The current situation around the Huangyan Islands has remained stable and China hopes there are no more conflicts concerning the issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday.
Hong’s remarks came at a routine press conference after reports quoted Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III as saying that he could not allow China to claim effective control over the Huangyan Islands, as doing so could encourage China to continue to move into the resource-rich Liyue Tan, also known as the Reed Bank.
“The Huangyan Islands are an indisputable part of Chinese territory,” Hong said, noting that the issues concerning the islands last year were caused by Philippine military vessels harassing Chinese fishermen and fishing boats.
Hong also stressed that China has a clear stance on the Liyue Tan, which is a part of the Nansha archipelago in the South China Sea.
“China has undisputed sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and neighboring sea,” Hong reiterated, calling on the two sides to resolve the disputes via bilateral negotiation and consultation, which, according to Hong, all parties have unanimously agreed upon.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Tuesday that the Philippine government has taken the South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).