China is intruding in Philippine waters, declares DFA
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has stated China is intruding in Philippine waters.
The remark comes on Thursday to counter the accusation of China of Philippines’ alleged intrusion.
DFA issued the statement days after Southern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army alleged that BRP Conrado Yap (PS39) “intruded” in the waters near Bajo de Masinloc.
“It is China that is intruding into Philippine waters,” DFA responded.
It emphasized Bajo de Masinloc is an “integral part” of the Philippine territory.
According to DFA, China’s allegation has “no legal basis” and “only serves to raise tensions” in West Philippine Sea.
The department said there is no need for the country to seek approval from other nations when its vessels are navigating inside its own territorial sea.
“The Philippines’ conduct of maritime patrols in the waters around Bajo de Masinloc is a legitimate and routine act of a sovereign country in its territory and territorial sea and is part of the Philippines’ administrative responsibility,” DFA said.
“There is no obligation for the Philippines as the sovereign state to seek the approval of another when navigating its own territorial sea,” it asserted.
DFA likewise reminded Chinese authorities that its interference with Philippine vessels and harassment and intimidation of Filipino fishermen, among other acts proving their aggression in Philippine waters, are blatant violations of international law.
“The Philippines has consistently demanded that Chinese vessels in Bajo de Masinloc leave the area immediately,” said the department.
In 2016, the arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of Philippines.
The tribunal determined that China’s claim in South China Sea, including its nine-dash line and other activities in Philippine waters, were unlawful.