US inflating PH-China tension over West PH Sea — Chinese Embassy
MANILA, Philippines — Tension between the Philippines and China was inflated by the United States (US), the Chinese Embassy in Manila said on Thursday.
In a strongly-worded statement, the Chinese Embassy branded US’ actions as a “sinister attempt to endorse the Philippines’ act of infringement and provocation.”
“The escalation of tension in the South China Sea has been inflated by the US actions. Since the beginning of this year, the US has been blatantly emboldening the Philippines’ acts of infringing upon China’s sovereignty and inciting and supporting the Philippines’ attempts to repair and reinforce its warship that was deliberately grounded on Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal),” the Embassy said in a statement.
A China Coast Guard vessel and maritime militia boat on Sunday hit a Philippine Coast Guard and chartered ship on a resupply mission to the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
United States President Joe Biden earlier emphasized his country’s “ironclad” defense commitment to the Philippines following China’s incursion in the West Philippine Sea.
Meanwhile, in a separate press conference on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning reiterated that the US is “not a party to the South China Sea issue,” saying that it has no right to interfere in the escalation between China and the Philippines.
“The US defense commitment to the Philippines should not undermine China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in [the] South China Sea, nor should it support the illegal claims of the Philippines,” said Mao.