Statement of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines on the Recent Remarks by the US Secretary of the Navy on China
2022-07-29 15:21

It is reported that, in an interview during his visit to the Philippines recently, the US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro made unfounded accusations against and maliciously smeared China, trying to inflate the “China Threat”. China strongly deplores and firmly rejects those remarks.

Taking the South China Sea as our common home, China and ASEAN countries are the ones who have the final say on properly handling the South China Sea issue. Though with stands and claims respectively, bearing in mind their overall interests, China and ASEAN countries have exercised restraint, kept their differences and disputes in a proper place, and got them on the track of consultation and management as prescribed by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). This has created a favorable environment and important underpinning for the development and prosperity of the countries and the well-being of the peoples in the region.

The world today is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. And the South China Sea is not tranquil, either. In an attempt to preserve its hegemony, the US keeps intensifying power projection in this region, and deliberately seeks to widen differences and provoke tensions, undermining the legitimate rights and interests of coastal countries and the normal order at sea. The US has frequently sent large numbers of advanced military vessels and aircraft from half a globe away to the South China Sea to flex muscles, make military provocations and create maritime and air tensions, conducting “navigation bullying” in the name of “freedom of navigation”. These are all crystal clear facts. In such critical times when countries in the region are focusing on pandemic response and economic recovery, the US, out of its own geopolitical interests, is still trying to stir up trouble and drive a wedge, using the South China Sea. What is the US up to? By fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue, the US has aggravated the situation to spiral out of control, prolonging the war and endangering millions of people. Shouldn’t we all be vigilant to the true intentions behind the US actions in this region?

The South China Sea is not a “hunting ground” for countries outside the region, still less should it be a “wrestling ground” for big powers. We staunchly support all efforts that are conducive to peaceful settlement and management of disputes, and unequivocally reject words and actions that aim to stoke tension and confrontation in the region. The Philippines follows an independent foreign policy. We believe that the country and its people have the wisdom to make the judgement and choice that best suit their interests and stand on the side of people’s desire for peace and the trend of the times.

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