A day after ASEAN members expressed serious concerns over China’s massive reclamation in West Philippine Sea, China accuses Philippines of doing large scale construction in Spratly Islands in the past.
“For quite a long time, a few ASEAN countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam have been carrying out large-scale construction on China’s maritime features of Nansha illegally seized by them,” a Chinese foreign ministry official said.
“The Philippines has built and expanded an airport on China’s Zhongye Dao (Pag-asa Island) of Nansha (Spratly), and built a dock and other facilities on the island. It has also built so-called tourism facilities on Zhongye Dao, Mahuan Dao (Lawak Island), Feixin Dao (Patag Island) and other islands and reefs,” China said.
“What’s more, the Philippines has attempted to occupy the Ren’ai Jiao (Ayungin Shoal) by reinforcing its illegally “grounded” military vessel on it,” the official added.
“China is gravely concerned about and firmly opposed to the aforementioned illegal activities, urging the countries concerned to immediately terminate all words and actions that infringe upon China’s sovereignty and rights and interests,” China’s foreign ministry said.
What the communist country did not say was Philippines built an airstrip in Pagasa Island and grounded a military vessel in Ayungin Shoal prior to the signing of Declaration On The Conduct Of Parties In The South China Sea. The DOC was signed year 2002 where ASEAN members and China are signatories.
Article 5 of the said declaration says parties must “exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability.”