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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on CCG Lawfully Blocking Philippine Attempt to Send Construction Materials to Its Illegally “Grounded” Warship at Ren’ai Jiao
2023-10-22 21:40

Q: On October 22, the Philippines delivered supplies to the illegally “grounded” warship at Ren’ai Jiao. During the process, the China Coast Guard (CCG) blocked the Philippine vessels that illegally delivered construction materials in accordance with law. The Philippine side said in a statement that a CCG vessel made dangerous blocking maneuvers” that caused it to “collide” with aPhilippine vessel. Do you have any comment?

A: On October 22without China’s permission, two civil vessels and two coast guard vessels of the Philippines intruded the waters of Ren’ai Jiao in China’s Nansha Qundao. In disregard of the warnings of the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, they went headlong towards Ren’ai Jiao’s lagoon and bumped dangerously with the CCG ships conducting law enforcement on the scene and the Chinese fishing vessels having normal fishing activities there. The CCG took necessary law enforcement measures to the Philippine vessels in accordance with domestic and international law to uphold China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. The action it took on the scene was professional and restrained.

Let me stress that Ren’ai Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao and China’s territory. The Philippines illegally “grounded” its warship at Ren’ai Jiao. This seriously violates China’s territorial sovereignty. The Philippines explicitly promised several times to tow away the military vessel deliberately and illegally “grounded” at Ren’ai Jiao. However, 24 years have passed and instead of towing it away, the Philippines has sought to repair and reinforce it on a large scale in order to permanently occupy Ren’ai Jiao. China has shown extraordinary restraint and patience concerning Ren’ai Jiao. For quite some time, China has had frequent communication with the Philippines at various levels and through various channels, making it clear to the Philippines that it must not send construction materials meant for repairing and reinforcing the “grounded” warship on a large scale. The Philippines, however, chose to ignore China’s goodwill and sincerity and has reneged on its own promise, kept sending vessels into the waters of Ren’ai Jiao, spreading disinformation and playing up the issue. The Philippines’ behavior seriously violated China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, breached international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and undermined regional peace and stability. We deplore and firmly oppose that.

We once again urge the Philippines to take seriously China’s grave concerns, honor its promise, stop stirring up trouble and making provocations at sea, stop making dangerous moves, stop groundlessly attacking and slandering China and tow away the illegally “grounded” warship as soon as possible so that the peace and stability of the South China Sea will not be jeopardized and the common interests of countries in the region will not be affected. China will continue to take necessary measures in accordance with domestic and international law to firmly safeguard China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

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