BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhuanet) -- China has issued a strong warning to the Philippines not to escalate the tension. Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does on the issue. The statement comes as the stand-off over Huangyan Island enters its third week.
The stalemate is about to be a break. China’s tone, for first the time, was not optimistic.
At a meeting with Philippine diplomats at their embassy in Beijing, Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said, "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."
At a Foreign Ministry press conference, China once again asserted its sovereignty over Huangyan Island.
Hong Lei, spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, "Huangyan Island is an inalienable part of China’s territory. We demand the Philippines refrain from any more actions that will complicate, amplify or internationalize the situation."
Despite China’s opposition, the Philippine side has continued to send government vessels to Huangyan Island lagoon.
There have also been reports that the Philippines is attempting to rename the Island and remove any marks signifying Chinese sovereignty.
China’s Vice-Foreign Minister said that the Philippines’ actions have severely damaged bilateral relations and raised public feelings. She also urged the Philippine side to withdraw its vessels from the sea area around Huangyan Island, and pledge never again to impede Chinese fishing vessels or Chinese government vessels performing their duties in accordance with Chinese law.