China says it won’t turn blind eye to repeated PH ‘provocations’ | Global News

China says it won’t turn blind eye to repeated PH ‘provocations’

/ 05:48 AM December 29, 2023

Flags of the Philippines and China

National flags are placed outside a room where Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng address reporters after their meeting in Beijing, China, Jan. 23, 2017. (File photo by DAMIR SAGOLJ / Reuters)

BEIJING — China on Thursday said it will not turn a blind eye to repeated “provocations and harassment” by the Philippines, amid heightened tensions over a spate of run-ins in the South China Sea.

Manila earlier this month accused the Chinese coastguard and maritime militia of repeatedly firing water cannons at its resupply boats, causing “serious engine damage” to one, and “deliberately” ramming another.


‘Proactively rammed’

Calling the accusations “purely false hype,” Wu Qian, a defense ministry spokesperson, said the Philippine side insisted on sending vessels to “intrude into” waters near a disputed shoal and “proactively rammed” a Chinese Coast Guard vessel.


At a news conference, Wu said the China Coast Guard took necessary enforcement measures that were justified and legitimate.

“China is always committed to resolving differences through dialogue and consultation and making joint efforts to maintain maritime stability, but we will not turn a blind eye to the Philippines’ repeated provocations and harassment,” Wu said.

Pivot back to US

A Philippine military spokesperson said earlier this week the country was not provoking conflict in the South China Sea after Chinese state media accused Manila of relying on US support to continually antagonize China.

Relations soured between the two neighbors over the South China Sea under President Marcos, with Manila pivoting back to the United States, which supports the Southeast Asian nation in its maritime disputes with China.

“We urge the US to immediately stop meddling in the South China Sea issue, stop emboldening and supporting Philippine infringement and provocation, and safeguard regional security with concrete actions,” Wu said at the news conference.

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TAGS: maritime dispute, PH-China Relations, West Philippine Sea

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