China slams PBBM’s speech in Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
China slams PBBM’s speech in Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
China slams PBBM’s speech in Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
by Karen Ow-Yong03 June 2024
Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Office (PCO)

MANILA - China condemns Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s keynote speech at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and said that such remarks are “designed to amplify the Philippines’ wrongful position on the issues concerning the South China Sea and deliberately distort and hype up the maritime situation.”

In a statement released by the Embassy of China in Manila, the Chinese Foreign Ministry asserted its positions concerning tensions in the South China Sea.

It stated that China is “the first to have discovered, named, and explored and utilized Nanhai Zhudao and relevant waters, and the first to have exercised sovereignty and jurisdiction over them continuously, peacefully and effectively.”

According to the Foreign Ministry, China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea are based on “solid historical and legal grounds,” hence activities and patrols done are “consistent with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and such activities are beyond reproach.”


China also mentioned the Philippines “occupied by force some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Qundao and adopted domestic legislation such as the Archipelagic Baselines Law to assert illegal territorial claims on China’s Huangyan Dao and some islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao.”

In his speech, President Marcos said he is looking forward to signing the Maritime Zones Law, which he said “will clarify the geographic extent of our maritime domain.”

Marcos was a co-sponsor of the Archipelagic Baselines Law when he was still a senator, which defines the basis of the country’s maritime jurisdiction.

China also called the arbitral award on the South China Sea as “illegal, null and void.” This has been repeatedly echoed in China’s statements, saying it “neither accepts nor participates in that arbitration, neither accepts nor recognizes the award, and will never accept any claim or action arising from the award.”


In his speech, Marcos reiterated the Philippines’ efforts to assert its rights and jurisdiction over its territory and maritime zones, citing the 1982 UNCLOS and the binding 2016 Arbitral Award, affirming that the lines drawn on waters in the South China Sea “are not derived from just our imagination, but from international law.”

Meanwhile, China blamed the Philippines for the recent escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, saying it “frequently infringed on China’s rights and made provocations at sea, brought in forces outside the region to form blocs and flex muscles in the South China Sea, and spread disinformation to vilify China and mislead the international perception on this matter.”

Pointing to the U.S., China described its “meddling” as selfish geopolitical calculations and has played an “ignoble role” by supporting and assisting the Philippines and driving a wedge between China and other regional countries.

China reminded countries in the region to “stay vigilant and always make sure that they themselves are the ones sitting in the driver’s seat when it comes to the peace and stability of the South China Sea.”


Finally, China reiterated that it will continue to defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime interests and rights, while remaining committed to “properly handling maritime disputes and differences” through negotiation and consultation with countries directly concerned.

Earlier, experts praised the keynote speech of Marcos during the Shangri-La Dialogue, calling it assertive, firm and sophisticated.

He is the first Philippine leader to be invited to deliver the keynote address to open the 21st edition of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s annual premier defense summit, bringing together government leaders, senior officials, experts and business icons to encourage close cooperation between countries to address regional security challenges, according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

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