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Philippines cause of frictions

China Daily | Updated: 2016-03-04 07:55

The Philippines and some Western media recently reported that a Philippine fishing boat stranded on China's Wufang Reef in the South China Sea was towed away by Chinese rescue vessels and several more boats were on patrol and blocked the waters during the operation.

Citing the waters as the "traditional fishing waters" of the Philippines, these reports described a scenario in which Philippine fishermen were bullied by China and could not engage in their normal fishing activities.

However, the Wufang Reef incident immediately reminds Chinese people of a warship the Philippines deliberately grounded on Ren'ai Reef in May 1999. Disregarding the repeated demands by China that it be removed, the Philippines has endlessly sent logistical supplies to the ship in an attempt to occupy the Chinese reef as a permanent stronghold. The grounded ship has ever since remained a source of friction between the two countries.

China has always kept self-restraint in the sovereignty disputes with the Philippines despite repeated provocations. It is the Philippines that has seized and detained Chinese fishing boats and fishermen, sentenced Chinese fishermen to long terms in jail, and even caused the death of a Chinese fisherman in 2013. Such uncultivated acts even led both countries into a serious crisis in 2012 over Huangyan Island.

No matter what it does and what its excuse is, the Philippines can't hide the fact it is the cause of the frictions between it and China.

For example, despite its knowledge that the territorial dispute does not come under the jurisdiction of the arbitration tribunal in The Hague, Manila has still submitted its territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea to the tribunal for arbitration in an attempt to bring shame on Beijing and solicit the support of international opinion.

It is the Philippines' breach of its promises and the normal code of conduct for countries that have prompted China to take reasonable and moderate countermeasures in the South China Sea.

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