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PH protests 'provocative acts' of Chinese gov't ships in 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone


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MANILA – Some Chinese government vessels have committed "provocative acts", including illegally sending radio challenges against Philippine authorities patrolling the country's waters, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported on Wednesday night.

 

In a statement posted on its official Twitter account, the DFA said it protested the "unlawful issuance of over two hundred radio challenges, sounding of sirens, and blowing of horns by Chinese government vessels" against Filipino authorities "conducting legitimate, customary, and routine patrols over and around the Philippines' territory and maritime zones."

 

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"These provocative acts threaten the peace, good order, and security of the South China Sea and run contrary to China's obligations under international law," it said.

 

It is not clear when the said incidents occurred. As of this posting, the DFA has yet to provide further details.

 

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Chinese vessel (File photo) 

 

The Philippines has issued a number of diplomatic protests this year alone over the illegal presence and activities of Chinese vessels within the country's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

 

Last September, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. instructed the agency to lodge a note verbale against Beijing's "incessant and unlawful" restriction imposed on Filipino fishermen in the Scarborough Shoal, a feature located 124 nautical miles off the coast of Masinloc, Zambales.

 

He also ordered a set of protests on Chinese radio challenges "unlawfully issued against Philippine maritime patrols" and the continued presence of Chinese fishing vessels in the vicinity of Iroquois Reef. (PNA) 

 

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Philippines protests Beijing's 'provocative acts' in South China Sea

 

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese coastguard ships in the South China Sea, July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Martin Petty

 

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines has issued a diplomatic protest over Chinese vessels challenging its ships patrolling the South China Sea with sirens, horns and radio communications, its foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

 

Tensions between Manila and Beijing have been simmering for years in the strategic waterway where both countries have territorial claims.

 

"These provocative acts threaten the peace, good order, and security of the South China Sea and run contrary to China's obligations under international law," the foreign ministry said on Twitter.

 

The ministry said on Wednesday more than 200 such challenges took place while the Philippines was conducting routine patrols over and around its territory and maritime zones. It did not specify over what time period the challenges took place.

 

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of business hours.

 

China claims sovereignty over vast swathes of the South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have lodged competing claims for some or all of the islands.

 

In 2016, an international tribunal invalidated China's expansive claim in the strategic waterway where about $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes annually.

 

But President Rodrigo Duterte shelved the favourable ruling and pursued a rapprochement with Beijing in exchange for pledges of billions of dollars of loans, aid and investment, much of which have yet to materialise.

 

Since Duterte took office in June 2016, the Philippines has filed more than 80 diplomatic protests against China.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-10-21

 

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by John Geddie and Sandra Maler)

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