China says moves on Philippine ships in WPS Sea ‘professional, restrained’

BEIJING: China said on Monday that moves by its Coast Guard against Philippine vessels in the disputed West Philippine Sea were “professional” and “restrained,” adding it had “lodged stern representations” with Manila.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said Beijing’s Coast Guard “took necessary measures against the Philippine ships in accordance with domestic and international law.”

“The operations were professional, restrained, reasonable and legal,” she said.

Beijing’s foreign ministry, Mao added, “has lodged stern representations with the Philippines and expresses its strong protest.”

The Philippines said on Monday it had summoned China’s envoy and flagged the possibility of expelling him following the most tense confrontations between the countries’ vessels in years at flashpoint reefs in the disputed South China Sea.

Get the latest news

delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times newsletters
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

This handout photo taken and released on December 10, 2023 by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shows a China Coast Guard vessel (right) using water cannon against the M/L Kalayaan chartered supply boat (center) during a mission to deliver provisions at Ayungin Shoal in disputed waters of the South China Sea. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

This handout photo taken and released on December 10, 2023 by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shows a China Coast Guard vessel (right) using water cannon against the M/L Kalayaan chartered supply boat (center) during a mission to deliver provisions at Ayungin Shoal in disputed waters of the South China Sea. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

Videos released by the Philippine Coast Guard showed Chinese ships blasting water cannon at Philippine boats during two separate resupply missions to fishermen at Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) and a tiny garrison at Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) on Saturday and Sunday.

There was also a collision between Philippine and Chinese boats at Second Thomas Shoal, where a handful of Filipino troops are stationed on a grounded warship, with both countries trading blame.

“There have recently been multiple tense situations in the waters around Ren’ai Reef, the responsibility for which lies entirely with the Philippines,” Mao said Monday, referring to the Second Thomas Shoal by its Chinese name.

“The root cause is that the Philippines broke its promise by refusing to tow away the illegally beached warship, attempting to carry out large-scale reinforcements and achieve permanent occupation,” she said.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from Planet Philippines UK

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading

%d bloggers like this: