BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) — The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, on Thursday warned the Philippines about the Huangyan Island incident, saying the country’s armed forces will not allow anyone to take the sovereignty of the island away from China.
“We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces,” the newspaper said in a signed article titled “Don’t Attempt to Take Away Half an Inch of China’s Territory.”
Instead, it is wise to give up such attempts and abide by international rules to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese people and the pardon of the international community.
China has exercised restraint on the Huangyan Island incident. “If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the article added.
China had suffered too much humiliation as its sovereignty was encroached and territory carved up when the country was poor and weak.
China now pursues an independent foreign policy of peace.
It will not bully the weak by being strong, nor blindly tolerate unreasonable tricks played by others, especially on matters concerning territorial integrity, national dignity and social stability.
It is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes, although one month has passed since the beginning of the incident, said the article.
Instead, the Philippine side is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions, has continued to send government vessels to the Huangyan Island lagoon and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations.
The situation is not optimistic, the article said.
China’s sovereignty over the island is based on both historical and legal grounds. No matter what tricks the Philippines may play, the fact that Huangyan Island belongs to China will never change, the article said.
Even Philippine maps published in 1981, 1984 and 2006, which indicate that Huangyan Island is outside of the Philippines’ territory, show how ridiculous the Philippine side is when it attempts to claim sovereignty over the island.
Moreover, the repeated tricks by the Philippines have failed to gain support from its own people, the international community and even its allies. It is quite likely the Philippine side will drink as it brewed, said the article.
China issues warnings as Philippines tensions rise
AP A placard with drawing of a Philippine warship is displayed during a protest at the Philippines Consulate in Hong Kong on Friday. The Philippine government used this second hand warship from the American aid, its naval personnel had boarded the Chinese fishing boats, inspected their equipment and catch last month.
China has issued a safety advisory to its citizens in the Philippines and suspended travel to the country a day ahead of a large planned demonstration against China over rising tensions in the South China Sea.
The Chinese embassy in Manila in a notice warned that “massive anti-China demonstrations” were scheduled to take place on Friday, advising Chinese nationals to avoid going out and to “keep a low profile”.
The warning came as vessels from both countries remained locked in a stand-off near the disputed Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, which both sides claim.
Chinese State-run media outlets on Thursday continued issuing stern warnings to the Philippines, not ruling out the use of force. The Foreign Ministry, however, appeared to strike a more moderate tone and suggested a way out through a diplomatic solution, saying it “approved” of recent remarks by officials in the Philippines “to resume diplomatic contact with the Chinese embassy”.
“China remains committed to solving the situation through diplomatic consultation and negotiation,” spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters on Thursday, calling on the Philippines to “come back to the right track of handling the matter”.
He did also hit out at the Philippines government for “encouraging people both home and abroad to launch demonstrations against China”. “We urge the Philippines side to respect China’s sovereignty on the issue of Huangyan Island and not to take actions that will complicate and amplify the situation,” Mr. Hong said.
Reflecting the rising tensions, Chinese travel agencies said on Thursday they had suspended planned trips to the Philippines following an order from central authorities. Ctrip, a popular travel portal, said it suspended travel because “trips to the Philippines have become potential safety risks”, the official China Daily reported.
The newspaper in an editorial warned that while China did not seek a military conflict, the use of arms was not off the table. “No matter how willing we are to discuss the issue, the current Philippine leadership is intent on pressing us into a corner where there is no other option left but the use of arms,” the editorial said.
“We are faithful to our commitment to being a responsible member of the international community, and we pursue peaceful co-existence. But no international law allows a country’s sovereignty to be infringed upon, and a responsible nation does not try to seize territory that does not belong to it.”
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) daily struck a harder tone, saying that “anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces”, in a commentary headlined “Don’t attempt to take away half an inch of China’s territory”.
“If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the newspaper said.
Suggesting the stand-off may yet be resolved peacefully, China on Thursday also appeared to respond positively to a Philippines-based mining company’s proposal for joint drilling with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Officials said Beijing was willing to talk with the Philippines government over joint development.
The South China Sea, which is disputed by China and at least ten other countries, is estimated to have as much as one-third of China’s oil and gas resources and key sea lanes run through its disputed waters.
China’s first deep-water drilling rig in the South China Sea started operations on Wednesday, with calls from officials to speed up drilling projects. Feng Fei, head of the industry department of the Development Research Centre, the official think-tank of the State Council or Cabinet, said more than thousand oil wells had already been sunk by other countries. “China drilling in the South China Sea is of deep significance, and ensures our energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil,” he said.
Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, added that joint development of resources could help address conflicts. “Against a backdrop of some countries not responding positively toward China’s proposal of joint development, it is of supreme importance to finally solving sovereignty disputes,” he said.
“Setting aside disputes and embarking on joint development is the most effective way to solve the issue.’’
BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhuanet) — The spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei condemned Philippines for inciting its people going on to streets for demonstrations against China. Hong says the incident has triggered severe concerns among Chinese people.
He also says China hopes Philippines to stop further harming the bilateral relations. Hong reiterated China’s stance on the dispute and urged Philippines not to taken any actions that may harm the relations between the two countries. Full story
BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) — For nearly a month, Manila has not only turned a deaf ear to Beijing’s position on resolving the dispute over China’s Huangyan Island through diplomacy, but made repeated provocative moves to heighten the tension, severely infringing China’s sovereignty in the process.
It is widely accepted Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China since ancient times, both on a historical and a legal basis. The surrounding waters are China’s traditional fishing grounds and Chinese fishmen have fished there for generations. Full story
BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) — China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is not optimistic about the situation concerning Huangyan Island, and the country is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does to escalate the situation.
Fu made the remarks when meeting with Alex Chua, Charge D’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China, on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a press release. Full story