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Beijing warns Philippines over disputed S China sea island

May 08, 2012 19:16 IST
China on Tuesday warned the Philippines not to "misjudge" its resolve over a disputed island in the South China Sea, saying it is "fully prepared" to respond to any move by Manila to escalate the situation.

Terming the Philippines' move to go for international arbitration to assert its claims over disputed island as "weird", China asked Manila to remove all its naval ships immediately.

"The Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory. China has indisputable sovereignty over it," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing in Beijing.

"Referring it (the dispute) to international arbitration isn't it a weird a thing. If it happens it will be chaos," he said while answering a question on why China cannot accept international arbitration as sought by the Philippines, which plans to approach international court of justice.

"I want to point whatever Philippines said and did about island it will not change the fact the island belongs to China," Hong said.

Earlier, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned the charge d'affaires of the Philippine embassy in Beijing to lodge a representation over the "current incident" at the Huangyan Island, referred to as Scarborough Shoal by Manila.

Asked whether China is hinting at military action, Hong said the crisis was unilaterally created by Philippines. "Hope Philippines can actively respond to the Chinese side demands and come back to right track of handling the matter", he said.

Fu told the Philippines envoy that China is not optimistic about the situation concerning the island, and it is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippines does to escalate the situation, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an official statement as saying.

During the two previous meetings, Fu said she asked the Philippine side to remain calm and refrain from taking actions that would escalate or complicate the situation. "However, it is obvious that the Philippine side has

not realised that it is making serious mistakes and, instead, is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions," Fu said as Manila and Beijing lined up their naval ships near the island in a stand off for over four weeks.

Fu said Philippines continued to send government vessels to the Island Lagoon and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks, which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations. "Therefore, it is hard for us to be optimistic about the situation," she said.

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