it has been using various political issues to increase its presence and influence in recent years," said Ding.

Ding noted that the activities were often coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard and with journalists onboard.

Escalating maritime tensions

Tensions have escalated in the South China Sea since Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took office in 2022.  

Comparing the Marcos administration to a "gambler" who seeks short-term political gains, Ding said Manila's more frequent provocations in the Chinese waters have exacerbated tensions and jeopardized regional stability with little concern for the well-being of the people on both sides.

Ding told CGTN that one of the reasons behind Manila's frequent moves in the region was to shift public attention from the government's failure in domestic affairs. "The Marcos administration wants to constantly escalate maritime tensions to create an external enemy to alleviate the political pressure on it due to high inflation, unemployment and drug problems," said Ding.

In 2002, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, jointly committing to resolving "territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned."

Ding said the Philippines' activities have not only damaged mutual political trust between the two sides but also destroyed the atmosphere for China and ASEAN countries to accelerate consultations and negotiations on the Code of Conduct.

"Judging from the actions of the Philippines, it has not fundamentally recognized the importance of returning to the right track," said Ding.

Search Trends