Philippines says Beijing’s words not matching actions in South China Sea

June 19, 2024 - 5:27 PM
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Chinese Maritime Militia vessels are pictured near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea, March 5, 2024. (Reuters/Adrian Portugal/File Photo)

China must avoid actions that would endanger sailors and vessels in the South China Sea, the Philippine foreign ministry said on Wednesday, adding peace cannot be achieved if its words do not match its behavior in the disputed waters.

The Philippine foreign ministry said it “denounces the illegal and aggressive actions” of Chinese authorities that resulted in personnel injury and vessel damage during Manila’s routine resupply mission in the South China Sea on June 17.

“In line with the Philippines’ commitment to pursue peace, the Department has been exerting efforts to rebuild a conducive environment for dialogue and consultation with China on the South China Sea,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This cannot be achieved if China’s words do not match their actions on the waters.”

The ministry also called on China to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its own waters.

—Reporting by Mikhail Flores and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by John Mair