China wants the Philippines to move a grounded warship from a disputed reef | South China Sea News

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China says the Philippines has ‘neglected’ several requests to remove a stationed warship from the Second Thomas Shoal.

China’s foreign ministry has again called for the Philippines to remove a World War II-era warship, which Manila uses as a mobile military base, from a reef in the disputed South China Sea.

The renewed request to tow the ship comes after the Philippines over the weekend accused China’s coast guard of firing water cannons at boats to attack the Philippine garrison stationed there. on the ship on the ground resupply.

The BRP Sierra Madre – deliberately established in the late 1990s in an attempt to check China’s progress in the disputed waters – has long been a point of contact between Manila and Beijing. long

“China once again urges the Philippine side to immediately remove the warship from Second Thomas Shoal and return it to its empty state,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

China, the ministry said, has communicated with the Philippines on the second Thomas Shoal issue “many times” through diplomatic channels, but “its goodwill and sincerity have been neglected”.

“The Philippine side has repeatedly made clear commitments to remove the warship illegally on the reef,” said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

“Twenty-four years have passed, the Philippine side has not only failed to remove the warship, but also attempted to repair and consolidate it on a large scale to gain permanent possession on the Ren’ai Reef,” the spokesman said, using the Chinese term for the second Thomas Shoal.

The Philippines quickly responded on Tuesday saying it would not abandon the disputed second Thomas Shoal.

Jonathan Malaya, deputy director general of the Philippine National Security Council, reiterated his comments on Monday: “The Philippines will never abandon our role in Ayungin Shoal”.

The Second Thomas Shoal in the Philippines is called the Ayungin Shoal.

“We urge China not to escalate matters with water cannons or military-grade lasers, which endanger the lives of the Philippines, but through sincere negotiations and other diplomatic means,” said Malaya.

Manila summoned Beijing’s ambassador on Monday after the Chinese coast guard on Saturday intercepted and used water cannons against Philippine ships carrying food, water, fuel and other supplies to Filipino military personnel stationed on the ship on the floor

China insisted over the weekend that it had taken “necessary measures” against Philippine boats that “illegally” entered its waters and said on Monday that they were “professional and restrained”.

Second Thomas Shoal is about 200km (124 miles) from the Philippine island of Palawan and more than 1,000km (620 miles) from China’s closest mainland, Hainan island.

China’s coast guard and navy ships, which regularly block or shadow Philippine ships patrolling the disputed waters, said on Monday that the country had told Manila that sending ships ashore and not sending “building materials used for large-scale repairs and reinforcements” to the warship on the ground.

China’s ambassador to the Philippines said on Tuesday that China had no choice but to respond to the presence of Philippine ships.

“China has been waiting for feedback from the Philippine side and hopes that both sides will start talks as soon as possible to maintain peace and tranquility in the relevant waters,” the Ambassador said. Huang Xilian.

China claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, which straddles the waters of Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines.

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