China accuses PH of hypocrisy | Global News

China accuses PH of hypocrisy

/ 04:35 AM March 28, 2015

BEIJING—China’s Foreign Ministry expressed serious concern on Friday after the Philippines said it would resume repair and reconstruction works on disputed islands in the South China Sea, saying Manila was infringing on Chinese sovereignty.

The Philippines had halted activities last year over concerns about the effect on an international arbitration complaint filed against China.

Manila called on all countries last October to stop construction work on small islands and reefs in the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also claim the area.


China itself is undertaking massive reclamation works in the area, while Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam have also been improving their facilities.


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said it was “seriously concerned” by the remarks by Philippine Foreign Minister Alberto del Rosario.

“On the one hand, the Philippines makes unreasonable criticism about China’s normal building activities on its own isles, and on the other announces it will resume repairs on an airport, runway and other illegal constructions on China’s Spratly Islands, which it illegally occupies,” Hua said.

“This is not only a series infringement of China’s sovereignty, but it also exposes the Philippines’ hypocrisy,” she told a daily news briefing, calling on the Philippines to withdraw from the islands.

But Del Rosario said the works, including repairs to an airstrip, did not violate an informal code of conduct in the South China Sea because they would not alter the status quo in the disputed area. The 2002 code was signed by China and 10 Southeast Asian countries in Phnom Penh.

However, a Philippine official said that doing the repair and maintenance might be difficult given the circumstances.

“We cannot repair because the construction materials will be coming from the outside, getting inside. If it will be by aircraft it will be very expensive and very impractical so you have to bring in the boat, but the boat cannot come in because there is no pier,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Friday.


He said it might be possible to conduct repairs on the runway on Pagasa Island but a port would be needed to bring in the materials.

Gazmin maintained that the Philippines follows a rules-based approach while China has no basis in claiming the contested areas, which prompted the Philippines to seek arbitration from the United Nations.

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In 2013, the Philippines filed an arbitration case before the United Nations questioning Beijing’s “nine-dash-line” claim to the disputed area. With a report by Julie M. Aurelio

TAGS: Chinese Sovereignty, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea

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