MANILA — Amid growing tensions among countries over the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippines was again, slammed by China for its “provocative actions” and for always talking about the rule of law.
“It is worth noting that recently some countries keep taking provocative actions and stirring things up, and at the meantime, they just cannot stop talking about the rule of law with a purpose of threatening and smearing China and swaying the public opinion,” China Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang siad in a press conference.
The Chinese spokesperson, who was quoted in a transcript released to the media, was responding to President Benigno Aquino III and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s statement that the territorial disputes must be resolved according to the rule of law.
“Since some countries are so fond of the ‘rule of law,’ then I wonder what on earth is the ‘rule of law’ that they keep talking about?” Qin asked.
Qin also insisted that China is not violating any law and has in fact been exercising its “lawful right to properly handle relevant issue and maintain regional peace and stability.”
Contrary to what the Philippines has been claiming, Qin said China has been faithful to its responsibilities by abiding with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
Answering President Aquino’s earlier statements that China has violated DOC because it has been conducting reclamation and construction efforts on the disputed maritime territories, Qin advised involved countries to check on their own violations of international laws.
“Certain countries infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of other countries under the cloak of ‘the rule of law’ and disguise their illegal actions as ‘legal’. I’d like to advise these countries to check their own doings against international laws and the basic norms governing international relations,” Qin said.