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Top diplomat Locsin swears at China online, tells nation to leave West Philippine Sea
In this Jan. 21, 2021 photo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. delivers his intervention during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.
DFA

Top diplomat Locsin swears at China online, tells nation to leave West Philippine Sea

(Agence France-Presse) - May 3, 2021 - 2:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' top diplomat unambiguously told Beijing where to go on Monday, as the government insisted Chinese vessels were still illegally lingering in the West Philippine Sea.

"China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see... O... GET THE FUCK OUT," Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted.

The latest spat between Manila and Beijing over the resource-rich waters — which China claims almost entirely — flared up in March after hundreds of Chinese boats were spotted inside the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone.

China has refused repeated calls from the Philippines to withdraw the boats, and tensions have intensified as Manila steps up maritime patrols in the area.

Locsin frequently uses strong language on Twitter and defended his latest outburst by saying: "Usual suave diplomatic speak gets nothing done." 

He also likened China to "an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend".

The order came as his foreign affairs department accused China's coastguard of "belligerent actions" against Filipino boats involved in maritime drills near the contested Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

China-controlled Panatag is one of the region's richest fishing grounds and a flashpoint between the two countries, which have rival claims.

The department said it has lodged a diplomatic protest over the Chinese vessels' actions towards the Southeast Asian country's coastguard during patrols and training exercises near the reef last month.

The department said the presence of the Chinese boats was a "blatant infringement of Philippine sovereignty".

China's embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Panatag Shoal is 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the Philippines' main island of Luzon.

China seized it in 2012 and has subsequently ignored a 2016 international tribunal decision that declared its historical claim over most of the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea, to be without basis.

Once-frosty ties between the two countries had warmed under President Rodrigo Duterte, who set aside the ruling in exchange for promises of trade and investment that critics say have largely not materialised.

Facing growing domestic pressure to take a harder line, Duterte said last week the Philippine maritime patrols would continue, insisting its sovereignty over the waters was not negotiable.

PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES SOUTH CHINA SEA TEODORO LOCSIN JR. WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 3, 2021 - 8:58am

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.

May 3, 2021 - 8:58am

The DFA protests the illegal presence of Chinese Coast Guard vessels in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal and their belligerent actions against the Philippine Coast Guard. 

DFA also rejects the statement of Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin that China enjoys sovereignty over Panatag Shoal/Bajo de Masinloc. 

"China has no enforcement rights in these areas... The unauthorized and lingering presence of these vessels is a blatant infringement of Philippine sovereignty," the DFA says in a statement.

April 28, 2021 - 12:24pm

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. orders the filing of another diplomatic protest against China following the statement of a Chinese official on the Philippine Coast Guard's exercises in the West Philippine Sea.

"They can say what they want from the Chinese mainland; we continue to assert from our waters by right of international law what we won in The Hague. But we must not fail to protest. @DFAPHL have we fired off a diplomatic protest? Do it now," says Locsin on Twitter.

April 25, 2021 - 1:08pm

The Philippine Coast Guard sends BRP Malapascua and BRP Francisco Dagohoy (MMOV 5002) — a fisheries bureau vessel manned by PCG personnel — to Pagasa Island in the West Philippine Sea for maritime exercises.

Pagasa Island is in the Kalayaan Island Group of Palawan province.

April 23, 2021 - 10:29am

Two new diplomatic protests have been lodged against China as of April 21, the Department of Foreign Affairs says.

These are in addition to the daily protests over the continuing presence of Chinese vessels in Julian Felipe Reef following reports that at least 160 Chinese maritime militia ships are still in Philippine waters.

"The continued swarming and threatening presence of the Chinese vessels creates an atmosphere of instability and is a blatant disregard of the commitments by China to promote peace and stability in the region," the DFA says.

April 18, 2021 - 2:44pm

The Department of National Defense denounces as "irresponsible propaganda" social media posts claiming that retired and active military officers have withdrawn support for President Rodrigo Duterte over the situation in the West Philippine Sea.

"Such disinformation is an act of reckless agitation emanating from detractors, who have a limited and myopic appreciation of issues," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says.

Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, earlier Sunday also disputed the social media rumor, as well as claims of "'warplanes' from various countries taking off and landing in Clark Airbase." 

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