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China: US Must Not Support Philippines’ ‘Provocations’


China has called on the United States to stop supporting what it deems as “provocations” by the Philippines. This appeal followed remarks by US Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, who expressed concern over Beijing’s “destabilising actions in the South China Sea“.

Rising Tensions over Second Thomas Shoal

China and the Philippines have been exchanging accusations over alleged “dangerous and illegal manoeuvres” near the Second Thomas Shoal, a contested atoll in the busy South China Sea. This area has become a flashpoint in the ongoing territorial disputes.

China’s Stance on US Involvement

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning urged the US to cease condoning and supporting the Philippines’ actions. She called for practical steps to maintain peace and stability in the region. The Philippines has been sending missions to resupply soldiers on an old warship, grounded intentionally in 1999 to bolster its sovereignty claims.

Alleged Breach of Consensus

At a regular briefing, Mao stated that the Philippines had violated a consensus with China, undermining its sovereignty and territorial integrity. She criticised the Philippines for delivering construction materials to the warship, viewing it as a challenge to Chinese claims.

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Incident of Ramming at Sea

On June 17, a Philippine sailor was injured in what the Philippine military described as an “intentional high-speed ramming” by the Chinese Coast Guard. China disputed this, asserting that its actions were lawful.

US-Philippines Solidarity

Kurt Campbell’s concerns were relayed to China’s Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu during a phone call, as confirmed by the US State Department. Additionally, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Philippine counterpart, Eduardo Ano, discussed mutual worries over China’s “dangerous and escalatory actions”. The White House reaffirmed its commitment to the Philippines’ security.

Broad Territorial Claims by China

China asserts claims over almost the entire South China Sea, overlapping with claims from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This vast claim has been a significant source of regional tension.

With Inputs from Reuters