Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. slams China for its persistent activity in the country’s waters, saying it is putting a strain on the two nations’ warm ties.
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 3) The country has filed two diplomatic protests against China, including one for the illegal presence of the Chinese Coast Guard and their “belligerent” actions against their Filipino counterpart in Bajo de Masinloc, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
The DFA said it has objected to the “shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver, and radio challenges” done by the Chinese Coast Guard on the vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard who were conducting legitimate patrols and training exercises in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc from April 24 and 25.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea on April 28 reported that three Chinese Coast Guard vessels continue their “illegal presence” in Bajo de Masinloc or the Panatag Shoal off Zambales, one in the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan, and another one in Ayungin Shoal. A total of five Chinese Coast Guard ships remain in Philippine waters as of last week.
The DFA also kept its promise to fire more protests if Chinese vessels refuse to leave Philippine maritime zones. It filed another one for the “incessant, illegal, prolonged, and increasing presence” of hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels and maritime militia vessels in the country’s maritime zones.
It said these illegal Chinese vessels are continuing their unauthorized activities in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in the areas around the Pag-asa Islands, Zamora Reef, Panata and Kota Islands, Ayungin Shoal, Quirino Atoll, and Bajo de Masinloc up until March 18.
The DFA said two diplomatic protests have been filed against these acts of the China’s Coast Guard, Chinese fishing vessels, and Beijing’s maritime militia. The protests urged China to withdraw its vessels in Philippine waters and respect the country’s sovereignty.
“China has no law enforcement rights in these areas,” the statement said. “The unauthorized and lingering presence of these vessels is a blatant infringement of Philippine sovereignty.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. slammed China for its persistent activity in the country’s waters, saying it is putting a strain on the two nations’ warm ties.
“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see OGET THE F*** OUT. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. Were trying,” he replied to a news article on the diplomatic protests.
He said the 2016 landmark ruling of the arbitral tribunal in The Hague is clear. However, Beijing continues to reject the award which recognized the Philippines’ sovereign rights in areas within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf that Beijing contests.
The Philippine government has filed a number of diplomatic protests this month and issued repeated appeals for China to withdraw its vessels. It also earlier protested Beijing’s “illegal” building of artificial islands and structures and aggressive moves within the Philippines’ EEZ.
Last week, DFA said at least 78 diplomatic protests have been filed against China under the Duterte administration.
CNN Philippines correspondent Tristan Nodalo contributed to this report