Teodoro says China a ‘squatter’ in West PH Sea | Global News

Teodoro says China a ‘squatter’ in West PH Sea

/ 12:37 PM October 18, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — In a fiery response to China’s remarks against the country, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Wednesday called Beijing a “squatter” and an “illegal occupant” in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Teodoro fired back after China claimed that the Philippines is “illegally occupying” Pagasa Island, which is inhabited by hundreds of Filipinos as it serves as the seat of the local government of Kalayaan municipality in Palawan.

“’Pag in-occupy ng Pilipinas ang Hainan Island, ‘yun, illegal occupation ‘yun; pero ‘pag dito sila within our 200 miles EEZ [exclusive economic zone], sila ang squatter dito — illegal occupants sila dito,” Teodoro said in a Kapihan sa Manila Bay media forum when asked about China’s latest pronouncements on Pagasa Island.


(If the Philippines occupied Hainan Island, that’s illegal occupation; but if they are here within our 200-mile EEZ, they are the squatters here — they are illegal occupants.)


Hainan is the largest and most populous island province of China.

“Pwede naman silang mag-apply ng visa,” he also said.

(Maybe they could apply for a visa.)

Teodoro also said that China’s assertion is laughable, noting that not many subscribe to their claims.

“Ayoko naman matawa dahil bastos naman,” Teodoro said. “Itanong mo sa kanila ano ang ibig nilang sabihin. Sasabihin nila siguro indisputable sovereignty ng SCS [South China Sea]. Ilan ang naniniwala doon?”


(I don’t want to laugh because that’s rude. Ask them what they mean. Maybe they would say that they have an indisputable sovereignty of the SCS. How many people believe that?)

On Oct. 13, a Chinese warship made a “dangerous maneuver” against the Philippine Navy vessel at 5.8 nautical miles southwest of Pag-asa Island that was en route to Rizal Reef for a regular rotation and resupply mission, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

China insists that it owns nearly all of SCS, including the WPS, citing its 10-dash line, which used to be a nine-dash line.

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In 2013, Manila questioned Beijing’s nine-dash line before the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

An Arbitral Award was eventually issued in July 2016, effectively dismissing China’s sweeping demarcation.

READ: AFP: Chinese Navy ship’s ‘dangerous maneuvers’ vs PH Navy vessel unprecedented

TAGS: China, Gilbert Teodoro, West Philippine Sea, WPS

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