China urges PH to stop ‘provocations’ after Manila files diplomatic protest

Image from Southeast Asia Globe
  • China has accused the Philippines of ‘provocative activities’ in the West PH Sea
  • This came after Manila filed a diplomatic protest over a confrontation in May
  • Beijing also accused Manila of infringing on China’s sovereignty

China has accused the Philippines of ‘provocative activities’ after Manila filed a diplomatic protest over an incident involving Filipino fishermen and the Chinese Coast Guard in Scarborough Shoal in May.

During a regular press briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the Philippines infringes on China’s sovereignty after it sent military aircraft over the West Philippine Sea.

Scarborough Shoal| Image from Maritime Issues

“China urges the Philippines to immediately stop illegal provocative activities,” said Zhao.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it “resolutely objected to China’s continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges [to] Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols” in the country’s territorial waters.

This was one of the subjects in Manila’s diplomatic protest. China, however, countered by saying the Philippines violated their airspace.

“The Philippines infringes on China’s sovereignty and security by sending military aircraft into air space adjacent to Nansha islands and reefs garrisoned by China,” the Chinese official added.

Image from Washington Times

The other issue raised by DFA is the alleged confiscation of Filipino fishermen’s fishing aggregate by Chinese Coast Guard during the May confrontation.

However, Zhao maintained this was in accordance with their law.

“China’s maritime police have carried out law enforcement activities in the waters of China’s Huangyan Island in accordance with the law,” he explained in justifying the confiscation.

China lays claim to virtually the whole of South China Sea with its so-called ‘nine-dash line’ by invoking historic rights to territories also claimed by surrounding nations including the Philippines.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected this claim and ruled it has no legal basis in the international law.