News / Asia

China Pushes Back on Philippine Spratlys Charge

Map of South China Sea Territorial Claims
Map of South China Sea Territorial Claims

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China is pushing back against Philippine charges that Beijing is increasing its military activity in the South China Sea area and threatening peace and stability in the region.

During the foreign minister’s meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario released a statement Sunday saying there is a "massive presence of Chinese military and paramilitary ships" at the Huangyan Islands and the Ren'ai Reef, also known as the Second Thomas Shoal.

Del Rosario said this poses "threats to efforts to maintain maritime peace and stability in the region."

China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, responded on Monday that China has indisputable rights over, and interests in the area and surrounding waters, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

Hua went on to say that tensions in the South China Sea were not caused by China, and cited what she said were incidents when Philippine military vessels harassed Chinese fishermen last year. She said another cause of tensions was the the Philippines’ claim of sovereignty over the Second Thomas Shoal.

In June, the Philippines accused China of violating its territorial waters after three Chinese ships sailed near the shoal where the Philippines had stranded an old transport ship in 1999 to mark its claim to the territory. China has repeatedly demanded that the Philippines remove the ship.

Earlier this year, Philippine armed forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista said the military was replacing troops stationed on the wrecked ship and replenishing their supplies.

In her statement Monday, Hua referred to the ongoing dispute, saying, "If any country can use faulty vessels to make illegal occupation an accomplished fact, then where are the rules and credibility in the South China Sea? Where is the foundation for maintaining peace and stability in the region?"

The Second Thomas Shoal is believed to be rich in oil and natural gas deposits and is one of several possible flashpoints in the South China Sea.

In 2010, Manila awarded an Anglo-Filipino consortium a license to explore for gas on in the area, but drilling stalled last year, because of the presence of Chinese ships.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters

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Comment Sorting
by: Lupet from: Brunei
July 02, 2013 6:15 PM
China does not event want to go to U.N. court for arbitration. It like a Criminal who afraid to go to court because everyone in this civilized nation that they are stealing island. Go to court and prove that the island is yours.

by: remie from: canada
July 02, 2013 7:58 AM
Get your facts and history right before you comment. It is China who is doing what you have spoken. You act like your the victim but yet you are the aggressor.

July 01, 2013 4:47 PM
SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY STATEMENT.And with regard to the South China Sea, I will say this: As a Pacific nation, and the resident power, the United States has a national interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded lawful commerce, and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. As we have said many times before, while we do not take a position on a competing territorial claim over land features, we have a strong interest in the manner in which the disputes of the South China Sea are addressed and in the conduct of the parties. We very much hope to see progress soon on a substantive code of conduct in order to help ensure stability in this vital region.
In Response

by: Muhamed from: Pakistan
July 03, 2013 12:21 AM
Don't let Chinese fish in your water but also don't let Chinese come and stay in your country, they will never leave.
In Response

by: Anonymous
July 02, 2013 2:05 PM
China never own the south china sea, it was just called south china sea of other country for navigation but does not mean china owns it, just like indean ocean, it does not mean india owns the whole indian ocean. china, acting agressive now, because they want to establish and increase their territory, south china is rich in natural resources, that is why china wants to claim all, they want to surpass united states and become the most powerfull in the world, military and economically. Like scarborough shoal, it was never been china's terriotry, it was a entry and exit point of philippines and united states when there is still a base on subic. Philippines also used that location as a testing ground for military. After United states left, that was the only time, china send fishermen to scarborough and share resources with filipinos, after a year, now china claiming it.. If there is any lesson to be learned, do not allow chinese to fish in your own territory, after a few years of fishing if you allow them, they will claim it and will get it from you.
In Response

by: Frank from: O. County, USA
July 02, 2013 9:05 AM
There is no justice in what Chinese are doing in the South China Sea (let's call this waters "South Asia Sea) and in the East China Sea (let's call this waters "East Asia Sea). If Chinese wants to get natural resources, Chinese must pay for that, observing International Laws and respecting other countries's sovereignty.
In Response

by: Allan from: China
July 02, 2013 12:31 AM
Not taking a stance by holding drills near the disputed water, by arming the Philipinos. The Chinese Government has been criticized too weak towards the neighbors at home. Our weak past made our neighbors sneak into South CHINA sea to steal. Now it's time to get them back. We do not mind sharing with you, but we had enough of stealing in our backyard. Enough is enough.

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