China condemns Philippine encroachment on Ren’ai Reef

 

Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, presents at the routine

press conference on Thursday of May 30, 2013.  Photo by Zhao Wei

 

By Hu Longjiang

A national defense spokesman on Thursday of May 30 reiterated China’s sovereignty over Ren’ai Reef in the South China Sea, adding that the illegal grounding of a Philippine vessel on the reef represents encroachment on China’s territorial sovereignty.

China’s resolution and will to safeguard its territorial sovereignty is unswerving, Geng Yansheng, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, which include Ren’ai Reef, and their adjacent waters, Geng said, adding that Chinese naval patrols in the area are justifiable.

In 1999, a Philippine warship was grounded on Ren’ai Reef. China has repeatedly asked the country to retrieve the ship, but the Philippines has ignored China and continued to illegally occupy the reef, Geng said.

He said the Philippine’s act violates the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

Geng said the Philippines’ claim that Chinese vessels have threatened to cut off supplies of water and food for Philippine military staff at the reef is groundless.

China firmly opposes any action that could amplify or complicate the situation, Geng said.

 

 

China rejects Philippines’ illegal

seizure of Ren’ai Reef

By Xiong Zhengyan 

China will never accept the Philippines’ illegal seizure of the Ren’ai Reef, an area over which China has indisputable sovereignty, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday of May 30.

“China’s determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty is unswerving, and it will never accept the Philippines’ illegal seizure of the Ren’ai Reef in any form,” spokesman Hong Lei told a daily press briefing.

Hong’s comments came in response to a question regarding Chinese vessels’ recent activities near the Ren’ai Reef.

Hong said China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and its surrounding waters.

He recalled how a Philippine warship illegally landed on the beach of the Ren’ai Reef of China’s Nansha Islands in 1999, claiming it had been stranded.

Since then, China has made solemn representations to the Philippines dozens of times, demanding that the country tow the warship, Hong said.

The Philippine side said it has not dragged away the warship because of a “lack of parts,” stressing that the country does not have any intention of building any facilities on the reef and that it is not making any attempts at provocation, Hong said.

“The Philippine side, however, disregards China’s solemn stance and its own promise, attempts to intensify its illegal existence and seize the Ren’ai Reef, which seriously infringes upon China’s territorial sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” Hong said.

“Chinese government ships are justified in carrying out regular patrols in relevant waters,” the spokesman said.

China urges the Philippine side to earnestly honor its commitment, work together with China, refrain from doing things that complicate the situation and make due efforts in safeguarding the peace and stability of the South China Sea, Hong said. 

 

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