No 3rd party has right to interfere in China-Philippines maritime dispute, says Beijing

No 3rd party has right to interfere in China-Philippines maritime dispute, says Beijing

Chinese warning comes following reports of French plan to hold joint patrols with Philippines in disputed South China Sea

By Anadolu staff

Beijing on Thursday warned that no third party has the right to interfere in the maritime dispute between China and the Philippines, state-run media reported.

Responding to the reported French plan to hold joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea and a joint drill between the Philippines and India in the region, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said: “The China-Philippines maritime dispute is an issue between the two countries, and no third party has any right to interfere.”

“The Philippine side, in disregard of repeated warnings from China, insisted on sending a vessel to intrude into the adjacent waters of China’s Ren’ai Jiao, and provocatively rammed a China Coast Guard vessel and caused scratch,” Global Times quoted Wu as saying.

Tension between Beijing and Manila grew in the South China Sea this month following both sides accused each other of trespassing into the disputed South China Sea.

Last week, top diplomats of China and the Philippines held phone discussions, noting the “importance” of dialogue in addressing conflicting issues between the two maritime neighbors.

Beijing and Manila have conflicting claims over Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Ayungin Shoal, Bai Co May and Ren'ai Jiao, which is a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

China has blamed the "illegally grounded” rusting warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, in the disputed waters, for its tensions with the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Manila accused Beijing of attempting to stop Filipino supply ships from reaching its personnel deployed on a rusted warship in the disputed waters.

*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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