China reiterates 'jurisdiction' in S. China Sea amid PH protest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 22 2021 02:20 PM

MANILA - The Chinese government has insisted that its law enforcement activities in what it claims as waters under its "jurisdiction" in the disputed West Philippine Sea are lawful and reasonable. 

This follows the Philippines' filing of a fresh protest against China over activities in its exclusive economic zone within the resource-rich South China Sea.

In his regular press conference Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated his government's unwavering position.

“China's position on the South China Sea issue is consistent and clear-cut," Wang said. 

"It is legitimate and reasonable for China's maritime law enforcement authorities to conduct law enforcement activities in waters under China's jurisdiction in accordance with domestic laws and international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.

The DFA said on Wednesday it protested “the unlawful issuance” of over 200 radio challenges, sounding of sirens, and blowing of horns by Chinese-flagged vessels against Philippine authorities conducting patrols in the country's waters.

The latest protest was issued on Sept. 30, the agency later on said. 

In a tweet, the DFA described the Chinese vessels' actions as “provocative” and that they threaten peace and stability in the South China Sea, contrary to China's obligations under international law. 

This is not the first time Beijing maintained its position in the disputed South China Sea, even if the international Permanent Court of Arbitration invalidated their sweeping claims over almost the entire waters in a July 2016 ruling.

Beijing continues to disregard the ruling as it continues to build islands in the waters and has allegedly blocked access of fishermen from the Philippines and other coastal states.

The Philippines has so far filed 211 diplomatic notes against China since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power, more than half or 153 notes verbale of which were filed this year alone. 

— Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

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