Top Philippine security official demands Chinese diplomats’ expulsion as territorial row escalates

In Beijing, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said the “Philippines’ attitude just proves that they lack confidence in the face of facts and evidence and have reached the point where they are frustrated and have no bottom line”.

“China solemnly demands that the Philippines ensures that Chinese diplomats can perform their duties, stops infringement and provocation and does not deny the facts, act indiscreetly or hurt itself by its own actions,” he said.

The escalating word war and diplomatic row have been sparked by hostilities between Chinese and Philippine coast guard ships and other vessels since last year at the Second Thomas Shoal and Scarborough Shoal.

The Chinese coast guard has used powerful water cannons, a military-grade laser and dangerous manoeuvres that have caused minor collisions, injured several Filipino navy personnel and damaged their supply boats.

The Philippine government has repeatedly summoned Chinese embassy diplomats in Manila to hand over protests.

President Joe Biden and his administration have repeatedly warned that the United States is obligated to defend the Philippines, its longtime treaty ally, if Philippine forces, ships and aircraft come under an armed attack, including in the South China Sea.

Aside from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have had overlapping claims in the busy seaway, a key trade route where many fear a major escalation of the conflicts could draw US forces on a collision course with China’s military.

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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