Philippines summons China ambassador amid escalating tensions in South China Sea – JURIST

The Philippine Division of International Affairs announced Tuesday that it summoned the Chinese language Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, to lodge a diplomatic protest within the wake of the newest confrontation between Chinese language and Filipino vessels within the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) close to the Second Thomas Shoal (Ayungin Shoal) and the Scarborough shoal.

In its announcement, the overseas ministry acknowledged:

The Philippine Authorities firmly requested China to right away undertake the next actions:

(1) direct its vessels to stop and desist from its unlawful actions towards Philippines vessels, and to cease interfering in authentic Philippine Authorities actions, or lingering in waters round Ayungin Shoal, and doing any motion that violates the Philippines’ sovereign rights and jurisdiction in its unique financial zone; 

(2) adjust to its obligations underneath worldwide legislation, together with the 1982 UNCLOS, the 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration, and the 1972 COLREGS; and 

(3) adhere to its commitments underneath the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).

The diplomatic protest comes after constructing tensions between the Philippines and China got here to a head Sunday when the Philippine authorities alleged {that a} boat carrying the Philippine Chief of Employees of the Armed Forces, Basic Romeo Brawner, was sprayed with water cannons and rammed by a Chinese language Maritime Militia (CMM) vessel. The China Coast Guard (CCG) launched a statement shortly after the incident denying the Philippine authorities’s claims, alleging that three Philippine Bureau of Fisheries ships entered into Chinese language territorial waters regardless of being instructed not to take action, necessitating a “skilled, standardized, authentic and authorized” response. China claims that this space is just not a shoal however an island chain, making it Chinese language territory. That is opposite to findings of a 2016 Everlasting Court docket of Arbitration ruling claiming that the realm is a low-tide elevation and a part of the continental shelf, making it a part of the Philippines’ unique financial zone (EEZ).

A US Division of Protection spokesperson denounced China’s actions, stating, “By impeding the protected operations of Philippine vessels carrying provisions to Filipino service members stationed at Second Thomas Shoal, the PRC interfered in lawful Philippine maritime operations and in Philippine vessels’ train of excessive seas freedom of navigation.” The US has had a continued military presence within the space, supporting the Philippine authorities’s territorial claims.

That is the newest in a prolonged historical past of disputes between the Philippines and China over territory within the South China Sea. Days earlier than the newest battle, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) deployed two ships to Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun Reef) in response to elevated CMM exercise within the space. In September, the PCG stated that they eliminated a floating barrier close to the Scarborough Shoal positioned by China to forestall Filipino fishermen from utilizing the standard fishing grounds within the space. In 2021, China passed a law permitting the CCG to fireplace upon overseas vessels or buildings within the disputed areas of the South China Sea, receiving robust condemnation from the Philippines. Later in 2021, the Philippine authorities lodged a diplomatic protest towards China, alleging that China has been deploying navy vessels within the disputed space.

The Philippines is just not the one nation in dispute with China over territory within the South China Sea. Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have competing maritime claims towards China within the area. The realm is a crucial delivery route, wealthy in pure sources together with oil and pure gasoline. It’s also an ancestral fishing floor for a number of nations claiming sovereignty.

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