Philippines should protest Chinaâs new moves in South China Sea â Del Rosario
“These recent events in the South China Sea remind us Filipinos to be eternally vigilant in the defense of our country’s territory and sovereign rights even as we confront a very grave threat as COVID-19,” Del Rosario said.
AFP/File
Philippines should protest China’s new moves in South China Sea – Del Rosario
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government should protest China’s establishment of two new districts to govern the Paracels and Spratlys in the South China Sea, former foreign affairs chief Albert del Rosario said yesterday.

The announcement by the Chinese ministry of civil affairs on April 18 on the establishment of new districts in the disputed waters came at a time when the world was busy addressing the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The announcement came in the wake of the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese vessel, and China’s establishment of two research stations on its artificial islands in Fiery Cross and Subi reefs.

“These recent events in the South China Sea remind us Filipinos to be eternally vigilant in the defense of our country’s territory and sovereign rights even as we confront a very grave threat as COVID-19,” Del Rosario said. “As we struggle against a pandemic that poses a real threat to our lives, we must not also risk losing our national patrimony upheld by international law and meant for present and future generations of Filipinos,” he said.

“China has been relentless in exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic,” he pointed out.

The former foreign affairs chief said China continues to pursue its illegal and expansive claims in the South China Sea to the prejudice of Filipinos, the ASEAN states and the international community as a whole.

“We therefore respectfully urge our government to protest this recent action of China, as it rightly did over the sinking of the Vietnamese fishing boat on April 8, 2020,” Del Rosario said in a statement issued on Sunday evening.

Vietnam has filed an official protest against Beijing over the sinking of its fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard ship.

“In these trying times, we also respectfully urge the Chinese leadership to uphold global unity and mutual trust, and not to engage in needless provocations that may only be seen as abusive and may worsen the situation currently being confronted by the world,” he said.

China’s Paracel administration will be based on Woody Island, called Yongxing Island by Beijing, while the Spratly administration will be placed in Fiery Cross Reef, which the Chinese call Yongshu Reef.

On April 8, the Philippines expressed deep concern over the reported sinking of a Vietnamese fishing vessel in the South China Sea by China.

The coronavirus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

ALBERT DEL ROSARIO CHINA PHILIPPINES SOUTH CHINA SEA SPRATLY ISLANDS WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

China said a US spy plane entered a no-fly zone used by the Chinese military for live-fire drills, branding it an act of provocation, state media said Tuesday.

The U-2 reconnaissance jet's flight over an area in northern China violated safety rules between the two nations, Xinhua reported, citing Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian.

"The US action could easily have resulted in misjudgments and even accidents," said the report, adding "that the move was an obvious provocation." — AFP

July 14, 2020 - 7:34am

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States would treat Beijing's pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up pressure on another front.

"We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo says in a statement.

The United States has long rejected Beijing's sweeping claims in the South ChinaSea, aligning itself with Vietnam, the Philippines and other US partners in the region. — AFP

July 3, 2020 - 7:28am

The Pentagon says it is "concerned" about Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, noting the maneuvers will "further destabilize" the region.

"The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon says in a statement.

The activities "further destabilize the situation" in the area claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, it says. — AFP

April 30, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Philippines says it strongly protests "the establishment of the so-called districts of 'Nansha' and 'Xisha' under the supposed administrative jurisdiction of its self-declared 'Sansha City'" which would cover parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs says it has protested since 2012 the "unlawful establishment of Sansha City" that includes Philippine territory and maritime zones in the WPS, including the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc.

The Philippines also protests the dseignation of Kagitingan Reef in the Kalayaan Island Group "as adinistrative center for the so-called 'Nansha district'," saying the reef is part of the KIG and an integral part of Philippine territory.

April 27, 2020 - 1:41pm

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution to urge the executive branch to "exert legal and diplomatic pressure" on China over its activities in the West Philippine and to have the regional giant pay for enviromental damage in the area.

"China's sense of entitlement to our seas has caused severe and irreparable harm to our ecosystems," Hontiveros says in a statement on the filing of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 369.

Even if the Senate, the majority of which supports the Duterte administration and its foreign policy with China, adopts the resolution, it is non-binding on the executive branch.

"Hindi tayo kolonya, kaya panahon nang singilin ng gobyerno ang Tsina (We are not a colony so it's about time that we have China pay)," she also says.

In her resolution, Hontiveros says "unlawful Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea are estimated to have caused at last P33 billion in damage annually to marine ecosystems within the Philippines' continental shelf and exclusive economic zone" since 2013, the year that the Philippines filed its arbitration case.

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