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PH urged to go on joint patrols with Malaysia, Vietnam to show united front vs China

/ 06:27 PM April 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines should carry out joint patrols with Malaysia and Vietnam in the South China Sea to push back against China, which seemed to be using the COVID-19 pandemic as a smokescreen for its continued aggression in the disputed waters, according to retired Senior Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio.

“I suggest we join patrols with Vietnam and Malaysia,” said Carpio on Monday (April 27).

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“That’s the only way China will understand that we are united,” he said at an online forum with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap).

Last week, the Philippine government filed a diplomatic protest against China after a Chinese warship got its weapons ready for firing at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine territory near Rizal (Commodore) Reef in the West Philippine Sea.

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China also had recent brushes with Vietnam and Malaysia—the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracel Islands and the deployment of a Chinese survey ship to Malaysian waters.

China has been insisting that its nine-dash line claim showed that it owned the entire South China Sea, parts of which are tens of thousands of kilometers away from the Chinese mainland.

The mythical nine-dash line, however, had been rejected as fraudulent and without basis in 2016 by the Permanent Arbitration Court in a case filed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, which also have claims in the area.

Carpio said the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia should conduct joint patrols in their respective exclusive economic zones to show a united front against the Asian behemoth.

“We’re sending a message to China that it cannot pick us out one by one. We are united,” he said.

If China kept up its incursions, the Philippines should consider joining naval patrols of the United States in the South China Sea, he said.

Edited by TSB
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TAGS: Antonio Carpio, Coronavirus, dispute, joint patrols, Malaysia, Maritime, nine-dash line, pandemic, patrols, Philippines, South China Sea, Territory, Vietnam
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