BEIJING, Nov.30 -- "The US instigated and emboldened the Philippine side to infringe upon China's sovereignty, which escalated maritime tensions. The Chinese side firmly opposes that," said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
It is reported that the US Secretary of Defense Austin recently met with its Philippine counterpart Teodoro. He emphasized that the US stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Philippines in defending its sovereignty rights and jurisdiction in its Exclusive Economic Zone. The two secretaries also denounced China's law-enforcement operations in waters near Ren'ai Jiao. In addition, the US had reportedly advised the Philippines on the repair of the illegally grounded Philippine military vessel.
In response to such words, Spokesperson Wu stated that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, including Ren'ai Jiao and its adjacent waters. "The Philippine side illegally grounded a military vessel at Ren'ai Jiao and attempted to reinforce it by sending ships to intrude into the waters of Ren'ai Jiao. Such moves seriously violated not only China's sovereignty, but also international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," he stressed.
Spokesperson Wu pointed out that Ren'ai Jiao is a bilateral issue between China and the Philippines. The US is not a party involved and its interference will only make things worse. He also strongly condemned the wrong acts by relevant countries to provoke confrontation and undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea, and urged them to be prudent in words and deeds.
"The Chinese military will take resolute and effective measures to defend China's national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and maritime rights and interests," he added.