PH warns China: If your boats will encroach on WPS, we’ll enforce the law
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is asking China to prevent Chinese fishing vessels from encroaching on Philippine jurisdiction, specifically, the West Philippine Sea.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made the pronouncement after China lifted its annual fishing ban in South China Sea.
China imposes the fishing ban every year from May 1 until August 16.
The period lasts for three and a half months.
DFA said the removal of the prohibition is not recognized by Philippines since China’s action covers areas that are within the Philippine territory.
“We urge China to take active measures AT PORT to prevent its fishing fleets from encroaching into our territorial sea and EEZ (exclusive economic zone),” said DFA.
“The Philippines is ready to take law enforcement measures on illegal fishing activities in its waters,” it warned.
According to DFA, the fishing ban imposed by China has been the subject of its diplomatic protests.
“It is an illegal exercise of state authority in so far as they cover the Philippines’ maritime zones,” DFA said.
Philippines and China have been in a long-running maritime dispute.
The row is a result of China’s claim that it owns the entire South China Sea, including portions of West Philippine Sea.
Philippines had challenged China’s claim by raising the issue at the International Permanent Court of Arbitration (IPCA) in The Hague in 2013.
Philippines won the case in 2016.
China, however, consistently refuses to recognize the ruling, ignoring a series of protests and demands made by Philippine government for Chinese vessels to leave WPS.
Philippines has filed 445 diplomatic protests against China since 2020.