MANILA: On December 26, the Philippines responded to China’s allegations of encroachment in the South China Sea, with the country’s military spokesperson, Colonel Medel Aguilar, asserting that the Philippines is not provoking conflict.
Colonel Aguilar emphasized the nation’s commitment to international law, clarifying that actions are within the limits of territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone, exercising sovereign rights.
The response followed an accusation from China’s People’s Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, claiming that the Philippines, supported by the United States, has engaged in “extremely dangerous” behavior, disrupting regional peace.
The Chinese embassy accused the Philippines of disregarding China’s goodwill and restraint, challenging principles and red lines.
Amidst rising tensions, the Philippines regularly conducts resupply missions for soldiers stationed aboard an aging warship deliberately grounded in 1999 to safeguard maritime claims.
China asserts almost the entire South China Sea through its contested nine-dash line.
— Nitish Verma (@nitsonnet) December 26, 2023
The 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling invalidated China’s expansive claim in the strategic waters, a decision unrecognized by Beijing. The situation underscores the ongoing geopolitical complexities in the South China Sea, with nations navigating territorial disputes and power dynamics.