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Saturday, May 25, 2024

China says it is unaffected by PH-US defense pact

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China on Friday declared it will not be affected by the defense pact between the Philippines and the United States, asserting that its aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea are justifiable.

“The US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty will not move us a bit from our will and resolve,” China, through its embassy in the Philippines, said in a statement.

The Chinese Embassy issued the statement after Washington reiterated its defense commitment with the Philippines following yet another sit-down between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden.

It said China remains determined to uphold its claim on having territorial sovereignty and maritime rights with supposed ownership over the whole South China Sea.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award already ruled the Philippines’ sovereignty over its exclusive economic zone, which is called the West Philippine Sea, a part of the South China Sea.

The embassy said the US “is not a party to the South China Sea issue” and “is not in the position of interfering in issues between China and the Philippines.”

Meanwhile, in dealing with the current situation in the Ayungin Shoal where China’s aggression continues, the embassy said “China’s position is clear-cut.”

“Before the warship is towed away, if the Philippines needs to send living necessities, out of humanitarianism, China is willing to allow it if the Philippines informs China in advance and after on-site verification is conducted,” the embassy said.

However, China said it “will monitor the whole process.”

“If the Philippines sends (a) large amount of construction materials to the warship and attempts to build fixed facilities and permanent outpost, China will not accept it and will resolutely stop it in accordance with law and regulations to uphold China’s sovereignty and the sanctity of the DOC,” the embassy said.

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