China reiterates claim over Ayungin Shoal

China reiterates claim over Ayungin Shoal; opposes PH plan to build structure

/ 08:17 AM December 30, 2023

China opposes PH plan to build structure in Ayungin Shoal: It's our territory

A Philippine Marine soldier flashes the peace sign to a Chinese Coast Guard ship after it tried to block a resupply vessel from restocking the BRP Sierra Madre on Ayungin Shoal in 2014. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — China stood against the Philippines’ plan to build a permanent structure in Ayungin Shoal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning, in a press conference, once again claimed that Ayungin Shoal, which she called Ren’ai Jiao, is part of China’s territory.


“Ren’ai Jiao is an uninhabited shoal. According to the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and Asean countries, parties should keep Ren’ai Jiao uninhabited and facility-free,” said Mao on Friday evening (Philippine time).


Col. Medel Aguilar, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson, earlier disclosed that the proposed structure is a shelter for fisherfolks.

READ: China raises concerns over PH’s reported development plans on Ayungin Shoal

Mao warned the Philippine government, saying if the construction pushes through, it would be “another major move to go back on its words, change its policy, and undermine the uninhabited and facility-free status” of Ayungin Shoal.

READ: PH not provoking conflict in West Philippine Sea — AFP

“This will severely infringe on China’s sovereignty, violate international law and the DOC. China will take resolute measures against any violation of our sovereignty and provocation, and firmly safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” said Mao.


Despite China’s persistent claims, Ayungin Shoal remains to be a low-tide elevation about 194 kilometers off Palawan province, well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

It is also home to the country’s lone military outpost in the West Philippine Sea — BRP Sierra Madre.

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TAGS: Ayungin Shoal, China, dispute, Philippines

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