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Philippines files diplomatic protest vs China for Ayungin Shoal incidents

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Philippines files diplomatic protest vs China for Ayungin Shoal incidents
This file photo taken on March 29, 2014 shows a Philippine Navy vessel that has been grounded since 1999 to assert the nation's sovereignty over the Second Thomas Shoal, a remote South China Sea reef also claimed by China.
AFP / Jay Directo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed a diplomatic protest against China over recent maritime incidents in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), which is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf. 

This is the country's third protest against China in the last two weeks. 

In a series of tweets on Friday evening, the Foreign Affairs department explained that it lodged the protest against China after it reportedly conducted illegal fishing activities, shadowed Philippine boats on a rotation and reprovision mission through the vessels of its coast guard, and blocked the shoal's entrance with buoys and fish nets. 

"CN [China] has no right to fish, monitor, or interfere with PH’s (Philippines') legitimate activities therein," DFA said. 

It added that the country is calling on China to comply with its obligations under international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and 2016 Hague Arbitral that ruled in favor of the Philippines. 

Ayungin Shoal is within the country's 200-nautical mile EEZ and continental shelf, the Hague Arbitral said. China, however, is also claiming the area as its own. Last year, the Chinese Coast Guard was reported to have fired a water canon against Philippine supply boats going to the shoal, forcing them to abort their mission, according to the DFA. 

RELATED: US warns China after Ayungin incident

Days ago, the Philippines protested the return of over 100 Chinese vessels on April 4 which illegally operated within Julian Felipe (Whitsun Reef)— an area in the West Philippine Sea— and the waters surrounding it. — Angelica Y. Yang with reports from Kaycee Valmonte
 

AYUNGIN SHOAL

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