DFA, NSC demand end to China’s coercive, illegal activities in West PH Sea
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and National Security Council (NSC) on Monday demanded that China stop its coercive and unlawful activities in the West Philippine Sea after the China Coast Guard fired a water cannon at a Philippine Coast Guard and military supply ship bound for Ayungin Shoal on Saturday, August 5.
“We demand the government of the People’s Republic of China immediately cease and desist its coercive, unlawful and unacceptable activities in the West Philippine Sea,” said National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya in a joint briefing held Monday.
“This government will not lose an inch of our territory,” added Malaya.
Malaya stressed that the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling on the South China Sea proves that the Philippines has exclusive rights to the West Philippine Sea.
“Our position is clear: The award is final and indisputable, and we firmly reject attempts to undermine it,” Malaya added.
DFA spokesperson Teresita Daza, in the same press conference, echoed NSC’s call.
“The Philippines demands that China immediately stop its illegal activities in our maritime zones. As a low tide elevation, Ayungin Shoal can neither be a subject of a sovereign claim nor is it capable of appropriation under international law. A fact affirmed by the 2016 Arbitral Award. China cannot lawfully exercise sovereignty over it,” said Daza.
The DFA official likewise confirmed that a note verbale had been issued against China over this water cannon incident bringing the country’s diplomatic protests against China to 445 since 2020. Of this number, 35 were filed in 2023.