CM – Philippines submit 3 more protests against China violations in the West Philippine Sea


Filipino Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the filing of three new diplomatic protests against China over a series of illegal acts by Beijing in the West Philippine Sea on Thursday, September 30th.

In a series of tweets on Thursday Locsin said he wanted separate protests against China’s radio disputes against Filipino sea patrols, the illegal restriction of Filipino fishermen from fishing in Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal), and the continued presence of Chinese ships in near the Iroquois Reef, about 125 nautical miles offshore from Palawan.

It was not the first time China has carried out such activities to enforce its claims in Filipino waters. Filipino fishermen have reported for years that Chinese ships have blocked access to resource-rich areas such as the Bajo de Masinloc, which was declared a common fishing ground in the Philippines’ groundbreaking decision against China in 2016 in The Hague.

Chinese ships have in in the past also challenged sea and air patrols conducted by the Philippines by radio. Meanwhile, Chinese ships have been sighted repeatedly in the West Philippine Sea, populating areas such as Pag-asa Island, the Philippines’ seat of power in the West Philippine Sea.

The three protests were filed in addition to 158 other diplomatic notes, one of which was Locsin said they were filed against China under the Duterte administration, 143 of which were filed by the State Department under his leadership.

The string of Chinese violations broadcast on Thursday is the latest to be made public by the Philippines, After tensions flared up in the West Philippine Sea at the beginning of the year following the « incessant, illegal, persistent and increasing » presence of Chinese vessels in the Chinese fishery, ships and ships of the maritime militia had been in multiple functions in the West Philippine Sea.

Since the beginning of April the Philippines held daily diplomatic protests for over a month filed against China for the illegal presence of its ships in the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef, despite repeated and regular calls on defense officials and diplomats to withdraw. The incident prompted the world powers to express concern about China’s « destabilizing measures » and the Philippines to summon Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian on the matter.

Nonetheless, President Rodrigo Duterte has largely opted for China’s aggressive behavior downplaying in Filipino waters to promote or encourage warmer relations with Beijing.

The chief executive often resorted to what critics called “defeatist” attitudes in the West Philippine Sea and what experts called an inappropriate argument that enforcing the rights of the country in the West Philippine Sea is a “war” with China would court. –

Sofia Tomacruz reports on foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories about the treatment of women and children.

Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Send her an email at [email protected]


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