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DND alarmed over China’s reclamation projects

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - China’s reclamation projects in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea have raised concern at the Department of National Defense (DND).

In an interview, DND spokesman Peter Galvez said China’s reclamation activities could stoke untoward incidents in the already tense area.

“They (China’s reclamation projects) will continue to cause the occurrence of miscalculation or accidents,” he said. “It (possibility of miscalculations happening) becomes higher because of their insistence and their continuous aggressive stance in the region. This is a very serious concern.”

Galvez called on China to stop construction activities in disputed areas as they violate the 2002 Declaration of the Code of Conduct (DOC) that calls on claimants to refrain from any activity that could stir tension or complicate the territorial row.

“The issue of reclamation is about respect for the DOC,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing over the weekend, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi justified the reclamation in disputed territories as “necessary projects.”

“We are not like some countries which have carried out ‘illegal building’ in other people’s home, and we won’t accept unwarranted remarks about work on our own home,” he said.

Wang said the projects are not directed against anyone as China does not seek to disrupt international order.

“Today we are in this boat, together with more than 190 other countries,” he said. “So of course we don’t want to upset the boat, rather we want to work with other passengers to make sure this boat will sail forward steadily and in the right direction.”

China has been building structures in disputed areas to assert its territorial claim spanning virtually the entire West Philippine Sea.

Satellite images from defense intelligence provider IHS Jane showed that China is achieving significant progress in its construction projects in Kennan (Hughes), Mabini (Johnson South) and Burgos (Gaven) reefs, which the Philippines considers as parts of its territory.

 

BEIJING

BURGOS

CHINA

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI

DECLARATION OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

GALVEZ

JOHNSON SOUTH

PETER GALVEZ

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

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