China rejects US statement of support for PH after WPS ramming incident
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday “deplored and rejected” the United States’ declaration of support to the Philippines after the recent ship ramming incident in the West Philippine Sea.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, labeled the US act as a “sinister attempt to endorse the Philippines’ acts of infringement and provocation.”
As in the ministry’s previous assertions, Mao insisted that Ayungin Shoal, called Ren’ai Jiao in China, had always been a part of Chinese territory.
This was despite a 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that debunked China’s sweeping claim over most of the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.
“Territorial sovereignty is the basis and premise of maritime rights. Any proposition or practice that attempts to negate a country’s territorial sovereignty with maritime rights has no legal basis whatsoever,” Mao said.
“The so-called South China Sea arbitration award is illegal, null, and void. It is pointless for the US to keep trying to make an issue out of this illegal award. It cannot shake in the slightest China’s firm resolve and will to defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”
Mao said that the Philippines gravely violated China’s territorial sovereignty by sending a military ship to be grounded at Ayungin Shoal. But she said China had “exercised utmost restraint and patience” over it.
Mao also claimed that the US had been “blatantly emboldening” the Philippines’ act of infringing upon China’s sovereignty.
“The US even sent over military aircraft and vessels to assist and support the Philippines, and repeatedly sought to threaten China by citing the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. What the US does has considerably bolstered the Philippines as it infringes upon China’s sovereignty and makes provocation at Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal) and had egregious impacts,” she said.
then prompted her to reiterate that the territorial dispute over Ayungin Shoal was an issue between China and the Philippines — and that the US had no place in it.
“In seeking selfish geopolitical interests, the US has incited, supported, and cooperated with the Philippines in its infringement and provocation at [Ayungin Shoal]. This is quite clear to countries in the region. China has firm resolve and will in safeguarding its lawful rights and the US’s attempt is doomed to fail,” Mao said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed a diplomatic protest against China after its ramming of two Philippine Navy boats in the West Philippine Sea.
In 2023 alone, the country filed 55 diplomatic protests against China over its aggression in Philippine waters.