DFA to file 3 diplomatic protests vs China

September 30, 2021 Cristina Lee-Pisco 269 views

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to file three diplomatic protests against China’s illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea.

The Secretary’s order was prompted after China illegally restricted Filipino fishermen from fishing in Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal, an area located 124 nautical miles off the coast of Masinloc, Zambales.

Locsin tweeted “@DFAPHL File now our protest on China’s incessant & unlawful restriction of Filipino fishermen from conducting legitimate fishing activities in Bajo de Masinloc.”

The Secretary also instructed the DFA to lodge diplomatic protest on the continued presence of Chinese fishing vessels in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef.

In another tweet, he asked the DFA to file a protest on Chinese radio challenges unlawfully issued against Philippine maritime patrols.

The fresh diplomatic protests follow a flurry of notes verbales lodged by the DFA early this year over Beijing’s continued and increased presence within Philippine waters.

On Wednesday, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, sponsor of the National Security Council’s (NSC) 2022 budget, confirmed that some 150 Chinese fishing vessels were sighted in the West Philippine Sea.

Citing information from the NSC, Biazon said the vessels were “doing fishing operations, moving from one spot to another” in the area.

China, the Philippines, and several other littoral states have overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea.

In a 2016 arbitral ruling, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that Beijing’s nine-dash line, a demarcation that covers almost 80 percent of the South China Sea, is illegal.

Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, sponsor of the National Security Council’s (NSC) 2022 budget, confirmed that some 150 Chinese fishing vessels were sighted in the West Philippine Sea.
Citing information from the NSC, Biazon said the vessels were “doing fishing operations, moving from one spot to another” in the area.

In 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague ruled that the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea ( South China Sea) and that China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid.

“The Tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line,” it said.

“Having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the Tribunal found that it could — without delimiting a boundary — declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China,” it added.

China however rejected the ruling insisting it has “historic rights” to resources within the areas falling within the nine-dash line.

The Spratly Islands and its many reefs are being claimed by China under its “nine-dash line” claim that covers nearly the entire South China Sea including parts of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

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