“China Urges Philippines to Remove Grounded Warship Amid South China Sea Tensions”


China’s foreign ministry has once again emphasized its demand for the Philippines to take action and relocate a World War II warship that has been grounded on a reef in the contentious South China Sea. The Philippines has been utilizing the vessel as an impromptu military outpost, escalating tensions in the region.

The recent call to tow the ship resurfaced following allegations over the weekend that China’s coastguard had employed water cannon against boats aiming to provide supplies to the Philippine garrison stationed aboard the stranded warship.

The BRP Sierra Madre, deliberately grounded in the late 1990s with the intent to curb China’s advancements in the fiercely disputed waters, has remained a focal point of contention between Manila and Beijing.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry urged the Philippines to promptly remove the warship from Second Thomas Shoal, emphasizing the importance of restoring the area to its original, unoccupied state. Diplomatic channels have been employed multiple times by China to communicate its concerns about the Second Thomas Shoal situation to the Philippines. However, these efforts have reportedly been met with disregard, according to China’s foreign ministry.

A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry pointed out that the Philippines has repeatedly promised to relocate the warship, which is currently unlawfully grounded on the reef. The ongoing stalemate adds to the complex geopolitical landscape of the South China Sea and underscores the persistent strain in the relationship between the two nations.

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