China urges the Philippines to stop provocations

Updated: 2013-09-16 23:43


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BEIJING - China on Monday said the Philippines should stop acting in a provocative manner on the issue of Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters as they are inherently Chinese territory.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing in Beijing that the Philippines should work with China to restore the healthy development of bilateral ties.

Hong's comments came after media reports said the Philippines is considering to remove the concrete blocks on the island, which they claimed were built by China to expand territory ahead of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).

Earlier this month, China rejected the Philippine accusations that China has begun fortifying Huangyan Island, saying "what the Philippines said is not true."

All parties had consultations on strengthening maritime cooperation and the COC at the 6th China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Senior Officials' Meeting and the 9th Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), Hong said.

"The consensus reached at the meeting is not China's position alone, but the unanimous understanding of all sides," he said.

They agreed to expand common ground and narrow disagreements gradually through consultations. They agreed to push forward the process of the COC steadily, based on the implementation of the DOC, Hong said.

A working plan for implementing the DOC from 2013 to 2014 was approved at the weekend meeting in Suzhou, in east China's Jiangsu Province.

There were consultations on a more detailed COC under the framework of the DOC, and agreement to continue to push forward COC development and authorize the Joint Working Group to hold concrete consultations.

They also agreed to take steps to gather an expert group for the COC development, Hong said.