China urges the Philippines to cease all provocations

China on Thursday again urged the Philippines to cease all provocative activities, and show its sincerity in conducting serious diplomatic dialogues with China.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press conference when asked to comment on a statement by Philippine Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez.

According to media reports, the Philippines on Wednesday again accused China of fortifying its presence in the waters around Huangyan Island by bringing in more vessels.

The Philippines demands that China’s vessels immediately widthdraw from around Huangyan Island and for China to refrain from taking further actions that exacerbate the situation in the South China Sea, Hernandez said on Wednesday.

According to Hernandez, the Philippines has raised its seventh diplomatic protest against China since the start of the Huangyan Island crisis.

Repeating that Huangyan Island is an inherent part of Chinese territory, Hong said a Philippine warship’s harassment of Chinese fishermen had singularly caused the Huangyan Island incident.

After the incident, China lodged several representations to the Philippine side, urging the Philippines to withdraw its ships from the waters around Huangyan Island, he said.

“China has been trying to resolve the current standoff through diplomatic consultations,” he stressed.

However, the Philippines has kept taking provocative actions in the South China Sea, which forced China “to beef up vigilance” in the area, said Hong.

He said the Philippines’ behavior aroused China’s suspicion over its sincerity of properly resolving the incident.

“We again urge the Philippines to seriously respect China’s territory sovereignty, cease all their provocations, and show its sincerity of making serious diplomatic dialogues with China,” said Hong.

Xinhua