lørdag 24. april 2021

Manila hits Beijing’s ‘blatant disregard’ of South China Sea vow

Manila has filed two more diplomatic protests against China over what it calls “blatant disregard” of Beijing’s commitment “to promote peace and stability in the region” following the continued presence of Chinese vessels within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the country’s maritime law enforcement agencies observed a total of 165 Chinese fishing vessels, maritime militia vessels and coastguard vessels spread throughout Manila’s EEZ as of April 20. At least five of the vessels, with visible Chinese Coast Guard markers, were sighted “within the vicinities” of the Philippines’ Pag-asa Island (also known as Thitu), as well as the Second Thomas Reef and the Scarborough Shoal, the sea feature whose control was taken by China from the Philippines in 2012.

“The presence of these vessels blatantly infringe upon Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction,” it said.