Chinese vice foreign minister Fu Ying has threatened the Philippines, over a naval territory claim that reaches up to the Philippine coast. “The Chinese side has… made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side,” she told a Philippine diplomat in Beijing Monday.
The two countries have been locked in a territorial row over the Scarborough Shoal. Both sides have sent war ships to the area in a tense standoff. In a repeated pattern of behaviour China has evoked ancient unrecognized territorial claims after the discovery of vast oil and gas deposits.
The row erupted on April 8 when Chinese vessels blocked a Philippine warship from arresting crews of Chinese illegally fishing off the shoal. Currently, four Chinese surveillance ships and 10 fishing boats have anchored off the disputed shoal, facing off with two Philippine coast guard ships and a fisheries bureau vessel.
On Monday, Fu summoned Alex Chua at the Philippine embassy in China, to make a “serious representation” over the situation, according to the statement.”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,” she told him.