Aquino alleges China harassed Philippine boats



MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) waters, allegedly driving out one that had sheltered from rough seas.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Aquino said the two Scarborough Shoal incidents had led to Manila seeking United Nations arbitration this week over the territorial dispute.

Aquino, who did not say when the incidents occurred, said “Chinese vessels” approached to within nine meters (10 yards) of a Filipino fishing boat near the shoal.

“While they (Chinese vessels) were approaching, their horns were supposedly blaring at full blast, causing apprehension to our fishing vessel,” he said, according to a transcript released by the government on Saturday.

A second Filipino boat was driven out by Chinese vessels shortly after it took shelter near the shoal, he added.

“According to the affidavit (crew’s depositions), they were told to go back to the rough waters.”

The shoal, located closer to the Philippine island of Luzon than the Chinese mainland, has been a source of friction since April last year when Chinese vessels stopped the Philippine Navy from arresting alleged Chinese poachers.

Aquino, saying only that the incidents were the latest in a series of assertive Chinese actions in the area, stressed the Scarborough Shoal — which Manila calls “Bajo de Masinloc” and China calls “Huangyan island” — and its surrounding waters are part of the Philippines’ “exclusive economic zone”.

China claims most of the West Philippine Sea, including waters and islands close to the shores of its neighbours.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario however this week said Manila had taken China to a UN tribunal to challenge its claim to most of the sea, including territory belonging to the archipelago, and would ask the arbitration panel to declare Chinese claims in the area invalid.

Aquino said he could not allow China to claim “effective control over Bajo de Masinloc by ordering our vessels out”, as this could encourage Beijing to move into the Philippine-claimed and allegedly resource-rich Reed Bank.

“We are not threatening anybody, but if we don’t stand up for our rights, who do we expect will be standing up for our rights?” Aquino said.

China’s embassy spokesmen could not be reached for comment Saturday.

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  • bbc


    You are wrong about trade and history, you are wrong about right and wrong, you are wrong about forget and forgive, you are wrong about past and future, you are also wrong about invasion and being invaded, and lastly you are wrong about bullying and bullied.

  • bbc

    UN approach should not be taken lightly.
    If you think territory dispute over a few rocks is a big deal, think it again.

    Who claimed them the first ?
    What is the basis to against the first claim ?
    Is it worthy it to scratch face for the “dispute” ?
    Is it really that UNCLOS entitles a different claim ?
    What if UN rejects the offensive approach ?

    • goldilock

       Its the people, residents, inhabitants who lives nearby that matters.

      • bbc

        That matters if within territory.
         You can’t say that to your neighbours and take theirs properties yours.

      • goldilock

         Its very well within territory. It’s a human powered boat away.

      • bbc

         My toilet is one step away from my neighbour.

      • ofwme2807

         your toilet stinks with fetuses…yuk..

    • ofwme2807

       changing the name but the same fack egg…iris ikaw ba yan at yung isa pa I forgot…

  • Bright

    Carry on Mr Pres. 

  • mountainecho

    “We are not threatening anybody, but if we don’t stand up for our rights, who do we expect will be standing up for our rights?” Aquino said.

    I guess gun-toting Filipino marines descended from a 3000-ton warship trying to arrest Chinese fishermen do not count as a threat in Aquino’s eyes.

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