The Philippines rejected China’s demand for the removal of a wrecked navy ship


The Philippines’ defence chief said on Thursday (November 25) that the country will not remove a dilapidated navy ship grounded on an atoll in the South China Sea, rejecting a demand from China after Beijing blocked a mission to resupply the ship’s crew.
China claimed on Wednesday that the Philippines had agreed to evacuate the BRP Sierra Madre, which was purposefully grounded at the Second Thomas shoal in 1999 to bolster Manila’s sovereignty claims in the Spratly archipelago. Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disputed this report.
“Since 1999, that ship has been docked there. It would have been removed a long time ago if there was any commitment “According to Mr Lorenzana, who spoke to reporters. On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said that Beijing “demands the Philippine side honour its commitment and evacuate its unlawfully moored vessel.”
On the Second Thomas Shoal, 105 nautical miles off the coast of Palawan, a small military presence is stationed on the ancient ship, which is stuck on a reef.
Mr Lorenzana accused China’s coast guard of “trespassing” after they hindered a resupply run for the troops. China claims most of the South China Sea uses a “nine-dash line” on maps, which an international arbitration court ruled in 2016 had no legal foundation.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Sea Law, which China is a signatory to, the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is 200 nautical miles long.


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