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China: ‘US has no right to intervene’ in South China Sea – MOFA spox on Washington’s backing for Philippines in supply missions to grounded warship

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin emphasised that the US did not have the ‘right to intervene’ in the South China Sea, while responding to a question on Washington’s offer to provide assistance to the Philippines with supply missions to a grounded warship, during the daily briefing in Beijing on Monday.

“The Chinese maritime police have taken necessary measures in accordance with the law to safeguard China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, which is understandable and the US has no right to intervene,” he started.

« The frequent display of force by US warships in the South China Sea is truly aggressive behaviour, » he claimed.

It comes after the Pentagon reported that Washington would be ready to assist the Philippines on missions to the BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II warship deliberately grounded in 1999 and used as a base by Manila in disputed waters.

The Philippines has accused China of blocking access, while Beijing has repeatedly called on Manila to remove the ‘illegally stranded’ ship in the Second Thomas Shoal, known as the Ayungin Shoal in the Philippines.

« The United States should truly respect the efforts of regional countries to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, stop interfering in the South China Sea issue, stop stirring up discord and making waves, and not be a destroyer of peace and stability in the South China Sea, » the Chinese spokesperson added.

Wang Wenbin also revealed that the planned visit to China of the head of Japan’s Komeito party Natsuo Yamaguchi – the junior partner in the coalition government – had been postponed, after consultations between both sides.

« The Komeito Party has long adhered to Sino-Japanese friendship, and China attaches great importance to conducting exchanges and dialogues with the Komeito Party. We are willing to make positive efforts together to improve and develop Sino-Japanese relations, » added the spokesperson.

Tensions have been heightened between Beijing and Tokyo following the start of Japan’s release of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean last week.

Natsuo Yamaguchi had intended to travel to China between August 28 and 30, potentially to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and deliver a personal letter from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

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