The Senate foreign relations committee conducted an executive session on Thursday to discuss China’s coast guard law that has caused concern among members of Congress.
The committee chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd discussed other foreign affairs matters before going into an executive session to discuss “sensitive” matters.
Notably, a Senate resolution filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros is “urging the executive branch to exert legal and diplomatic pressure upon the Chinese government to cease all ecologically destructive activities in the West Philippine Sea and to pay reparations for the damage already done.” The South China Seas is also known as the West Philippine Sea.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has already filed a diplomatic protest against the China’s coast guard law, which allows its ships to fire on any foreign intruder on China’s territorial interests. Specfically, the new law allows China’s coast guard “take all necessary measures, including the use of weapons when national sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction are being illegally infringed upon by foreign organizations or individuals at sea.”
However, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said the Philippines is making “false accusations” against the law. The Chinese embassy claimed that the new coast guard law conforms with international conventions and does not target any specific country.
While that statement sounds peaceful, China has never backed out of its claim over the entire South China Sea. SOVEREIGNPH