Published August 8, 2023 8:26pm
BEIJING — China’s defense ministry on Tuesday called on the Philippines to stop all “provocative” actions in the South China Sea after the Chinese Coast Guard blocked a Philippine military supply boat near Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoa over the weekend.
“China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila earlier accused the Philippines of taking unilateral actions to undermine the existing management status quo on Ayungin Shoal, and said it had promised to remove the BRP Sierra Madre from the shoal, where it has been grounded since 1999.
The Philippines said that on August 5, several Chinese Coast Guard and military vessels performed dangerous maneuvers against two supply ships and two Philippine Coast Guard escorts on their way to resupply the servicemen on board the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
China claims nearly the entirety of the South China Sea, including areas within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, such as Ayungin Shoal. It has refused to recognize a international tribunal’s ruling invalidating its massive claims over the resource-rich area. — Reuters