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Remove Grounded Ship From Disputed Waters: China Urges Philippines

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Remove Grounded Ship From Disputed Waters: China Urges Philippines

Philippines also showed the Chinese ship moving dangerously close in front of the Philippine Coast.

Beijing:

Amid the spat between China and the Philippines over the latter’s warship being allegedly targeted by water canons, Beijing urged the Philippines to immediately tow away the grounded warship from Ren’ai Reef, the Global Times reported on Tuesday.

Quoting a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Global Times reported that claiming the Ren’ai Reef as a part of China’s Nansha Islands, Beijing called for restoring the original status of the reef.

The Philippines, according to the report, repeatedly made promises to tow away the warship illegally “grounded” on the reef. However, it has not only failed to tow away the warship but has even attempted to repair and reinforce it on a large scale to achieve permanent occupation of the Ren’ai Reef 24 years after the issue first came to a head, the report added.

A Chinese spokesperson called it a serious violation of international law and the declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN members.

He claimed that the current situation in the Ren’ai Reef could be attributed to the Philippines ignoring China’s goodwill and sincerity, and transporting construction materials to the warship.

Analysts say the incident escalated an already tense situation and could lead the United States and its allies to accelerate plans for joint patrols in the waterway.

A smaller Philippines boat was cannon-sprayed by a large Chinese Coast Guard ship as it attempted to deliver supplies to a garrison of Philippine marines at Second Thomas Shoal, a South China Sea feature in Manila’s exclusive economic zone that China calls Renai Reef and also claims as its sovereign territory.

Photos from the Philippine Coast Guard also showed the Chinese ship moving dangerously close in front of the Philippine Coast Guard vessels as they escorted the resupply boats, according to CNN.

“The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) strongly condemns the China Coast Guard’s (CCG) dangerous manoeuvres and illegal use of water cannons against PCG vessels,” the PCG wrote in a statement shared on its official Facebook account Saturday.

By Sunday, Washington, Manila’s principal ally, had denounced China’s actions while reaffirming that it will uphold its end of the mutual defence pact with the Philippines.

“The United States reaffirms an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces — including those of its Coast Guard in the South China Sea — would invoke US mutual defence commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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