PH to pursue ‘triple action plan’ on disputed sea amid China refusal
MANILA, Philippines—China’s refusal to halt “destabilizing activities” in West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) won’t stop the Philippines from presenting its “triple action plan” before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum next week, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“Hindi tayo natitinag sa anumang gawing pagtanggi na gagawin tayo dahil naniniwala tayo na makatwiran ang ating posisyon,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma told Palace reporters.
(We won’t be shaken by any refusal since we believe that our position is justified.)
He said the Philippine government would continue to push through with its diplomatic actions, especially since it has been receiving widespread support from other countries.
The “triple action plan,” according to the Department of Affairs, will tackle immediate, intermediate and final approaches to addressing “destabilizing activities” or conflict in the region.
Coloma said the government would continue to push for a moratorium of activities in all areas covered by the maritime entitlement claims, the finalization and implementation of the China-Asean code of conduct in the South China Sea and the conclusion of its complaint filed at the United Nations arbitral tribunal.
Yi Xianliang, deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments, told media that “The Spratly Islands are China’s intrinsic territory, and what China does or doesn’t do is up to the Chinese government. Nobody can change the government’s position.”
Yi said that China only started a “small and necessary construction to raise living conditions on the islands.”
In July, the Philippines filed a new diplomatic protest against China over its land reclamation of McKennan (Hughes) Reef in Spratlys, which is within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
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