‘No factual basis’: China refutes WPS reef damage
MANILA, Philippines – Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning on Thursday refuted that China is behind the supposed destruction of marine resources in the West Philippine Sea.
“The Philippines’ accusations have no factual basis. We urge relevant party of the Philippines to stop creating a political drama from fiction,” said Mao in a press conference.
The Chinese official did not give further details, but added that the Philippines is polluting the West Philippine Sea by “illegally” grounding the BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin (SEcond Thomas) Shoal, which it called Ren’ai Jao.
“If the Philippines truly cares about the ecological environment of the South China Sea, it should tow away the illegally grounded warship at Ren’ai Jiao as soon as possible, stop it from discharging polluted water into the ocean and not let the rusting warship bring irrevocable harm to the ocean,” said Mao.
The tension between Philippines and China was once again fueled by the latter’s alleged destruction of marine resources in the Philippines’ Rozul Reef.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in a separate statement on Thursday evening, expressed its readiness to contribute to legal actions that the Office of the Solicitor General may pursue involving the issue.
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Teresita Daza, however, noted that they are still waiting for the assessment of the environmental damage in Rozul Reef.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague, Netherlands ruled in favor of the Philippines.
It ruled that the Philippines has the exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.