After Ayungin Shoal incident, EU stresses opposition vs actions endangering peace in SCS | Global News
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After Ayungin Shoal incident, EU stresses opposition vs actions endangering peace in SCS

/ 09:06 AM November 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The European Union (EU) expressed “strong opposition” against “any unilateral actions” that would endanger peace, security and stability in the South China Sea after Chinese Coast Guard vessels “blocked and water cannoned” Philippine supply boats in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).

“This episode follows other unilateral actions by vessels of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea over the past months,” EU spokesperson Nabila Massrali said in a statement Monday.

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“The European Union reiterates its strong opposition to any unilateral actions that endanger peace, security and stability in the region and the international rules-based order,” she added.

The EU, she further said, “emphasizes the importance for all parties to respect freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.”

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The EU then urged all parties involved to resolve disputes through “peaceful means” in accordance with international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), including its dispute settlement mechanisms.

“In this context, the European Union recalls the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016, which found that Second Thomas Shoal lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf,” Massrali added.

READ: PH wins arbitration case over South China Sea

The EU also expressed support for the effort led by Southeast Asian countries towards a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, which “should be effective, substantive and legally binding, and not prejudice the interests of third parties.”

READ: PH stresses adherence to Unclos at Asean maritime forum

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said he spoke to Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing to protest and condemn the incident in Ayungin Shoal, reminding them that a public vessel is covered by the Mutual Defense Treaty between Manila and Washington.

China, for its part, said its coast guard was performing “official duties in accordance with the law.”

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READ: China asserts it rules PH EEZ, says Filipino boats ‘trespassed’

The Philippines will be resuming missions to resupply Filipino troops aboard the BRP Sierra Madre in the area, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana said he was told by Huang that the “Chinese will not interfere” in the resupply missions.

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TAGS: China, Chinese coast guard, EU, European Union, Features, Global Nation, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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