Chinanews.com, Beijing, December 12 (Xie Yanbing, Li Jingze) Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning held a regular press conference on December 11.
A reporter asked: On December 12, the Philippines sent a ship to trespass into the waters of Ren'ai Jiao in China's Nansha Islands without authorization in an attempt to deliver construction supplies to a warship illegally "beached" at Ren'ai Jiao, but was stopped by a Chinese coast guard vessel. After the incident, the President of the Philippines and the National Security Council accused China of attacking and accusing China. Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: On December 12, a Philippine replenishment vessel, a government vessel, and two coast guard vessels trespassed into the waters adjacent to Ren'ai Jiao in China's Nansha Islands without the permission of the Chinese government in an attempt to deliver construction supplies to a warship illegally beached at Ren'ai Jiao. During this period, the Philippine vessel ignored the warnings of the Chinese coast guard vessel, insisted on rushing into the lagoon of Ren'ai Jiao, and rammed the Chinese coast guard vessel at the scene in a dangerous manner. The above-mentioned actions of the Philippine side seriously violated China's sovereignty and endangered the safety of Chinese vessels and personnel. In accordance with domestic and international law, the China Coast Guard has taken necessary measures against Philippine vessels, and has operated them professionally, with restraint, reasonableness and lawfulness. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has lodged solemn representations with the Philippine side to express its strong protest.
I would like to stress that Ren'ai Jiao is part of China's Nansha Islands, and China's indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Islands, including Ren'ai Jiao, and its adjacent waters has been formed and established in the course of a long period of history and is in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations. The Philippines claims that Ren'ai Jiao belongs to the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and continental shelf on the basis of the so-called award in the illegal and invalid South China Sea arbitration case, which denies China's territorial sovereignty over Ren'ai Jiao, violates the principles of international law and is legally untenable.
The root cause of the recent emergencies in the waters of Ren'ai Jiao lies entirely with the Philippine side, which has violated its commitments and refused to tow away the illegal "beached" warship, and attempted to carry out large-scale reinforcement of the warship to achieve permanent occupation. China firmly opposes the Philippine attempt to occupy Ren'ai Jiao, and has made clear China's solemn position to the Philippine side through multiple levels and channels, demanding that the Philippine side refrain from transporting construction materials for large-scale maintenance and reinforcement to warships illegally beached, and put forward an initiative to properly manage the situation at Ren'ai Jiao. However, the Philippines has ignored China's goodwill, sincerity and restraint, violated its own commitments, continued to infringe on its rights and provoked and create incidents in the waters off Ren'ai Jiao, continued to spread disinformation and hype, seriously violated international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and seriously violated China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.
China once again urges the Philippines to stop its maritime abuses and provocations, stop making unwarranted attacks and smears against China, and refrain from taking actions that undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea. China will continue to take necessary measures in accordance with domestic and international law to resolutely respond to any infringement and provocation and firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. (ENDS)