‘Illegal fishing, shadowing of PH boats:’ DFA protests China actions in Ayungin Shoal
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Friday protested China’s recent actions in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, including “illegal fishing” and the “shadowing” of Philippine boats by Chinese Coast Guard vessels.
“The DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] has lodged today another protest over recent incidents in Ayungin Shoal, including China’s illegal fishing, shadowing of China Coast Guard vessels of Philippine boats on a rotation [and] reprovision mission, and the installation of buoys [and] fish nets that blocked the shoal’s entrance,” the DFA said in a statement.
The DFA stressed that the 2016 arbitral award has affirmed that Ayungin Shoal is within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Philippines.
“[China] has no right to fish, monitor, or interfere with PH’s legitimate activities therein,” it added.
The DFA also called on China to comply with its obligations under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the arbitral award that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claims.
Manila and Beijing have been locked in a long-standing maritime dispute.
In 2016, the Philippine scored a victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague in the Netherlands after it ruled as invalid China’s sweeping claim of nearly the entire South China Sea, including parts of the West Philippine Sea.
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