Philippine, Australian Joint Patrols Heighten Tensions in South China Sea: Defense Ministry

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The joint maritime patrols conducted by the Philippines and Australia have heightened tensions in the South China Sea, China’s Ministry of National Defense said Thursday.

Defense and security cooperation between countries shall not target any third party or harm a third party’s interests and shall not undermine regional peace and stability, Wu Qian, spokesperson for the ministry, said at a press conference in response to a media query.

“We oppose any act that stirs up confrontation and heightens tensions in the South China Sea. We urge the Philippine side to abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and stop violating China’s sovereignty,” Wu said.

“The Chinese military will stay vigilant and firmly safeguard national sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and defend peace and stability in the South China Sea,” he added. 

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