China on Monday exhorted the Philippines not to exacerbate the situation in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) by setting up a kindergarten school on one of the Spratly Islands.
According to a report on the Chinese government’s web portal, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reiterated that China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the Nansha Islands and its adjacent waters.
“The country opposes any illegal activity that may infringe on China’s sovereignty,” Hong was quoted as saying.
Hong said the Philippines had set up a kindergarten school on Pag-asa Island, called Zhongye Island by China.
Hong also said he hopes that the countries involved in the territorial dispute in the South China Sea would abide by the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties.
Pag-asa is part of the Spratly Islands, which is being claimed by the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei.
Aside from the Spratly Islands, the Philippines and China have been locked in a standoff since April off Panatag Shoal.
The standoff began when Philippine forces spotted Chinese fishermen gathering marine species from the area but were blocked by Chinese ships when they tried to make arrests.
Hong said tensions around the island are easing and Chinese government ships maintain “jurisdiction and vigilance” over the areas around Huangyan Island, which the Philippines refers to as Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. - VVP, GMA News