China blames, castigates PH for ‘intruding’ in Scarborough Shoal
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday accused Philippines of intruding in Scarborough Shoal “without their permission.”
It also admitted the floating barriers were put in place to “block and drive away” Philippine vessels.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made this statement after Philippine government stood against China’s actions in Scarborough Shoal, otherwise known as Bajo de Masinloc.
Apart from accusing Philippines of “intruding,” Wang also insisted that Scarborough Shoal, which he called Huangyan Dao, “has always been China’s territory.”
“China has indisputable sovereignty over the island and its adjacent waters and sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters,” said Wang.
“On September 22, a vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Philippines, without China’s permission, intruded into the adjacent waters of Huangyan Dao and attempted to enter its lagoon,” he said.
“China Coast Guard did what was necessary to block and drive away the Philippine vessel. The steps it took were professional and restrained,” he added.
Philippine Coast Guard on Monday evening said it has already dismantled the floating barrier southeast of Scarborough Shoal.
Scarborough Shoal is a triangle-shaped ring of reefs located at least 220 kilometers west of Zambales, inside Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
In a landmark ruling seven years ago, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague declared that Philippines has the exclusive sovereign rights to the West Philippine Sea, disproving China’s nine-dash line claim.
Despite this verdict, Chinese fishing vessels continue to swarm in the Philippine waters.