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South China Sea: Philippines fires back at ‘patronising’ Beijing as tensions escalate

Recent Chinese statements show their isolation from the rest of the world on their “illegal and uncivilised activities” in the South China Sea, the Philippine defence ministry said in a statement.

“It also shows the inability of the Chinese government to conduct open, transparent, and legal negotiations. Their repertoire consists only of patronising and, failing that, intimidating smaller countries,” the ministry said.

Chinese defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian on Thursday said the Philippines was to blame for the breakdown of relations, demanding its neighbour to cease what it calls were acts of infringement and provocation.


Chinese floating barrier blocks entrance to Philippine ships at South China Sea flashpoint

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr on Thursday upped the stakes in the escalating row, saying his country would implement unspecified countermeasures against “illegal, coercive, aggressive, and dangerous attacks” by China’s coastguard. China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea.

The battle of words stems from a series of stand-offs near the Second Thomas Shoal during Philippine resupply missions to a group of soldiers posted to guard a decaying warship that was intentionally grounded on a reef 25 years ago to push a sovereignty claim.