DFA files another protest over action of Chinese vessels at Ayungin Shoal

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2022 07:53 AM

The Philippine flag hoisted at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal part of the disputed Spratly Islands. Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News/File
The Philippine flag hoisted at the BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal part of the disputed Spratly Islands. Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Friday filed another diplomatic protest against Beijing, this time over recent incidents in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. 

The DFA said these incidents include China’s illegal fishing; shadowing on Philippine boats by the Chinese coast guard; and its installation of buoys, fish nets that blocked the shoal’s entrance.

The Philippine government reiterated that Beijing's sweeping claims in the South China Sea, of which the West Philippine Sea is a part, had been invalidated by an international arbitral tribunal in 2016. 

"The 2016 Arbitral Award affirmed that Ayungin Shoal is within (the Philippine exclusive economic zone) and continental shelf. (China) has no right to fish, monitor, or interfere with PH’s legitimate activities therein," the DFA tweeted.

"PH calls on China to comply with its obligations under international law, including UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award."

The DFA on Thursday filed a diplomatic protest over the return of over 100 Chinese vessels in waters in and around Julian Felipe Reef on April 4, 2022, barely a year after a similar incident.

The foreign office said the "lingering, unauthorized presence" of Chinese vessels in the area was illegal and was a "source of instability in the region."

The swarming incident was reported days after an online summit between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, where they talked about issues relating to the South China Sea.

In April last year, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana lambasted China as several of Beijing's maritime militia remained in Philippine waters despite calls for them to withdraw.

The Chinese embassy in Manila responded by claiming that the Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun Reef), which Beijing calls Niu'e Jiao, is part of its string of islands in the disputed South China Sea.

Earlier this week, the DFA also filed a diplomatic protest over China's fishing ban in areas of the West Philippine Sea.—With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

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