says US ally seeks to ‘completely occupy’ disputed island

42 says US ally seeks to ‘completely occupy’ disputed island

Manila accused Beijing of utilizing “extreme” drive throughout a standoff in contested waters final week

China has stated the Philippines was in charge for a latest spat close to the disputed Ren’ai Jiao atoll, which noticed a Chinese language army vessel unleash water cannons in opposition to two of Manila’s provide ships. Each nations declare the island is a part of their sovereign territory.

The Chinese language International Ministry weighed in on the encounter on Tuesday, days after Philippine officers stated Beijing carried out “aggressive maneuvers” in opposition to a pair of ships making an attempt to convey provides to the contested atoll within the South China Sea. 

The ministry burdened that Ren’ai Jiao – identified to Manila because the Second Thomas Shoal – is a part of China, additionally noting {that a} Philippine army vessel has been “illegally” grounded on the island for many years regardless of vows to take away the purposely marooned ship.

“Twenty-four years have handed and as a substitute of towing it away, the Philippines has sought to restore and reinforce it on a big scale with a purpose to completely occupy Ren’ai Jiao,” a ministry spokesman stated in a assertion, including that the challenge “gravely violates worldwide regulation.”

Although the Philippines was awarded rights to the atoll in 2016 as a part of the South China Sea Arbitration, a course of mediated beneath worldwide maritime regulation, Beijing has declined to acknowledge the ruling, calling it “unlawful, null and void.” In its response to Manila’s fees on Tuesday, the International Ministry reiterated that “China doesn’t settle for or acknowledge” the choice, “and can by no means settle for any declare or motion based mostly on the award.”

Following the run-in final Saturday, the Philippine army stated a China Coast Guard vessel acted “in wanton disregard of the security of the individuals on board” the 2 provide ships, condemning its “extreme and offensive” use of a water cannon. It urged Beijing to “act with prudence and be accountable of their actions to forestall miscalculations and accidents that can endanger individuals’s lives.”

The USA, an in depth accomplice to Manila, later commented on the incident, warning that it might defend its ally from any armed assault whereas declaring that the Chinese language ship “interfered with the Philippines’ lawful train of excessive seas freedom of navigation.” Japan and Australia issued comparable statements, with Canberra calling Beijing’s actions “harmful and destabilizing.”

The Folks’s Republic has lengthy condemned US and allied army motion within the South China Sea, and warned Washington to remain out of territorial disputes within the area. US officers have nonetheless continued to denounce Beijing’s actions in contested areas, whereas American warships have launched into near-monthly ‘freedom of navigation’ missions since President Joe Biden took workplace in 2021.

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