China warns Philippines against acts of infringement, provocation in South China Sea

BEIJING (Xinhua): A Chinese defence spokesperson has warned the Philippine side not to take any rash action, and urged it to halt all acts of infringement and provocation.

Zhang Xiaogang, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, made the remarks at a press conference Friday in response to a media inquiry about the Philippine president's recent claim that the country has no intention to provoke or escalate tensions in the South China Sea, as well as about the military drills jointly carried out by the Philippine and U.S. troops.

The actions and statements from the Philippine side are contradictory and self-defeating, and it is clear to the world as of who is provoking and creating incidents in the South China Sea and exacerbating tensions through bloc rivalry, Zhang said.

If anyone attempts to form self-serving cliques to coerce or pressure China, their calculations are entirely misguided, the spokesperson said.

The Chinese side will continue to take resolute and decisive measures to firmly defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea, Zhang said.

The spokesperson was also asked about the Philippine authorities' recent denial of any agreement with the Chinese side concerning China's Ren'ai Jiao.

Zhang noted that regarding the issue of Ren'ai Jiao, the Chinese side has reached with the Philippine side a "gentlemen's agreement" and internal understandings out of humanitarian considerations, which could help manage differences, prevent conflicts, and build trust between the two sides.

However, the Philippine side continued to deny the hard facts, deceiving its people and misleading the international community, Zhang said, questioning the Philippine side's credibility and intentions.

China urges the Philippine side to adhere to the basic norms governing international relations, and stop its false narratives and reckless provocations, said the spokesperson. "Otherwise all its behaviors will only backfire on itself and do itself more harm than good." - Xinhua

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