The Chinese Foreign Ministry is insisting that the Philippines respect their sovereignty, rights, and interests in the South China Sea, and to put an end to any action that will complicate the situation in the area.
“We urge the relevant side to respect China’s sovereignty and rights and interests, and stop actions complicating the situation and escalating disputes,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Tuesday.
This was in response to the question asking him to comment about the maritime exercises being conducted in the West Philippine Sea by the Philippine Coast Guard.
Wang also reiterated China’s sovereignty over Nansha Islands, or the Spratly Islands, as well as the Zhongye Island (Pag-asa Island) and Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) which is part of what they call the Zhongsha Islands and their adjacent waters, and that they exercise jurisdiction in such relevant areas. This contradicts the arbitral tribunal ruling in The Hague in 2016 which affirmed the Philippines’ sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone, which the other party has consistently refused to recognize.