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China urges ROK to stay prudent on South China Sea issue: FM spokesperson

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-29 01:10

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian. [Photo/mfa.gov.cn]

BEIJING -- China urges the Republic of Korea (ROK) to stay prudent when it comes to the South China Sea issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said on Thursday.

Lin made the remarks at a regular press briefing when responding to a media query about ROK Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's biased and unfactual comments on the South China Sea issue over the past few days.

"China deplores this and has lodged representations to the ROK," Lin said, adding that the ROK is not a party to the South China Sea issue and what the ROK has done lately does not contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea, still less to China-ROK relations.

On March 23, the Philippines, breaking its promise once again, sent a supply vessel and two coast guard vessels to illegally intrude into the adjacent waters of Ren'ai Jiao in the name of sending supplies of daily necessities.

"We have made our position clear on the Philippines' resupply mission to Ren'ai Jiao. I would like to stress once again that Ren'ai Jiao is part of China's Nansha Qundao and has always been China's territory," he said.

The fact is, the Philippines was not sending living necessities, but construction materials for repairing and reinforcing the illegally grounded warship, Lin said, adding that their goal is to set up a permanent outpost on the uninhabited reef that belongs to China in an attempt to permanently occupy Ren'ai Jiao, which is illegal.

Lin said the Philippines has gone back on its own words, repeatedly broken its commitments made to China, and seriously violated Article 5 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

In response to the forced intrusion of Philippine vessels, China Coast Guard had to take necessary law-enforcement measures and their operation at the scene was justified, lawful, professional, restrained and beyond reproach, he said.

China asks the Philippines to immediately stop infringing on China's sovereignty and rights and stop making provocations, Lin said, adding that if it continues down this wrong path, China will take resolute measures to safeguard the country's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

The spokesperson said that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea has never been an issue. Over 100,000 commercial vessels sail through those waters every year and none of them have encountered obstruction.

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