BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Thursday it would not turn a blind eye to repeated “provocations and harassment” by the Philippines, as tensions escalate over a series of clashes in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month, Manila accused the Chinese coast guard and maritime militia of repeatedly spraying water on supply ships, causing “severe engine damage” to one and “deliberately” ramming another.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Wu Qian called the accusations “totally false and exaggerated claims” and said the Philippines had sent ships to “infiltrate” waters near the disputed shoal and said the Chinese Coast Guard He said he claimed to have “aggressively rammed” the department’s vessel.
Wu said in a press conference that the China Coast Guard took the necessary enforcement measures that were legitimate and legitimate.
“China is always committed to resolving differences through dialogue and consultation and making joint efforts to maintain maritime stability, but we will not turn a blind eye to the Philippines’ repeated provocations and harassment,” Wu said. ” he said.
A Philippine military spokesperson said earlier this week that the country is not provoking a conflict in the South China Sea, after Chinese state media accused Manila of relying on U.S. aid to remain hostile to China.
Relations between the two neighbors across the South China Sea have deteriorated under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., with Manila returning to the United States’ support for the Southeast Asian country in its maritime dispute with China.
“We call on the United States to immediately stop interfering in South China Sea issues, stop daring to support the Philippines’ violations and provocations, and take concrete actions to protect regional security,” Wu said at a press conference. .
(Reporting by Laurie Chen, Ella Cao and Ryan Wu; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christina Fincher)
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