China clear-cut on how to deal with current situation at Ren’ai Jiao: embassy

MANILA: The Chinese embassy in the Philippines said on Saturday that China’s position is clear-cut on how to deal with the current situation at Ren’ai Jiao.

According to reports, Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos recently said the Philippines will continue dialogue with China at all levels to ease South China Sea tensions and avoid collision or water cannoning incidents.

In response, a spokesperson for the embassy said China is always committed to managing South China Sea disputes with the Philippines through dialogue and consultation, and has made relentless efforts in this regard.

“If the Philippines truly wants to ease tensions at Ren’ai Jiao through dialogue and communication, the key is for it to honor the commitments and understandings and stop provocations,” said the spokesperson.

Noting that by keeping its warship grounded at Ren’ai Jiao for decades running, the Philippines has been violating China’s sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), especially Article 5 which says refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands and reefs, the spokesperson said China demands that the Philippines tow away the warship as soon as possible and restore Ren’ai Jiao’s state of hosting zero personnel and facilities.

Before the warship is towed away, if the Philippines needs to send living necessities, China is willing to allow it out of humanitarianism so long as the Philippines informs China in advance and after on-site verification is conducted, the spokesperson said, adding that China will monitor the whole process.

If the Philippines sends large amount of construction materials to the warship and attempts to build fixed facilities and a permanent outpost, the spokesperson said China will not accept it and will resolutely stop it in accordance with law and regulations, so as to uphold China’s sovereignty and the sanctity of the DOC.

The statement came after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday called on China to engage in dialogue to prevent more incidents like ramming vessels and the use of water cannons in the South China Sea, Voice of America reported.

The Philippines continues to talk with China, and is exhausting all options to speak to Chinese leadership so as not to heat up tensions in the waterway, Marcos claimed, according to media reports.

On Saturday, the Chinese embassy listed three key points of China’s views on handling the current situation at Ren’ai Jiao.

First, by keeping a warship grounded at Ren’ai Jiao for decades running, the Philippines has been violating China’s sovereignty and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), especially Article 5 which says refraining from action of inhabiting on the presently uninhabited islands and reefs.

We demand that the Philippines tow away the warship as soon as possible and restore Ren’ai Jiao’s state of not hosting personnel and facilities, the statement said.

Second, before the warship is towed away, if the Philippines needs to send living necessities, out of humanitarian considerations, China is willing to allow it if the Philippines informs China in advance and after on-site verification is conducted. China will monitor the whole process, according to the embassy’s statement.

Third, if the Philippines sends large amount of construction materials to the warship and attempts to build fixed facilities and permanent outpost, China will not accept it and will resolutely stop it in accordance with law and regulations to uphold China’s sovereignty and the sanctity of the DOC.

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