(Reuters) – China condemned Canada’s support for the Philippines over what it said were violations of China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea, according to a statement by a Chinese embassy spokesperson in Canada.
“The South China Sea is the common home of countries in the region and should not become a hunting ground for Canada, the United States and other countries to pursue their geopolitical interests,” the statement said.
Over the past few months, China and the Philippines have had several confrontations centred around the Second Thomas Shoal, an atoll in the South China Sea.
“As a country outside the region, Canada has emboldened the Philippines’ violation of China’s sovereignty, violated the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter, and jeopardised regional peace and stability,” the Canadian embassy spokesperson said.
Manila has accused Chinese coast guard and maritime militia vessels of repeatedly firing water cannon at its resupply boats and deliberately ramming a vessel near the disputed waters.
The United States has voiced opposition to the run-ins and sided with the Philippines.
Over the weekend, a confrontation in the disputed waters drew condemnation from Canada in a government statement denouncing “the actions taken by the People’s Republic of China against Philippine civilian and government vessels in the South China Sea.”
China, which claims nearly the entire South China Sea as its own, has repeatedly said Philippine vessels were encroaching on its national sovereignty.
(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Edmund Klamann)