Manila, Philippines-Philippines Defense Secretary rejects China’s new request to remove the disputed South China Sea outpost on Thursday, and Chinese coastal guards leave the area to block Manila supply vessels. He said he should stop.
The Philippine Army is using the grounded warship BRP Sierra Madre as a submerged but strategic outpost in the shallow waters at the heart of an ongoing conflict with China.
Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the second Thomas Shoal is in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, ratified by China. He said a UN-backed arbitral tribunal’s 2016 ruling also invalidated China’s claim to busy waterways, leaving it unfounded.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the Philippines on Wednesday to “respect that promise,” removing the landing ship at Ren’ai Jiao, the name Beijing uses for its shallows, and Filipinos call it Ayungin. For humanitarian reasons, he said he would bring food and other supplies to the Filipino army in shallow water.
However, Secretary of Defense Lorenzana told reporters that he was unaware of the Philippine government’s pledge to remove naval vessels that have landed in shallow waters since 1999.
“We can do whatever we want there. They are the ones who are actually trespassing,” he said.
Chinese Coast Guard vessels have surrounded the shallows in years of territorial conflicts and have tried to blockade Philippine supply vessels in the last few years. In a recent confrontation, the China Coast Guard used a water cannon last week to force the two supply vessels with Philippine Navy personnel to turn back, causing anger and warnings from Manila.
After the blockade of China, the United States said it was on the side of the Philippines, and an armed attack on Philippine official ships in the South China Sea was a mutual defense of the United States under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty of the two allies. Repeatedly causing promises.
The Philippine Navy managed to transport supplies and fresh personnel to Sierra Madre this week, leaving without major incidents after Lorenzana talked with China’s Manila ambassador. President Rodrigo Duterte, who has fostered close ties with Beijing, angryly accused China’s blockade at a video summit of Southeast Asian leaders with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi did not react specifically to Duterte’s remarks, but said China would not bully its small neighbor.
This was the latest rekindling of a long boiling conflict in one of the world’s busiest waterways, with overlapping claims by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
President Joe Biden has assured US allies that the US military will continue to patrol the disputed waters to ensure freedom of navigation, flight and regional stability. China has warned the United States to move away from what Beijing considers to be a purely Asian conflict.
Gregory Polling, a US-based Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative that closely monitors the conflict in the South China Sea, said China’s recent move has always tested the Philippines and its allies in the event of a blockade of Sierra Madre. He said it may have been aimed at.
“I hope this will happen again, and in the end, China will make a coordinated effort to maintain the blockade to withdraw Manila,” Pauling said.
World War II Sierra Madre is now effectively a shipwreck, but the Filipino army has not abolished it. That means making a rusty ship an extension of the government and assaulting the ship is equivalent to an external attack on the Philippines.
The Philippines rejects China’s request to remove the ship from the shallows
Source link The Philippines rejects China’s request to remove the ship from the shallows