China’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday, urged the Philippines to exercise “restraint” over “relevant parties” after Filipino protesters, mostly youth said that they are planning a second trip to the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea.
The Filipino youth group “Kalayaan Atin Ito” plans to spend a month on all the islands in the Spratlys that are occupied by the Philippines.
“In April, we will make another voyage to our islands. This time, we will spend a month to visit all the islands we occupy in the Spratlys. We are encouraging all patriotic Filipinos to join us and fight for our territory,” said Vera Joy Ban-eg, spokeswoman for the Kalayaan Atin Ito group.
Last month the group made a three-day boat trip to Pag-asa island (Thitu) one of the islands occupied by the Philippines.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei repeated that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratlys.
Hong Lei told reporters that “The Philippines’ occupation and illegal seizure of the islands is against the law and without effect.”
“The Philippines should increase restraint on itself and relevant parties, and should not complicate matters,” he said.
China is claiming almost the entire South China Sea, which is also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, and through which about $5 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes every year. -John Esconde