‘No need to ask China’s permission on WPS resupply mission’
MANILA, Philippines —National Security Council (NSC) Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya on Monday said that the Philippines does not need to notify China during the regular resupply mission in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Malaya’s remark comes after Beijing blasted Manila for entering Ayungin Shoal “without China’s permission” despite the fact that the low-tide feature is well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
To prevent the rotation and resupply mission for the BRP Sierra Madre that is aground on the shoal, China Coast Guard amd militia ships hit a resupply boat contracted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as a Philippine Coast Guard ship which caused damage to the two vessels.
“The China Coast Guard claims that they were conducting a law enforcement activity have no or zero basis whatsoever,” Malaya said in a press conference.
“They also claimed that there should be prior notification from the Philippines on any supply mission.
“Again we ask, why should we do so? Ayungin Shoal is not Hainan Island,” Malaya also said, referring to the largest and most populous island province of China.
Malaya also slammed China’s “escalation” and provocations.”
“The Chinese vessels did their reckless and illegal acts with full knowledge that their movements could cause a collision and this time our fears happened,” he said.
“We are relieved and thankful that no Filipino personnel were harmed, but we are concerned on the escalation and provocations by Chinese vessels who have no business being in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.
China asserts that it owns almost most of the South China Sea — including the WPS — through its ten-dash line which used to be a nine-dash line.
Their claim was effectively dismissed by an international tribunal in 2016, which Beijing, however, refuses to honor.