China Accuses US of Stirring up Trouble in South China Sea

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China firmly opposes the United States which has incited the Philippines to infringe China’s rights and make trouble in Ren’ai Reef in the South China Sea, China’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry’s spokesman, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, made the remarks at a news conference in response to a joint statement by the US and Philippine defense secretaries after their meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, in mid-November. The statement said that the two countries denounced China’s maritime rights protection and law enforcement activities towards Philippine Coast Guard and resupply vessels conducting lawful resupply operations around the reef.

Wu said that China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea, including Ren’ai Reef and its adjacent waters. He added that the Philippines has illegally grounded a warship in Ren’ai Reef and has continuously sent ships to intrude into the waters there, attempting to repair and reinforce the grounded warship, which seriously infringes China’s sovereignty, international law, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

Wu emphasized that the Ren’ai Reef issue is a bilateral matter between China and the Philippines and has nothing to do with the US. He said that China firmly opposes the US interfering and stirring up trouble in the South China Sea for its own selfish interests, inciting the Philippines to infringe China’s rights and make trouble in Ren’ai Reef, and intensifying regional tensions.

“History has proven time and again that US intervention only makes the situation worse,” Wu said. “We strongly condemn the wrong actions of relevant countries in provoking confrontation and undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea, and urge them to exercise caution in their words and actions.”

Wu warned that the Chinese military will take resolute and powerful measures to defend national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

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