China’s fishing ban in South China Sea against Philippine sovereignty – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — China-imposed fishing moratorium in the South China Sea, which includes the West Philippine Sea, is against the sovereignty of the Philippines.
This was underscored by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo when asked about the government’s stance on China’s annual suspension of fishing activities in the disputed sea.
“The policy of the government will always be consistent with its policy that it will assert its sovereignty over the areas claimed to be its own. So, it will always pursue that line,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Pressed if the Philippines is against such fishing ban by China, Panelo said: “Draw your conclusion, that’s against the sovereignty – that’s our position.”
Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, further said: “Is it objectionable for a sovereign country to have its property or island assaulted or intruded into? Your question, if your answer is yes, then the answer to your question is yes.”
However, the Palace official said he would let Foreign Affairs Secretary Tedoro Locsin Jr. “to make a direct statement” regarding the matter.
China has asserted its nine-dash line policy in claiming almost the entire South China Sea. But a July 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in The Netherlands has invalidated China’s nine-dash line.
In April 2019, Panelo has slammed China and said Beijing’s activities in the West Philippine Sea “is an affront to our territory and to our sovereignty.” (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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