DFA summons Chinese diplomat to protest water canon incident
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday slammed China for its use of water cannons against Filipino fishermen to drive them away from a disputed shoal in the West Philippine Sea.
DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said that it has summoned China’s chargés d’ affaires to “strongly protest” the prohibition of Filipino fishermen from the shoal.
“The Chinese vessel continuously blew its horn and doused the fishing vessel for several minutes,” Hernandez said.
He also said that there have been several previous incidents of harassment in 2013.
In a forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) Monday, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Emmanuel Bautista said that Chinese Coast Guard vessels used water cannons to drive away Filipino fishermen from Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).
Panatag Shoal, which is 220 kilometers off Luzon island, has been the site of a standoff between Chinese and Philippine ships in 2012.
China claims the entire South China Sea as its territory including the shoal which is around 650 kilometers from Hainan Island, the nearest major Chinese landmass.
The United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (Unclos) mandates a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone from a nation’s coastline.
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