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Ministry slams Manila's provocation

By WANG QINGYUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-09 07:02
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Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. [Photo/]

The Philippines must stop provoking China and violating its rights in the South China Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, urging Manila to return to talks as soon as possible to address differences over maritime issues.

Wang made the remarks at a news conference on Friday, after the Philippine House of Representatives passed a resolution on Wednesday to "condemn" China's actions in the South China Sea.

The resolution groundlessly accuses China and distorts facts, Wang said.

"China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea, including the island groups of Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha, and their adjacent waters, and enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters," he added.

The "South China Sea arbitral award" rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal in 2016 was illegal, null and void, and China does not accept or recognize it, or any claims or actions based on it, Wang said.

"China's sovereignty and rights in the South China Sea shall not be affected by the illegal award under any circumstances. Any attempt to impose it on China goes against international law," he said.

China is beyond reproach for deploying necessary defense facilities in Nansha Islands, sending vessels to patrol waters under its jurisdiction, and conducting scientific research and fishing activities in the waters, Wang said.

Emphasizing that Ren'ai Reef is part of China's Nansha Islands, Wang said the Philippines has seriously violated China's sovereignty by illegally locating a military vessel there and frequently sending construction materials to develop the area around the beached watercraft.

China will continue to make necessary steps based on domestic and international laws to safeguard its sovereignty, Wang said.

In another development, Wang announced that from Monday to Dec 31, 2024, Chinese embassies and consulates will charge 75 percent of the original fee for processing China entry visas.

The announcement came two weeks after the country expanded its visa-free entry policy to cover six more nations.

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