‘Fired it off’: PH protests presence of 240 Chinese ships in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Wednesday filed a diplomatic protest over the presence of 240 Chinese ships spotted throughout the West Philippine Sea.
“Fired it off. Beautifully written but you will never see it because I’m like that. Annoying. Only Senate and House foreign relations,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said in a tweet.
Fired it off. Beautifully written but you will never see it because I’m like that. Annoying. Only Senate and House foreign relations. https://t.co/uQNMmUOEuv
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) April 14, 2021
Earlier in the day, Locsin directed the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to lodge a protest on the reported swarming of the vessels in various parts of the West Philippine Sea.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) said late Tuesday that around 240 Chinese vessels are still inside the country’s territorial waters.
According to the DFA, two diplomatic protests were lodged on Wednesday.
“One count as the daily protest we said we would do as long as there are ships by Julian Felipe reef and the second one is on the dispersal/displacement of Chinese ships to other parts of [Philippine] maritime zones,” the DFA said in a message to reporters.
To recall, the DFA earlier demanded that China immediately withdraw its vessels from the Julian Felipe Reef or face a diplomatic protest “every day of delay” in their removal.
Based on the NTF-WPS latest report, six vessels remain at the Julian Felipe Reef.
The DFA has already summoned the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on Monday, April 12, to express “utmost displeasure” over the “illegal” and lingering presence of the vessels at the said reef.