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Philippines' illegal intrusion near Ren'ai Reef denounced

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-19 23:30

The China Coast Guard did not take direct measures against Philippine personnel on vessels intruding into the waters near Ren'ai Reef, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, adding that the Philippine side has carried weapons and ammunition during its intrusions.

Ministry spokesman Lin Jian made the remarks on Wednesday at a regular news conference in Beijing.

The response came after allegations from Manila that the CCG injured several Philippine personnel during an incident near Ren'ai Reef, which is part of China's Nansha Islands. It was the first time the CCG has conducted onboard inspections of Philippine vessels.

The Philippines' intrusion into the waters near the reef, which disregarded China's dissuasion, is the direct cause of this incident, Lin said.

"The Philippines repeatedly claims its resupplies are materials for daily use, but in fact it has been secretly supplying construction materials and even weapons and ammunition to its grounded warship, in an attempt to illegally occupy Ren'ai Reef in the long term," the spokesman said.

The law enforcement action taken by the China Coast Guard on the scene was professional and restrained and aimed at stopping the illegal "resupply mission", he said.

The Philippines dispatched one resupply vessel and two inflatable boats on Monday to intrude into the waters adjacent to Ren'ai Reef and resupply its warship, which had been "grounded" there, the CCG said earlier this week.

The Philippine resupply vessel approached Chinese vessels in a dangerous manner and deliberately rammed them, according to the CCG.

The CCG said it stopped the Philippine vessels, boarded them for inspections and expelled them.

"China urges the Philippines to immediately stop its infringement of China's sovereignty and its provocation," Lin said. "China will continue to firmly safeguard its sovereignty as well as rights and interests in accordance with the law."

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