Shekinah Jedidiah M. Alima

“If the Philippines notifies China in advance, we can allow the Philippines to deliver necessary supplies to and evacuate relevant personnel from the beached naval vessel.”

Photo Courtesy of Andres Martinez Casares.

In an international press conference on June 7, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning reiterated that China “required” the Philippines to inform them in advance when the latter’s naval vessels would have activities in Ayungin Shoal they claim. 

China made the stand after a recent tension at the Ayungin Shoal, or Renai Reef, arose between the Philippine and Chinese Coast Guard. 

She cleared out, however, that China’s permission will not guarantee absolute access to prevent from occupying Ayungin Shoal.

“However, the Philippines may not use this as an excuse to transport materials of construction to its naval vessels in an attempt to permanently occupy Renai Reef,” China’s spokesperson added.

NSC blasts China’s condition

National Security Council adviser Eduardo Año rejected China’s command and stood firm with the country’s 2016 Arbitral Award within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in a press release he announced last Saturday.

‘We do not and will never need China’s approval for any of our activities wherein,” Año declared.
The NSC Adviser also called out the harassment done by Chinese vessels on the rescue of an ill soldier from BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal “barbaric and inhumane.”

Año stressed the Philippines will not halt the resupply missions of the country’s vessels located at Ayungin Shoal without any “interference or intimidation” from other countries.

Chinese vessels jammed sick AFP personnel’s urgent evacuation.

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela revealed on Friday that last May 19, Chinese Coast Guard intentionally blocked the emergency medical evacuation of an ill Armed Forces of the Philippines’ personnel at BRP Sierra Madre.

According to Tarriela via X, China displayed a “barbaric and inhumane behavior” upon committing such harassment amid the severity of the AFP staff’s medical situation.

"Their actions clearly demonstrated their intention to prevent the sick personnel from receiving the proper medical attention he urgently needed,” he added.

On that day, Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan sent a High-Speed Response Boat (HSRB) to rescue the sick employee together with a Philippine Navy Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) that Chinese vessels “harassed.”

"During our attempt to bring the PCG HSRB alongside the PN RHIB at the rendezvous point, we were harassed by vessels and small boats from the China Coast Guard through blocking operations,” Tarriela claimed.