The Philippines’ foreign ministry on Thursday called on China to remove illegal structures, cease reclamations and be accountable for environmental damage in the South China Sea.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that resupply missions to the Second Thomas Shoal located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are legitimate activities, and it will not give prior notification to China.

The Philippines was responding to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson regarding the Philippines’ recent resupply mission.

“We are being asked to give prior notification each time we conduct a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal. We will not do so. The resupply missions are legitimate activities within our EEZ, in accordance with international law,” said Philippine foreign ministry spokesperson Teresita C. Daza.

The regular resupply missions support the Philippines’ troops stationed in an intentionally grounded, dilapidated warship on Second Thomas Shoal, a hotly disputed atoll in the South China Sea that Manila calls Ayungin and is known as Renai Reef in China.

China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — Reuters