BEIJING: China demanded Friday that Manila stop infringing on its territorial sovereignty after taking what it described as “control measures” against Philippine ships at a contested South China Sea outpost.
“The China Coast Guard followed the Philippine ships in accordance with the law, took control measures, and made temporary special arrangements for the Philippines to transport food and other necessary daily supplies,” China Coast Guard spokesman Gan Yu said.
“The Philippines’ actions infringe on China’s territorial sovereignty, violate the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and are contrary to its own commitments,” Gan added.
“We urge the Philippines to immediately stop its infringing actions.”
“The China Coast Guard will continue to carry out rights protection and law enforcement actions in waters under China’s jurisdiction in accordance with the law, resolutely safeguarding national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually, and has ignored a 2016 international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis.
Over the past decade, Beijing has deployed vessels to patrol the waters and built artificial islands that it has militarised to reinforce its stance.