China's embassy condemns PH envoy's remarks on South China Sea

China’s embassy condemns PH envoy’s remarks on South China Sea

, / 02:35 PM March 03, 2024

China's embassy condemns PH envoy's remarks on South China Sea

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez speaks during a U.S. Trade and Development Agency Offshore Wind Grant Signing at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Manila, Philippines, August 6, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BEIJING — China’s embassy in the Philippines on Sunday said it “strongly” condemns the Philippine ambassador to Washington’s recent China-related remarks, saying they “disregarded basic facts”.

The remarks “wantonly hyped up the South China Sea issue and made speculations and malicious smears against China,” the embassy said in a statement.


Jose Manuel Romualdez said on Wednesday that while the United States sees both the South China Sea issue and a potential Taiwan conflict as “serious concerns”, he believed the “real flashpoint is the West Philippine Sea” given “all of these skirmishes happening there.”


READ: US stance on region unlikely to change even if Trump back at helm–PH envoy

“Who is stirring up the situation in the South China Sea? Who are spreading “China threat”? Who are ganging up in small blocks? Who invented “economic coercion”? Where did it originate? Who weaponizes economic power and gets addicted to sanctions?” the embassy’s spokesperson, who was left unnamed, asked.

“The questions are self-explanatory,” the spokesperson continued.

READ: China expresses concern over PH activities in West Philippine Sea

The Chinese embassy further said that bringing in “outside forces” and “forming small circles” will not help address disputes in the contested waters but would only complicate the regional situation, undermine regional peace and stability, and backfire on its own security.

It then urged Romualdez to stop spreading “erroneous ‘China threat’ and ‘Sinophobia’ remarks,” and called on the Philippine official to refrain from being a  “mouthpiece” for other countries.


Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea, Commodore Jay Tarriela, continued to belie China’s territorial claims over the disputed waters.

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is distorting the concept by packaging its illegal territorial claims as ‘jurisdiction,’ avoiding the legal and political facts of its illegal presence within the Philippines’ EEZ [exclusive economic zone], and seeking to solidify its illegal gains in the West Philippine Sea,” Tarriela said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday (March 2).

“This will only further squeeze the political space for the PRC and Philippines to jointly manage crises and properly handle disputes if they would be consistently ignoring UNCLOS [United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas] and not sincere in doing whatever they are saying publicly,” he added.

In the same statement, the Chinese embassy said that China plays a major role in “maintaining peace and stability in the region” and has always been committed to properly handling the disputes over South China Sea through “dialogue and consultation.”

In 2016, an arbitral ruling declared China’s sweeping claims through its “nine-dash-line” over South China Sea invalid — a decision that Beijing continues to defy.

Also on Sunday, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. left for Melbourne, Australia to participate in a special summit between member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states and Australia from March 4 to 6 where he said he would “reiterate the country’s position on regional and international issues.”

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Prior to this, Marcos has called China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea “worrisome.”

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: China, Global Nation, Philippines, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea

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