China empowers self to detain South China Sea ‘trespassers’

China empowers self to detain South China Sea ‘trespassers’

/ 01:03 PM May 17, 2024

MANILA, Philippines —  China has approved a new policy authorizing its coast guard extensive powers to detain foreigners deemed “illegally crossing” its borders without trial, according to media reports.

An article published by the South China Morning Post on May 16 detailed the new rule, which is set to take effect next month on June 15.


“Beijing has fleshed out the Chinese coastguard’s powers to detain foreigners suspected of illegally crossing borders, rolling out regulations on Wednesday that stipulate suspects can be held for up to 60 days without trial, amid rising tensions in the South China Sea,” the article reads.


READ: ‘Hope for best, prepared for worst’: Scarborough civilian convoy starts

The article noted that it is the “first time” that a specific regulation has “clarified the Coast Guard force’s law enforcement procedure for administrative detentions.”

“The regulatory document, which takes effect in June, coincides with the arrival at Scarborough Shoal of a group of civilians and fishermen from the Philippines,” the article adds.

READ: PH fishers spot pipe installation ‘in middle of’ Scarborough – NGO has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs for comment on China’s new policy, but it has yet to respond as of press time.

On May 15, a civilian-led convoy for the West Philippine Sea launched a voyage to Scarborough Shoal, also known as Panatag Shoal and Bajo de Masinloc.

More than a hundred fisherfolk and Atin Ito coalition volunteers, journalists, and foreign observers joined the trip. The Atin Ito mission was conducted to assert the Philippines’ rights in the disputed waters.

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TAGS: China Coast Guard, West Philippine Sea

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