PH files 461 diplomatic protests vs China since 2016, says DFA
MANILA, Philippines — Since 2016, the Philippines filed 461 diplomatic protests against China over the latter’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Thursday.
As of January 26, there are 262 diplomatic protests lodged from 2016 to 2021, there were 195 in 2022, and four so far in 2023.
DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza said that the figures show that the government has been taking action.
“If one is to look at the number of NVs (note verbales), you will see that action has actually been undertaken,” Daza said in a press briefing.
The West Philippine Sea in the contested South China Sea is a territory of the Philippines.
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Philippines has sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, rejecting China’s sweeping nine-dash line claim in the entire South China Sea.
Despite the ruling, Chinese harassment of Filipino fisherfolk continues to take place.
The most recent incident is the Chinese Coast Guard vessel’s move to drive away a Filipino fishing boat in Ayungin Shoal, located some 300 kilometers west of Palawan.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said that Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to “find a compromise and solution” for Filipino fishers to continue fishing in the West Philippine Sea.
However, critics argued that a compromise is not needed as the Philippines own the West Philippine Sea.
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.