PH protests over 200 ‘unlawful’ radio challenges, ‘provocative acts’ by Chinese ships
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has lodged a protest over the “unlawful” issuance of over 200 radio challenges and other “provocative acts” by Chinese government ships against Philippine authorities conducting patrols over and around Manila’s territory and maritime zones.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) asserted that Philippine authorities were conducting “legitimate, customary, and routine patrols” in the area.
“[The DFA] protested the unlawful issuance of over 200 radio challenges, sounding of sirens, and blowing of horns by Chinese government vessels against Philippine authorities conducting legitimate, customary, and routine patrols over and around the Philippines’ territory and maritime zones,” it said.
“These provocative acts threaten the peace, good order, and security of the South China Sea and run contrary to China’s obligations under international law,” it added.
Only in September, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the filing of protests against China’s continued presence and other activities in the West Philippine Sea.
Among the subjects of these protests was the “continued presence” of Chinese fishing vessels in Iroquois Reef, an occupied Philippine feature in the West Philippine Sea.
“China’s incessant and unlawful restriction of Filipino fishermen from conducting legitimate fishing activities” in Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal was also among the reasons for the protests filed by the DFA last month.
Manila and Beijing have been locked in a long-standing maritime dispute.
In 2013, the Philippines filed a case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in the Netherlands challenging China’s sweeping claim of nearly the entire South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.
The PCA ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016 invalidating China’s nine-dash line claim. Beijing has repeatedly refused to recognize the ruling.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.