Beijing defies PH court ruling on Chinese poachers
MANILA, Philippines – China refused to acknowledge a Philippine court’s order fining nine Chinese fishermen who were apprehended for poaching within Philippine waters and demanded that they be released unconditionally.
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha (Spratly) Islands and the adjacent waters. By illegally arresting and detaining Chinese fishing boats and fishermen, and now making the so-called judicial decision, the Philippine side has seriously violated China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference in China following the court’s decision.
“China firmly opposes that and urges the Philippine side to unconditionally release the Chinese fishing boat and fishermen,” she said.
The Chinese fishermen were fined $102,000 each after they were found with hundreds of sea turtles off the coast of Palawan in the West Philippine Sea.
China and the Philippines are locked in a maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea which China claims in its entirety as parts of its territory.
Philippines has already challenged China’s claim before an International Arbitration court but China has refused to participate insisting on bilateral talks.