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China Again Calls On The Philippines To Remove Grounded Warship

China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday repeated its call for the Philippines to tow away a grounded warship – a rusted-out World War Two relic used as a base – from a disputed shoal, after Manila told Beijing it would not abandon the area.

The dispute over the Second Thomas Shoal in South China Sea came after Manila accused China’s coast guard of “excessive and offensive actions” against Philippines vessels.

“China once again urges the Philippine side to immediately remove the warship from Second Thomas Shoal and restore it to its unoccupied state,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

China has communicated to the Philippines on the Second Thomas Shoal issue “many times” through diplomatic channels, but its goodwill and sincerity have been “ignored”, it added.

The Chinese coast guard released a video on Tuesday showing its ship spraying the Philippine vessel with a water cannon on Aug. 5 as what it described as a “warning”, adding that it has exercised “rational restraint” at all times.

The video showed the water cannon spraying near the smaller Philippine vessel without hitting it.

Jonathan Malaya, assistant director general of the Philippines’ National Security Council, repeated comments he made on Monday, saying, “The Philippines will never abandon our post in Ayungin Shoal”.

“We urge China not to escalate matters by water cannons or military-grade lasers, which places Philippines lives at risk, but by sincere negotiations and other diplomatic means,” he added.

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