China urges the Philippines to respect facts on Ren'ai Jiao issue : spokesperson

Li Jiayao
2024-05-07 10:52:57

BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhua) -- China urged the Philippines to respect facts, honor its commitments, stop infringement and provocations on the Ren'ai Jiao issue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said on Monday.

Lin made the remarks when asked to comment on the recent statements separately issued by Philippine National Security Advisor Eduardo Año, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and Department of Foreign Affairs that denied the existence of any arrangements between China and the Philippines on the Ren'ai Jiao issue, including "new model" arrangement.

Lin said that China has all along been committed to managing maritime disputes, including the Ren'ai Jiao issue, with the Philippines through dialogue and consultation. The "gentlemen's agreement", internal understandings and the agreed "new model" all reflect China's effort and sincerity to that end.

He once again outlined the following basic facts:

First, at the end of 2021, after intensive communication and consultation, China and the Philippines reached the "gentlemen's agreement." During the first few months of the current Philippine administration, both sides continued to implement the "gentlemen's agreement" until the Philippines stopped honoring it in February 2023.

Second, last September, the Chinese side invited the Envoy of the President to China for Special Concerns of the Philippines to Beijing to discuss how to properly manage the situation at Ren'ai Jiao, which resulted in an internal understanding. The understanding was approved by the Philippine leadership. One resupply mission was carried out within the realm of the understanding before it was abandoned by the Philippines.

Third, early this year, the Chinese side and the Philippine side agreed on a "new model" for resupply missions concerning Ren'ai Jiao after multiple rounds of discussions through the diplomatic channel and AFP WESCOM. The Philippine military has made repeated confirmation that the "new model" has been approved by all key officials in the Philippine chain of command, including the Secretary of National Defense and the National Security Advisor. On February 2, the Philippines carried out one resupply mission under this "new model" before abandoning it as well.

"Whatever the Philippine says, it will not erase the fact that it did reach the 'gentlemen's agreement,' internal understandings and the 'new model' with China," Lin said.

He stressed that those understandings and arrangements are aimed to manage differences, prevent conflict and build trust so that the waters of Ren'ai Jiao can remain peaceful and stable.

"China urges the Philippines to adhere to the basic norms on international exchanges, respect facts, honor its commitments, stop infringement and provocations and take concrete steps to come back to the right path of properly handling differences with China through dialogue and consultation," the spokesperson said.

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