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Beijing, Manila agree on managing Ren'ai Reef situa8k8 discounttion

28岁年轻人或将成为法国总理?“法国脱欧”不再遥远? | 8k8 discount | Updated: 2024-07-24 10:41:28

Ren'ai Reef. [File photo/China Daily]

China and the Philippines have reached a provisional arrangement on "humanitarian resupply of living necessities" to an illegally grounded Philippine vessel at China's Ren'ai Reef, a move signaling the willingness of both sides to cool down tensions in the South China Sea.

China recently held a series of consultations with the Philippines on managing the situation at Ren'ai Reef and reached a provisional arrangement, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said in an online statement issued on Monday.

The two sides have agreed to jointly manage differences on maritime issues and work for de-escalation in the South China Sea, according to the statement.

The statement emphasized that Ren'ai Reef is part of China's Nansha Islands, and China has sovereignty over Ren'ai Reef and the rest of Nansha Islands as well as adjacent waters.

It also reiterated China's strong demand that the Philippines tow away the warship and restore Ren'ai Reef's "state of hosting no personnel or facilities".

Between now and when the warship is towed away, China is willing to allow the Philippines "to send living necessities to the personnel living on the warship in a humanitarian spirit", the spokesperson said.

The Philippines must inform China in advance, and the resupply must be conducted after on-site verification, the spokesperson said, adding that China will monitor the entire resupply process.

If the Philippines were to send a large amount of construction materials to the warship and attempt to build fixed facilities or a permanent outpost, China will not accept it and will resolutely stop such attempts, in order to uphold China's sovereignty, the spokesperson said.

Tensions between Beijing and Manila have been running high over the past year due to the constant resupply mission and provocations by the Philippines in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month, the ninth meeting of the China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea was held in Manila, and the two countries agreed to properly handle disputes through dialogue and consultation, and jointly manage the situation at Ren'ai Reef.

Yang Xiao, deputy director of the Institute of Maritime Strategy Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the latest arrangement demonstrates China's responsible manner to cool down tensions and promote peace in the region.

The Philippines has repeatedly broken its promises and dishonored arrangements it reached with China, including a "gentlemen's agreement "and a "new model" regarding the Ren'ai Reef issue, Yang said.

"This time, having publicly admitted to the provisional arrangement, it remains to be seen how committed, sincere and credible the Philippines will be," he said.

To truly de-escalate the situation in the South China Sea, the Philippines should not say one thing while doing another, Yang said.

While the Philippine "dovish faction" expresses goodwill, the "hawkish forces" are determined to make provocations, which are not helpful for easing the situation, he said.

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