China tells Locsin to 'mind basic manners and act in ways that suit status'
MANILA, Philippines — China on Tuesday insisted that Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island) is part of its territory as it criticized Manila’s top diplomat for spewing profanity at Beijing in demanding that Chinese vessels leave the West Philippine Sea.
“China urges the Philippine side to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction, and stop taking actions that may complicate the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in an apparent response to a preceding question published on the ministry’s website.
“Facts have proven time and time again that megaphone diplomacy can only undermine mutual trust rather than change reality. We hope that certain individual from the Philippine side will mind basic manners and act in ways that suit his status,” Wang added.
While Wang did not drop a particular name in his comment, the preceding question cited a May 3 statement of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) protesting against Chinese Coast Guard vessels’ patrols in waters off Scarborough Shoal. The question likewise named Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. as someone who “made insulting remarks on his personal social media account.”
Notably, the published statement on China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website was titled “Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Remarks on China-related Remarks by Philippine High-level Official.”
Locsin, being Manila’s chief envoy, is a Philippine high-level official.
On Monday, Locsin told China via Twitter to “” of Philippine waters as Chinese vessels continue to linger in the West Philippine Sea.
Earlier the following day, Locsin issued an apology to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi over his remarks.
Locsin’s expletive-laced tweet came as the DFA protested the “illegal presence of the Chinese Coast Guard in Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) and its “belligerent actions” against the Philippine Coast Guard.
But Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang maintained that the area is part of China’s territory.
“The Huangyan Island is China’s territory and its adjacent waters are under China’s jurisdiction,” he claimed.
He then implied agreeing to President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent pronouncements that differences and disputes between Manila and Beijing on certain issues should not affect the overall relations of the two countries.
“China has always been and will remain committed to properly handling differences and advancing cooperation with the Philippines through friendly consultation, and will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to the Philippines in its efforts to fight the epidemic and resume economic development,” Wang said.
The DFA has been filing against the lingering presence of Chinese vessels in various parts of the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei all have overlapping claims over the South China Sea.
In July 2016, the before the United Nations-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, which invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim, a ruling that Beijing refuses to recognize until now.