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China to PH: Stop illegal acts, leave Scarborough

Posted at | Updated as of 04/12/12 9:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - China reiterated its sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal (called Huangyan Island in Chinese) and called on the Philippines to “stop immediately their illegal activities” and leave the area.
 
In a statement sent to ABS-CBN, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said that 12 Chinese fishing boats were approaching Huangyan Island on April 10, Tuesday, to “take shelter due to harsh weather conditions when a Philippine Naval gunboat blocked the entrance of the lagoon, and sent 12 Philippine soldiers, 6 of which armed, went into the lagoon and harassed the Chinese fishermen.”  
 
It said that the two Chinese marine surveillance ships were in the area “fulfilling the duties of safeguarding Chinese national maritime rights and interests.”
 
“Upon getting the report, the Embassy immediately lodged a representation to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and reiterated China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island, urged the Philippine side to stop immediately their illegal activities and leave this area,” the Chinese Embassy said.
 
China said that Scarborough Shoal is part of Chinese territory “since the ancient times” with its waters considered as “traditional fishing area” for Chinese fishermen. It said that historical records and “numerous documents” back up China’s territorial claim.
 
“The Chinese Embassy hereby reiterates that Huangyan Island is an integral part of the Chinese territory and the waters around it is the traditional fishing area for the Chinese fishermen, for which China has abundant historical and jurisprudence backings,” the Chinese Embassy said.
 
“Ever since the ancient times, numerous documents on the Chinese history have put down definitely in writing that Huangyan Island belongs to Chinese territory. The fact that China has sovereign rights and exercises jurisdiction over the Huangyan Island is widely respected by the international community,” it added.
 
The Chinese Embassy said that it is “still engaged in discussions with the Philippine DFA to seek a solution of this issue, so that China-Philippine friendly relations and peace, stability in South China Sea are well preserved in the best interest of the two countries.”

Chinese foreign ministry statement

Liu Weimin, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, likewise said China considers the Philippines’ attempt to secure the Scarborough shoal as an infringement on Chinese sovereignty.

He called on the Philippines “not to instigate new troubles and incidents, and make joint efforts with the Chinese side to create favorable conditions for the sound development of relations between the two countries.”
 
“The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations to the Philippine side over the harassment of Chinese fishing boats and fishermen by the Philippine Navy vessels and patrol boats. The attempt by the Philippines to carry out so-called law enforcement activities in the waters of Huangyan Island has infringed upon China's sovereignty, and runs counter to the consensus reached by both sides on maintaining the peace and stability in the South China Sea and not to complicate and escalate the situation,” Liu said in a statement.
 
“The relevant departments of the Chinese government has sent out public service ships to Huangyan Island. At the moment the Chinese fishermen and their boats are safe,” Liu added.
 
China reiterated that it has “indisputable sovereignty” over Scarborough shoal.

“The Chinese side reiterates that Huangyan Island is an integral part of the Chinese territory, over which China has indisputable sovereignty,” Liu said. 
 
“We urge the Philippine side to proceed from the overall situation of the China-Philippines relations and the peace and stability of the South China Sea, not to instigate new troubles and incidents, and make joint efforts with the Chinese side to create favorable conditions for the sound development of relations between the two countries,” he added.

Palace: PH did not harass Chinese vessels

Meantime, Malacañang reiterated that the Philippines did not harass Chinese vessels at Scarborough shoal.
 
“There [was] no harassment,” Oresidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
 
Lacierda reiterated that Scarborough shoal is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
 
Lacierda is hopeful that the latest territorial spat involving China would be resolved peacefully.
 
He said that President Aquino has been made aware of the incident last night and met with officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

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FULL TEXT OF THE STATEMENT FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE PHILIPPINES: 
 
On April 10, the Chinese Embassy got the report that 12 Chinese fishing boats are getting in the lagoon of Huangyan Island and take shelter due to harsh weather conditions when a Philippine Naval gunboat blocked the entrance of the lagoon, and sent 12 Philippine soldiers, 6 of which armed, went into the lagoon and harassed the Chinese fishermen.
 
Two Chinese Marine Surveillance ships are in this area fulfilling the duties of safeguarding Chinese national maritime rights and interests.
 
Upon getting the report, the Embassy immediately lodged a representation to the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and reiterated China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island, urged the Philippine side to stop immediately their illegal activities and leave this area.
 
The Chinese Embassy hereby reiterates that Huangyan Island is an integral part of the Chinese territory and the waters around it is the traditional fishing area for the Chinese fishermen, for which China has abundant historical and jurisprudence backings. Ever since the ancient times, numerous documents on the Chinese history have put down definitely in writing that Huangyan Island belongs to Chinese territory. The fact that China has sovereign rights and exercises jurisdiction over the Huangyan Island is widely respected by the international community.
 
The Embassy is still engaged in discussions with the Philippine DFA to seek a solution of this issue, so that China-Philippine friendly relations and peace, stability in South China Sea are well preserved in the best interest of the two countries.