MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has condemned what it calls the "Chinese harassment" at the Ayungin Shoal on Saturday.
The DFA reiterated that Ayungin Shoal belongs to the Philippines and that China should stop taking actions that threaten peace and security in the area.
“Ayungin Shoal is part of the Philippine Continental Shelf, and therefore has sovereign rights and jurisdiction over it,” the DFA said in a statement. “We demand that China cease taking actions that are a threat to our security.”
The United States is echoing that sentiment, saying China’s move is “provocative,” and raises tensions.
But the US maintained it is not taking sides in the territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing.
The latest confrontation came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing is not looking for trouble in the South China Sea, or what Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.
“On the issue of the South China Sea, we will not provoke trouble ourselves, but we will not fear trouble provoked by others either,” said Xi. – Report from ANC.