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China Urges Philippines to Cease Provocations in South China Sea

Beijing, March 23, 2024, The Europe Today: A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday, calling on the Philippines to immediately halt its actions that infringe upon territorial sovereignty and exacerbate tensions in the South China Sea.

The spokesperson’s comments came in response to reports of the Philippines’ recent resupply mission to Ren’ai Jiao, a feature within China’s Nansha Qundao (Spratly Islands) region. Despite China’s explicit opposition, the Philippines dispatched a supply vessel accompanied by two Coast Guard vessels on March 23, allegedly attempting to deliver construction materials to a military vessel grounded at Ren’ai Jiao without authorization from the Chinese government.

According to the spokesperson, China’s Coast Guard took decisive action to safeguard its rights, intercepting the Philippine vessels and thwarting their unauthorized incursion into the waters adjacent to Ren’ai Jiao.

“Nansha Qundao and its surrounding waters, including Ren’ai Jiao, have always been integral parts of China’s territory. This historical fact is grounded in international law,” affirmed the spokesperson.

The spokesperson warned that if the Philippines persists in its provocative behavior, China will continue to take resolute measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests. The Philippines, the spokesperson cautioned, must be prepared to face the consequences of its actions.

Tensions in the South China Sea have long been a source of contention between China and neighboring countries, including the Philippines, over competing territorial claims. The latest incident underscores the ongoing challenges in the region and the urgent need for diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions and promote peaceful coexistence.

China’s unequivocal stance on territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea reaffirms its commitment to upholding its rights and interests in accordance with international law. However, the spokesperson’s statement also serves as a stark warning to regional actors, emphasizing the gravity of the situation and the potential ramifications of further provocations.