China / Hot Issues

Rescue ship sent to Huangyan Island

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-18 20:57

BEIJING - The China Maritime Search and Rescue Center has dispatched an ocean-going rescue ship to the waters around Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, it was announced on Monday.

The rescue ship, "NAN HAI JIU 115," will provide assistance to Chinese fishing vessels, which are returning from Huangyan Island due to rough sea conditions, according to the center.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday that China will continue to maintain jurisdiction and vigilance over the areas around Huangyan Island.

He made the remarks at a regular press conference when asked to comment on the Philippine side's withdrawal of government ships from Huangyan Island waters.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Friday ordered the Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries vessels to return to port, citing bad weather caused by typhoon Guchol.

Reiterating that Huangyan Island is a part of Chinese territory, Hong said China has kept requesting the Philippines pull out their ships from the waters around Huangyan Island since the country triggered disturbance in the region in early April.

"We have noted that two Philippine official ships left Huangyan Island on Saturday morning," the spokesman said, adding, "We expect a further moderation of the situation and hope that bilateral cooperative relations will be restored and safeguarded."

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Friday that Manila is waiting for Beijing to meet its commitment to remove its vessels that remain in the lagoon of Huangyan Island after the only Philippine ship there left this week.

In response to Del Rosario's remarks, Hong questioned where and when the Philippine side received such a commitment from China.

He urged the Philippines to constrain its words and deeds and do more things that are conducive to the development of bilateral ties.

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