China slams ‘dangerous, escalatory’ acts by Philippines in South China Sea

BEIJING: The Chinese Ministry of National Defense said on Friday that it will take all necessary countermeasures against dangerous and escalatory acts by the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The Philippine side is a peace destroyer and instability maker in the region, said Zhang Xiaogang, a spokesperson for the ministry.

Zhang made the comments in response to reports that the Philippine side denied that its soldiers pointed guns at China Coast Guard vessels and said that personnel stationed aboard the BRP Sierra Madre only held on to their weapons to defend themselves, and that the Philippine side claimed there had been small-scale reclamation at Xianbin Jiao and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army recently sent a hovercraft and an aircraft to conduct exercises in the waters around the atoll.

Nansha Qundao, including Ren’ai Jiao and Xianbin Jiao, is an inherent territory of China, and it is legitimate and reasonable for the Chinese side to carry out law enforcement activities in waters under our jurisdiction, said Zhang. “The Chinese side has made clear our principled position on this multiple times.”

In fact, it is the Philippine side who broke its promises, played with fire and made provocations to escalate tension, and it even cooks up and spreads disinformation about Xianbin Jiao in an attempt to cover up its infringements and provocations, he said.

“Such behavior is like a thief crying ‘stop thief’ and fully shows that the Philippine side is undoubtedly the one undermining peace and creating instability,” said Zhang.

The Chinese side remains highly vigilant and will continue to take all necessary countermeasures against the dangerous and escalatory acts by the Philippine side, he added.

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