China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is not optimistic about the situation concerning Huangyan Island, and the country is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does to escalate the situation.
Fu made the remarks when meeting with Alex Chua, Charge D’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China, on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a press release.
Fu requested the meeting and made a serious representation to the Philippine side over the current incident at Huangyan Island. It was the third meeting between the two sides in a month.
During the two previous meetings, Fu said she asked the Philippine side to remain calm and refrain from taking actions that would escalate or complicate the situation.
“However, it is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes and, instead, is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions,” Fu said in the press release.
The Philippine side continued to send government vessels to the Huangyan Island lagoon, and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations, Fu said.
“Therefore, it is hard for us to be optimistic about the situation,” she said.
Fu stressed during the meeting that Huangyan Island belongs to China, according to the press release.
“It is hoped that the Philippine side will not misjudge the situation and not escalate tensions without considering the consequences,” Fu said.
Because of the continuous provocation by the Philippine side, China’s government vessels will continue to be on alert in the sea area around Huangyan Island, she said.
In order to provide a positive environment for Chinese fishermen to operate in their traditional fishing area, China’s fishery administration vessels will also provide fishing vessels with services and management in accordance with Chinese law, she said.
China urges the Philippine side to withdraw its vessels in the sea area around Huangyan Island, and to never again impede the operations of Chinese fishing vessels or Chinese government vessels performing their duties in accordance with Chinese law, Fu said.
“The Chinese side has also made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side,” Fu said.
Fu stated that the Chinese side maintains its position of seeking diplomatic solutions to the current situation, and that China once again urges the Philippine side to seriously respond to China’s concerns and properly handle the matter.