Philippines files diplomatic protest vs China’s fishing ban that covers West PH Sea

Kaycee Valmonte - Philstar.com
Philippines files diplomatic protest vs Chinaâs fishing ban that covers West PH Sea
Photo shows a 30-foot navigational buoy bearing the Philippine flag and deployed by the Philippine Coast Guard at the West Philippine Sea.
Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines had once again filed a diplomatic protest against China’s annual fishing moratorium in some areas of the South China Sea for three and a half months as it extends to some parts of the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said it protested against China’s unilateral fishing ban in a diplomatic note dated May 30. 

“The DFA reiterated its continuing protest of China’s annual practice of declaring a fishing ban over areas that extend far beyond China’s legitimate maritime entitlements under the 1982 UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” it said in a statement

The department added that the ban “has no basis in law, and undermines the mutual trust, confidence, and respect that should underpin bilateral relations, as affirmed most recently by President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi Jinping during their Telesummit on April 8.” 

The Philippines had always protested against China’s annual fishing ban as it covers some of the areas that have already been recognized as part of Philippine territory. 

READ: Manila protests Beijing's unilateral fishing ban in South China Sea 

This year, China imposed the fishing moratorium on May 1 and is seen to continue until August 16 this year. The ban covers some areas of the South China Sea up to waters north of the 12 degrees north latitude.

Earlier this month, Vietnam also condemned the annual fishing ban for violating its sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction. 

Back home, the DFA cited the 2016 arbitral ruling that provided that Manila has the right over the living resources over its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea, which the South China Sea falls within.

The Philippines once again is urging China “to comply with its obligations under international law,” specifically the UNCLOS and the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea, and to stop illegal activities that violate Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in its own waters.

Earlier on Tuesday, the DFA summoned a senior official of the Chinese Embassy in Manila following a reported harassment of a maritime research vessel by the Chinese Coast Guard.

READ: Philippines summons Chinese envoy, protests harassment of research ship in West Philippine Sea 



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