UK, Canada, Australia rally behind PH in WPS
MANILA, Philippines — The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia have joined the United States in calling out China’s “dangerous” actions toward Philippine vessels in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
In separate statements, the envoys of the UK, Canada and Australia expressed concern over continued “unprofessional, dangerous conduct” against Philippine vessels within Manila’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) but, unlike the United States, did not name China.
“The UK is concerned by continued reports of dangerous conduct toward Filipino vessels in the South China Sea,” UK Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils said on Monday through her official social media account.
“The United Kingdom stands steadfast in its commitment to international law, in particular Unclos, in the South China Sea,” she added, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Canada’s Ambassador David Hartman said “Canada reiterates its call for upholding the rules-based international order in the South China Sea.”
“We are troubled by dangerous and unprofessional conduct in this region and unreservedly support the Government of the Philippines in enforcing its sovereign rights within its EEZ,” Hartman said on Monday through his social media account.
“Peace and stability in the South China Sea are essential to the interests of the international community,” the Canadian ambassador added.
Australia’s Ambassador HK Yu on Sunday echoed the US Department of State’s position on China’s latest “provocative and unsafe conduct” against the Philippines.
“Concerned by further reports of unprofessional and dangerous conduct against the Philippines in its Exclusive Economic Zone,” the Australian envoy said through her Twitter account, including a link to the Philippine Coast Guard report on the April 23 near-collision between Chinese and Philippine coast guard vessels in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal.
Meanwhile, a senior lawmaker on Monday called for the recall of the Philippine ambassador to Beijing to show China our serious protest over its aggression and intrusion in the WPS.
“We should order our principal representative in China to return home,” Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said in a statement on Monday, referring to Ambassador Jaime Flor Cruz.