China Fumes as India Backs US Ally in Heated Territorial Dispute

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China fumed following India’s support for the Philippines as Beijing is locked in a series of provocative clashes with Manila in the South China Sea.
“Maritime disputes are issues between the countries concerned,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian said on Wednesday. “Third parties have no right to interfere whatsoever. We urge relevant parties to face squarely the facts and truth on the South China Sea issue, and respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests and the efforts of regional countries to keep the South China Sea peaceful and stable.”
The rebuke came in response to Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s firm stance, conveyed on Tuesday, when he expressed India’s solid support for the Philippines in safeguarding its national sovereignty. The dispute centers on the resource-rich South China Sea, a region fraught with territorial claims and tensions.
“I take this opportunity to firmly reiterate India’s support to the Philippines for upholding its national sovereignty,” Jaishankar told the media during a press conference in the capital, Manila.
Meanwhile, Philippines Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo has said Manila and New Delhi have “shared interest in a free open and inclusive in the Pacific region.”
“The Philippines and India are staunch advocates of safety at sea, freedom of navigation and adherence to international law, including the 1982 U.N convention on the law of the sea or UNCLOS, as well as the 2016 Arbitral award on the South China Sea,” Manalo said during the same press conference alongside Jaishankar, according to Philippines media outlet GMA Network on Tuesday.
“This was evident during my visit New Delhi in June last year and was evident again during our discussions today especially on recent actions of China in the West Philippine Sea.”
Beijing and Manila have been locked in a series of provocative incidents in the South China Sea in recent weeks.
A Philippine supply boat, Uzaimah May 4, accompanied by Coast Guard escorts, was targeted by Chinese vessels with water cannons as it attempted to deliver supplies to a military outpost at Second Thomas Shoal, an area within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone but claimed by China, Newsweek reported on Tuesday.
The attack, which resulted in injuries and damage, led to a diplomatic exchange between Beijing and Manila, underscoring the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.
The United States has also expressed support for the Philippines, one of its key allies in the region, as the Chinese Coast Guard has used water cannons against the Philippines Coast Guard on multiple occasions.
“The United States stands with our ally the Philippines following the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) provocative actions against lawful Philippine maritime operations in the South China Sea,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
The Philippines has expressed gratitude toward India for its decisive action following an attack on a merchant vessel by Houthi insurgents in the Gulf of Aden this month.
The Indian navy’s prompt intervention, through a medical team, facilitated the rescue and provision of necessary medical care to the crew of MV True Confidence. The attack resulted in the loss of three lives, including two Filipinos, while the remaining Filipino crew members have been safely repatriated.

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