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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Warning to US, Philippines not to harm sovereignty

Warning to US, Philippines not to harm sovereignty

China’s military has accused the Philippines of involving “foreign forces” in patrolling the South China Sea, specifically referring to recent joint patrols conducted by Philippine and U.S. forces. China’s military has expressed its determination to maintain a high level of vigilance, defend its sovereignty and maritime rights, and protect peace and stability in the South China Sea.

According to the southern theatre command of the Chinese military, the Philippines has sought the assistance of non-regional forces for patrolling activities, which they view as provocative and detrimental to regional peace and stability. This development has raised concerns, as Philippine and U.S. joint patrols took place near Taiwan, a democratic island that China claims as its own, potentially escalating tensions.

Tensions in the South China Sea have intensified during the tenure of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, as he has strengthened ties with the United States, which supports the Philippines in its maritime disputes with China. China has communicated its objections to the joint patrols to both the Philippines and the U.S., emphasizing the need to respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime interests.

“must not undermine China’s territorial sovereignty”

“China has made clear its position to the Philippines and the U.S. that the Philippine-U.S. joint patrols must not undermine China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests,” a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said.

During one of the joint patrols, a Chinese navy ship monitored three U.S. and Philippine warships near a natural gas field off Palawan province. Fortunately, no confrontations or dangerous maneuvers occurred during this encounter, and the Philippines achieved its goal of closer cooperation with the United States.

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China has cautioned against actions that could undermine its sovereignty and maritime interests in the South China Sea, asserting that the military activities conducted by the Philippines and the U.S. lack sufficient combat capability and effective collaboration. Despite these tensions, security engagements between the U.S. and the Philippines have increased this year, including expanded access for the U.S. military to Philippine bases and joint military drills.