China urges U.S. to respect its maritime rights


BEIJING: The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday urged the U.S. side to stop supporting the Philippines on the violation of Chinese sovereignty, according to a statement released on its website.

On August 5, in disregard of China’s repeated dissuasion and warning, the Philippines sent two vessels that intruded into the adjacent waters of Ren’ai Jiao and tried to deliver construction materials for overhauling and reinforcing the grounded military vessel.

The U.S. State Department later issued a statement criticizing China for obstructing Philippine vessels and indicating U.S. support for “the Philippines’ lawful maritime operations.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry voiced firm opposition against the statement. The ministry’s spokesperson pointed out the U.S. statement, in disregard of the facts, attacked China’s legitimate and lawful actions at sea aimed at safeguarding its rights and enforcing the law.

The statement also voiced support for the Philippines’ unlawful, provocative behavior, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson reiterated that Ren’ai Jiao has always been part of China’s Nansha Islands. “The historical context of the issue of Ren’ai Jiao is very clear. ”

The statement said the Philippine side’s action violated China’s sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels stopped them in accordance with law and warned them off through appropriate law enforcement measures, the spokesperson noted, adding the CCG acted in a professional and restrained way, which is beyond reproach.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said, for some time, the U.S. has been inciting and supporting the Philippines’ attempts to overhaul and reinforce its military vessel that was deliberately grounded on Ren’ai Jiao. The U.S. even sent over military aircraft and vessels to assist and support the Philippines, and repeatedly sought to threaten China by citing the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

“The U.S. has been brazenly bolstering Philippines as it infringes upon China’s sovereignty, but those moves will not succeed,” the statement read.

Calling the South China Sea arbitration a political farce manipulated by the U.S. in the name of the law with the U.S. pulling strings behind the scenes, the spokesperson stressed the arbitration violates international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is illegal and null and void.

Vowing to firmly safeguard territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests in accordance with the law, the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged the U.S. to stop utilizing the South China Sea issue to sow confusion and discord between regional countries and to respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, as well as the efforts of regional countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The Philippines grounded a warship near the Ren’ai Jiao in the South China Sea in 1999, prompting immediate and serious representations from China. The Philippines has repeatedly promised to remove the grounded warship, but till now, not only has the ship not been removed, but there have also been attempts to repair and reinforce it, aiming for permanent occupation of the Ren’ai Jiao.__Pakistan Today