Beijing urges respect in South China Sea dispute

Release time:2024-03-12clicks:10

By Mo Jingxi | | Updated: 2024-03-12

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.[Photo/]


The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that China has sent proposals to the Philippine side with regard to managing the situation in the South China Sea and ensuring maritime cooperation out of consideration for bilateral ties and the need to maintain peace and stability.

The remarks came after the Philippine Foreign Ministry said it had received several maritime-related proposals from China, but added that they could not be considered because they went against the Southeast Asian country's national interests.

Speaking at a news briefing in Beijing, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China has indisputable sovereignty over islands and reefs in the South China Sea and there is no dispute regarding territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines.

The proposals reflect our sincerity and goodwill in managing differences through negotiations and consultations. Regrettably, the Philippines has not responded and even frequently undertaken acts of infringement and provocation at sea that severely damaged the atmosphere of communication and cooperation between the two sides, Wang said.

The core of the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea lies in the territorial issues triggered by the Philippines' invasion and illegal occupation of some islands and reefs off China's Nansha Islands.

In recent times, the Philippines has created trouble in the waters near China's Ren'ai Reef, which led to a series of incidents involving Chinese and Philippine ships. In the latest incident on March 5, two Philippine supply vessels and two coast guard vessels intruded into the adjacent waters of Ren'ai Reef without permission from the Chinese government.

China's position on the South China Sea issue is clear and consistent. We will stay committed to properly handling disputes through dialogue and consultation with the Philippine side, Wang said, noting that China will also take measures to firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

The spokesman also urged South Korea, which is not a party to the South China Sea issue, to act with prudence and stop playing up the issue to avoid adding unnecessary burdens to China-South Korea relations after the South Korean Foreign Ministry expressed concerns over the March 5 incident.

If countries outside the region truly wish for peace and stability in the South China Sea, then they should, instead of stirring up trouble, respect the efforts made by China and relevant countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that aim to appropriately handle disputes and maintain peace and stability, Wang said.

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