'Stop creating a political drama' China denies damaging coral reefs in WPS
'Stop creating a political drama' China denies damaging coral reefs in WPS
'Stop creating a political drama' China denies damaging coral reefs in WPS
by Christhel Cuazon22 September 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

The Philippines' accusations over China being responsible behind the enivornmental damage in one of the reefs in the West Philippine Sea have "no factual basis," according to a Chinese official on Thursday.

"The Philippines' accusations have no factual basis. We urge [the] relevant party of the Philippines to stop creating a political drama from fiction," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a press briefing.

Mao added that if the country truly cares for the ecological environment, it should remove the "illegally grounded" and "rusting" warship in the Ayungin Shoal, seemingly allluding to the BRP Sierra Madre.

"If the Philippines truly cares about the ecological environment of the South China Sea, it should tow away the illegally grounded warship at Ren’ai Jiao as soon as possible," she continued.


Mao said the Philippines should stop the vessel "from discharging polluted water into the ocean and not let the rusting warship bring irrevocable harm to the ocean."

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) earlier launched underwater surveys in both Rozul Reef and Escoda shoal where they found extensive damages.

In response, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is ready to contribute to the Office of the Solicitor General's efforts in studying possible legal actions over the environmental damage in Rozul Reef.

"The DFA is awaiting our relevant agencies' assessment of the environmental damage in Rozul Reef," the agency said in a statement.

It also cited Article 192 of UNCLOS that obliges States to protect and preserve the marine environment.


"As clarified by the 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea, this obligation applies in all maritime areas, both inside the national jurisdiction of States and beyond it. States entering the Philippines’ EEZ and maritime zones therefore are likewise obliged to protect and preserve our marine environment," it said.

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