China to PH: Stop provocative actions
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the Philippines to stop making trouble in the South China Sea after Manila threatened to remove the Chinese structure on a disputed island.
The Philippine Star said on Tuesday (September 10) that Manila is considering removing concrete blocks, that are believed to have been built by China in the Scarborough Shoal or known by the Chinese as Huangyan Island.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told The Philippine Star that they had sighted at least 75 concrete blocks near the disputed shoal. He also said the blocks appeared to be foundations for buildings.
Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday denied the Philippines' allegation.
"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Huangyan Islands and surrounding waters. We are most familiar with the situation regarding the Huangyan Islands. The situation that the Philippines side speaks of is completely fabricated. What we would like to stress is that Chinese activities around the Huangyan Islands and surrounding waters are completely within Chinese sovereignty. We ask the Philippines to stop provocative actions, to see eye-to-eye with China, protect the peace and stability in the South China Sea, and resume the development of Chinese-Philippines relations," ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing.
The Philippines' top diplomat said last week that China's planned occupation of a disputed shoal in the South Sea is aimed at expanding its territory ahead of a regional agreement governing maritime rules.
Tension over the South China Sea, one of the world's most important waterways, has risen as China uses its growing naval might to assert its extensive claims over the oil- and gas-rich sea more forcefully, fuelling fears of a military clash.
Four of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Vietnam and the Philippines, have overlapping claims with China. Taiwan also has claims over the entire sea.