The Foreign Ministry of China is trying to deceive the international community to justify its massive reclamation in West Philippine Sea and forcefully advance its maritime claims. “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,” the communist country’s foreign ministry 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.”
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 the 2002 Declaration On The Conduct Of Parties In The South China Sea in which 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.”
“If the Chinese can show pictures that we are also developing our area, they can show it,” Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said.
“We are just maintaining the area and we could have easily repaired our runway but we await for the decision of the ITLOS before we can decide what the next move will be or develop our controlled areas in the West Philippine Sea,” the top military official said.