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Rhetoric Intensifies in Sino-Philippine South China Sea Conflict | South China Sea News

Chinese state media warns Philippines that ‘provocations’ in South China Sea are ‘extremely dangerous’

Chinese state media has warned the Philippines against “any situation of turmoil and chaos” in the South China Sea, as tensions continue to soar in the disputed waters.

The state-controlled People’s Daily made the call in a commentary published Monday, saying the Philippines has repeatedly encroached on Chinese territory in the region and risks making a serious “miscalculation.”

The commentary highlights Philippine activities near Second Thomas Shoal, a resource-rich waterway occupied by Manila but which China claims as its own territory.

China’s People’s Daily accused the United States of encouraging the Philippines’ “provocative” actions in the region, which it said were “irresponsibly escalating regional tensions.”

“The Philippines relies on the support of external forces, ignores China’s goodwill and restraint, and repeatedly provokes China’s principles and results,” the editorial said. Written under the pseudonym Zhong Sheng, or “Voice of China,” the column is often used to express radical opinions on foreign policy issues.

“This behavior is extremely dangerous and has seriously undermined the peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region,” the article read.

The pointed remarks come amid months of tension as Beijing and Manila trade accusations over a series of disputes at sea.

In the latest incident on December 10, the Philippines accused China of ramming a supply boat carrying Manila’s chief of staff near Second Thomas Shoal.

The Chinese coast guard, however, said the Philippine boat “deliberately collided” with the Chinese vessel after “ignoring our multiple stern warnings.”

Beijing claims the Second Thomas Shoal and almost the entire South China Sea based on its “nine-dash line.” The U-shaped marking appeared on a new version of its national map earlier this year.

The map has caused upheaval among Southeast Asian countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, as it asserts Chinese claims to waters near their coasts.

An international court ruled as early as 2016 that the map provided no legal basis for China’s claims, but Beijing has ignored that ruling and continues to insist the line is legitimate.

“Proceed with caution”

In an unusually blunt warning, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last week that any miscalculation in the dispute with the Philippines would result in a resolute response from China and called on Manila to “act with caution.”

The deterioration in bilateral relations coincides with Manila strengthening its military ties with Japan and the United States, its former colonial power and defense ally for seven decades.

China expressed anger at the United States this month for sending a navy ship into waters near the disputed area.

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