MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday filed two diplomatic protests against China over its latest moves in the South China Sea that violated both Philippine sovereignty and international law.
“At 5:17 pm today the Chinese embassy received 2 diplomatic protests: 1. on the pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine waters and 2. declaring parts of Philippine territory as part of Hainan province,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. wrote on Twitter.
China recently announced that a Chinese district will be established to govern the islands and reefs of Spratlys and that a “district government” will be stationed on Fiery Cross Reef.
The Spratlys, where Fiery Cross Reef or Kagitingan Reef is located, is claimed by the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The top diplomat did not provide details on the two issues but said both are “violations of international law and Philippine sovereignty.”
“China created Nansha district under the jurisdiction of Sansha City, akin to something we already protested in 2012. Old hat but bears repeating the protest,” he said in a succeeding tweet.
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a landmark decision invalidating the nine-dash line, China’s delineation that claims nearly 80 percent of the resource-rich South China Sea. Beijing, up until now, refused to acknowledge the ruling. (PNA)