Chinese exec: PH's Maritime Zones Act violates China rights

Chinese exec: PH’s Maritime Zones Act violates China sovereign rights

/ 12:06 AM March 06, 2024

The Chinese Foreign Ministry called the Senate’s passage of the Maritime Zones Act as an attempt to “further enforce the illegal arbitral award on the South China Sea.”

An illustration of the 10-dash line map, which China released in August. GRAPHIC BY ED LUSTAN

MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese Foreign Ministry called the Senate’s passage of the Maritime Zones Act as an attempt to “further enforce the illegal arbitral award on the South China Sea.”

In a press conference, Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said China noticed the relevant developments on the passage of the bill.

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The Senate, in late February, approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2492 — a landmark bill seeking to establish Philippine Maritime Zones.

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“The Maritime Zones Act approved by the Senate of the Philippines has attempted to further enforce the illegal arbitral award on the South China Sea by domestic legislation and include China’s Huangyan Dao, most islands and reefs of China’s Nansha Qundao, and their adjacent waters into its maritime zones, which severely violates China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea,” said Mao.

“China firmly opposes it and has lodged solemn démarches to the Philippines,” she added.

Mao repeatedly argued that China has sovereignty over “Nansha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, including Huangyan Dao, and their adjacent waters, and has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant waters.”

“China’s above-mentioned sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea were established in the long course of history, and are solidly grounded in history and the law, which are in compliance with the UN Charter and international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” she said.

Mao likewise accused the Philippines of initiating an international arbitration that violated international laws.

“The arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration handled the case ultra vires and made an illegitimate ruling. The rendered award is illegal, null and void. China neither accepts nor participates in that arbitration, neither accepts nor recognizes the award, and will never accept any claim or action arising from the award. China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea will not be affected by the award in any way,” she said.

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INQUIRER.net sought Senator Francis Tolentino’s comment on Mao’s remarks, but he has yet to respond as of writing.

Tolentino chairs the Senate’s special panel on maritime and admiralty zones. He likewise sponsored Senate Bill No. 2492, otherwise known as the Philippine Maritime Zones Act.

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TAGS: China, Chinese, Philippines, Senate, West Philippine Sea

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