Thursday, March 23, 2023

Maritime dispute with China erupts as Marcos prepares for presidency

MANILA, Philippines ( Associated Press) – The Philippine government on Tuesday announced a new diplomatic protest against China over disputes in the South China Sea, a long-standing thorny issue that could see the next Philippine president taking office next month. The preparations have flared up again.

Despite improved relations between Beijing and Manila under outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines has registered hundreds of diplomatic protests in recent years against Beijing, which it considers acts of aggression in disputed waters, serving a six-year term. Ends on 30th June.

Territorial conflicts are one of the major challenges that President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will face when he takes office on May 9 after his resounding electoral victory. He has said that he will use diplomatic means with China on the issue, the same approach Duterte had taken. , which has been criticized for not taking a more aggressive stance against Beijing’s increasingly assertive actions in the resource-rich and busy waterway.

The Foreign Affairs Department said on Tuesday that it filed a diplomatic protest earlier this month over China’s three-and-a-half-month-long annual fishing ban that covers areas in disputed waters where “the sovereignty of the Philippines” Sovereign authority and jurisdiction.”

It said the ban is not limited to Chinese fishing vessels and violates the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and a 2016 arbitration tribunal decision that invalidated Beijing’s vast historic claims in the strategic waterway and the Philippines’ Sovereign rights upheld in one clause. Coastal waters are called its exclusive economic zone.

China does not recognize the arbitration decision and continues to disobey it.

“The Chinese embargo “has no basis in law, and undermines the mutual trust, trust and respect that should underpin bilateral relations,” the department said in a statement.

“Philippines calls on China to comply with its obligations under international law” and “prevent and prevent the conduct of illegal operations”, which calls for “a ban on fishing on areas extending far beyond China’s legitimate maritime rights”. annual practice”. Said it.

Separately, Philippine foreign affairs officials said late Monday that the department had summoned a Chinese diplomat in early April to protest alleged harassment by the Chinese coast guard of a research vessel in the South China Sea.

They said they were reviewing other recent violations of Philippine rights at Second Thomas Shoal and Reed Bank, which is within Manila’s exclusive economic zone, but China also claims before taking further diplomatic action.

The department said it called on a Chinese embassy official in Manila to protest “harassment by the Chinese Coast Guard” of the research vessel R/V Legend, which was surveying undersea fault lines along the Manila Trench, west of the northern Philippines. Had been.

Philippine diplomats did not give other details, but those involved in scientific research told The Associated Press last month that a Chinese Coast Guard ship had shadowed the R/V Legend, which had been operating since March 25 between five Filipino scientists and Taiwanese counterparts. was carrying an unspecified number of to 30

A Chinese Coast Guard ship sailed about 2 to 3 nautical miles (3 to 5 kilometers) from the R/V Legend, causing concern among scientists as the research vessel was pulling a long survey cable out to sea, according to the National Carla DiMalanta of the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of the Philippines.

The offshore survey, which was due to conclude on April 13, was a joint project of the Philippine Institute and National Central University in Taiwan and was intended to help map offshore faults and other geological features that could prevent earthquakes, tsunamis and other hazards. could do. The research was partially funded by the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, she said.

Filipino scientists reported the incident to the Philippine government, which had deployed a Coast Guard patrol ship, the BRP Capones, to monitor the research vessel, the Coast Guard in Manila said last month.

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have been locked in a tense regional standoff in the busy waterway for decades.

In previous years, the Philippines has resisted the blocking of Filipino supply ships en route to the second Thomas Shoal by the Chinese Coast Guard, where Filipino Marines keep an eye on a long-stranded Navy ship. Philippine officials said Chinese ships also intercepted Philippine ships exploring underwater for oil and gas at Reed Bank.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news