China dismisses Philippines’ fishing ban protest, calls it an ‘unwarranted accusation’

China dismisses Philippinesâ fishing ban protest, calls it an âunwarranted accusationâ
This handout photo taken on April 27, 2021 and received from the Philippine Coastguard on May 5, 2021 shows Philippine coastguard personnel aboard their ship BRP Cabra monitoring Chinese vessels anchored at Sabina Shoal, a South China Sea outcrop claimed by Manila located about 135 kilometres (73 nautical miles) west of the Philippine island of Palawan.
Handout / Philippine Coastguard / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — China is rejecting the Philippines’ diplomatic protest against Beijing’s unilateral fishing moratorium, saying Manila has aired an “unwarranted accusation.” 

The annual fishing moratorium began on the first of May and is expected to be in place until August 16. The Philippines said the ban “has no basis in law” and underpins the two countries’ bilateral relations. 

“We hope the Philippine side can view it in an objective and correct perspective, and earnestly fulfill the obligations as a littoral state of the South China Sea to jointly promote sustainable development of fishery in the South China Sea,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a statement sent to reporters on Thursday.

The ban covers some areas of the South China Sea up to north of the 12 degrees north latitude. Manila says this extends up to some parts of the West Philippine Sea that the South China Sea is within. 

Every year, the Philippines protests against the ban and has urged China to comply with its international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 arbitral ruling that awarded the Philippines the right over its exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.

However, China maintains that the annual fishing moratorium is a “normal measure of protecting marine biological resources in waters under China’s jurisdiction.”

It added that it is also a “manifestation” of its compliance with its international obligations, namely the UNCLOS.

Beijing failed to mention the Hague arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea.




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