Thursday, October 20, 2011

China demands the Philippines return boats promptly, unconditionally

China on Thursday demanded the Philippines return small Chinese boats promptly and unconditionally after a Philippine military vessel confronted a Chinese fishing vessel.

"China has presented its stance to the Philippines. We demand that the Philippines return the small Chinese boats unconditionally and as soon as possible, and properly handle related issues," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a daily press briefing.

On Tuesday, a Philippine military vessel entered the sea area neighboring the Liyue Tan, also known as the Reed Bank, of the Nansha archipelago in the South China Sea and tried to approach a Chinese fishing vessel towing 25 smaller, unoccupied boats, Jiang said.

The propeller of the Philippine vessel got tangled with the rope, disconnecting the Chinese fishing vessel from the 25 smaller boats.

"The Chinese fishermen and the fishing vessel are currently safe," Jiang said.

She said China has undisputed sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and neighboring sea.

"It is completely justified for Chinese fishermen to fish in areas where generations of Chinese have fished," Jiang said.

Jiang said the Philippines' behavior impinged upon the legitimate rights of Chinese fishermen. source