China accuses PHL of back-tracking on commitment in handling sea dispute

The word war between the Philippines and China heats up anew as Beijing on Wednesday accused the Philippines of back-tracking on a previous commitment to resolve in a “step by step manner” the long-running territorial dispute in the resource-rich South China Sea.

In its latest rebuke against the Philippines, China, through its Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, said it finds “regrettable” that over recent years, “the Philippines has changed its attitude and approach in handling the issue.”

“The two sides reached the important consensus of carrying out cooperation in a step by step manner and resolving bilateral disputes through negotiations,” Hua said, adding both nations formerly enjoyed “sound cooperation.”

The Philippines is locked in a long-running dispute with China over portions of the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

China prefers to negotiate one on one with other claimants, which would give it advantage because of its sheer size compared to rival claimants, which are smaller and have less military force.


Hua cited the joint marine seismic undertaking or JMSU signed by China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Philippine National Oil Company during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo covering 142,886 square kilometers of the South China Sea, including areas within Philippine waters. The agreement later on included Vietnam.

The controversial agreement has met opposition from Philippine lawmakers and civil society groups, saying the government’s participation in the JMSU is tantamount to infringement of the Constitution as it allowed foreign nations to exploit the country’s exclusive economic zones in the Spratlys.

Hua maintained the agreement has made a “positive contribution to stability, cooperation and development of the South China Sea.”

The Philippines lamented that despite numerous attempts to resolve the territorial rift, Chinese incursions and creeping invasion in its territories facing the South China Sea have persisted.

Philippine officials said this prompted the country to resort to international arbitration to try to declare as illegal China’s nine-dash line, which covers nearly the entire waters and overlaps with the territories of other countries.

But to China, it was the Philippines that broke its commitment in the non-binding code of conduct in the South China Sea, cast aside the framework of dialogue upheld by a majority of countries, and refused to cooperate.

"Aggravating the situation"

Beijing also blamed Manila for “aggravating the situation” in the South China Sea when it sent a military warship to arrest Chinese fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal last year.

Philippine officials said Scarborough Shoal or also known in the Philippines as Bajo de Masinloc falls within Manila’s territory as mandated by international law. China is insisting ownership of the area even it is far from its nearest landmass of Hainan province.

“It is difficult for China to understand how could the Philippines continue to play up the issue of the South China Sea, distort the facts and smear China,” Hua said.

Amid lingering tensions, Hua said China “has never closed the door to negotiation and consultation with the Philippines in the hope of improving and developing bilateral relations” but called on Manila “to correct its erroneous actions.”

It also urged the Philippines to agree to a China-proposed regular bilateral consultation mechanism on maritime issues and to consider bilateral negotiations. — KBK, GMA News


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’
    ‘Racist remark vs Pinays not reflective of HK sentiment’

    The Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong believes that the “racist” statement of legislator Regina Ip against Filipina domestic helpers in Hong Kong is not reflective of the general sentiments of the Hong Kong community. Hong Kong is home to more than 173,00 Filipinos working mostly as household service workers. “They have left their loved ones back home to earn a decent living taking care of Hong Kong families. This, in turn, has engendered positive impact on both the quality of life …

  • SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low
    SWS: Gov’t rating sinks to record low

    “The Aquino administration is firmly determined to carry on and complete priority programs in all five pillars of the Philippine development plan, to ensure that reforms will be sustained by strengthened public institutions, to tread the righteous path and ensure that good governance becomes the norm at all levels of government, and to sustain and make permanent the gains from the transformation of mindsets and institutions,” Coloma added. Lawmakers expressed belief yesterday that the Aquino …

  • ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation
    ‘Pacmania’ sweeping the nation

    Manny Pacquiao’s face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses, and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero’s “fight of the century” nears. Pacmania is sweeping the nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. …

  • House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP
    House committee to put Bangsamoro police under PNP

    The House ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will put police forces in the envisioned new autonomous Muslim region under the Philippine National Police (PNP), and not under the regional chief minister. “We will delete the provision in the draft BBL giving the chief minister operational, administrative and disciplinary control over police forces in the region,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, committee chairman, said in a television interview. He said under …

  • Phl to seek more US military aid
    Phl to seek more US military aid

    The Philippines said yesterday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defenses, as it faces Chinese “aggressiveness” in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said he was drafting a “wish list” for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for “equipment and training” when …

  • Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools
    Senate bill seeks planting of trees in parks, schools

    A bill in the Senate is seeking to require the planting of trees in parks, school grounds, vacant lots and other urban areas nationwide. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said Bill No. 2566, the Greening Act of 2015, supports and complements the government’s National Greening Program to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of land from 2011 to 2016. “The Philippines was once known for its vast and lush forests,”he said. The Philippines was also named one of the world’s 10 most threatened …

  • ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’
    ‘No need to convene NSC over sea tension’

    There is no need to convene the National Security Council at the moment, despite China’s continued provocative activities in the West Philippine Sea. “At this time, the President does not see any need really to convene the NSC,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte yesterday told a news briefing, carried live by state-run PTV-4 and radio station dzRB. …

  • Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea
    Fisherman narrates Chinese harassment at sea

    Fishing is the only livelihood available for Efren Montehermoso Jr. But after a huge Chinese ship drove away his small fishing boat near the disputed Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, he promised never to return to the area for fear of his life. Montehermoso of Barangay Cato in Infanta town was among the group of 80 Filipino fishermen driven away by Chinese coast guard on April 9. Montehermoso said they went to the disputed area not to fish but just to seek temporary …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options