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China Warns Philippines Against Infringement and Provocation

Beijing, May 17, 2024, The Europe Today: A Chinese defense spokesperson has issued a stern warning to the Philippines, urging it to cease all acts of infringement and provocation. Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, made these remarks at a press conference on Friday, responding to inquiries about recent statements by the Philippine president and joint military drills conducted by Philippine and U.S. forces.

Zhang criticized the Philippines for what he described as contradictory and self-defeating actions and statements, highlighting the apparent discrepancy between their public stance and their activities in the South China Sea. “It is clear to the world who is provoking and creating incidents in the South China Sea and exacerbating tensions through bloc rivalry,” Zhang stated.

He warned that any attempts to form alliances to coerce or pressure China are misguided. Zhang emphasized that China will continue to take resolute and decisive measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights, as well as to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Addressing recent claims by Philippine authorities that no agreement exists with China regarding Ren’ai Jiao, Zhang pointed to a “gentlemen’s agreement” and internal understandings between the two nations. These agreements, he said, were established out of humanitarian considerations to manage differences, prevent conflicts, and build trust.

Zhang accused the Philippine side of denying these facts, deceiving its people, and misleading the international community. He questioned the credibility and intentions of the Philippine government, urging them to adhere to international norms and cease their false narratives and provocations. “Otherwise, all its behaviors will only backfire on itself and do more harm than good,” Zhang warned.

The statements underscore the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea and highlight the complex diplomatic dynamics between China and the Philippines.