China is not optimistic about the situation concerning Huangyan Island, and the country is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does to escalate the situation, said Chinese authorities.
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying [File photo]
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned Alex Chua, Charge D'affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China on Monday and made a serious representation to the Philippine side over the current incident at Huangyan Island. It was the third summons following previous ones on April 15 and 18.
During the two previous meetings, Fu said she asked the Philippine side to remain calm and refrain from taking actions that would escalate or complicate the situation.
"However, it is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes and, instead, is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions," Fu said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
The Philippine side continued to send government vessels to the lagoon of Huangyan Island, and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations, said Fu.
"Therefore, it is hard for us to be optimistic about the situation," she said.
Fu stressed that Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China's territory for centuries and expects the Philippine side not to "misjudge the situation and not escalate tensions without considering the consequences".
Because of the continuous provocation by the Philippine side, China's government vessels will continue to be on alert in the sea area around Huangyan Island, she said.
In order to provide a positive environment for Chinese fishermen to operate in their traditional fishing area, China's fishery administration vessels will also provide fishing vessels with services and management in accordance with Chinese law, she said.
China urges the Philippine side to withdraw its vessels in the sea area around Huangyan Island, and to never again impede the operations of Chinese fishing vessels or Chinese government vessels performing their duties in accordance with Chinese law, Fu said.
"The Chinese side has also made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side," Fu said.
Fu stated that the Chinese side maintains its position of seeking diplomatic solutions to the current situation, and that China once again urges the Philippine side to seriously respond to China's concerns and properly handle the matter.