A Chinese defense spokesperson on Friday called on relevant countries to immediately stop infringement and provocations involving China’s Ren’ai Jiao in the South China Sea.
Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks in response to a media query regarding recent moves by the Philippines and the United States regarding Ren’ai Jiao.
On Dec. 10, the Philippine side, ignoring China’s repeated dissuades and warnings, sent ships to intrude into waters near Ren’ai Jiao of China’s Nansha Qundao (the Nansha Islands), in an attempt to deliver construction materials to the military vessel illegally “grounded” at the reef, Zhang said, adding that during that process, the Philippine side took dangerous actions and deliberately try to collide with a China Coast Guard vessel, which led to scrapes.
Moreover, some personnel from the Philippine military sneaked aboard the illegally “grounded” vessel and trumpeted the move.
The China Coast Guard took necessary control measures in accordance with the law, behaving in a professional, restrained, reasonable and legitimate manner, Zhang said, while also noting that the Chinese military side had lodged solemn representations with the Philippine side and expressed strong protest.
China holds indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Qundao, including Ren’ai Jiao and the adjacent waters, and the Philippine side’s intentional provocation and its playing up of the issue had seriously violated the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, undermining peace and stability in the area, Zhang said.
Zhang further warned that a certain country outside the region, motivated by bad intentions, has been stirring up trouble and creating divisions on this issue.
“We urge relevant countries to immediately stop infringement and provocations to avoid further escalation and deterioration of the situation,” the spokesperson said.
He also said China will continue to take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.