THE Philippines through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has filed another diplomatic protest against China over “incessant deployment, prolonged presence, and illegal activities of maritime assets and fishing vessels in the vicinity of the Pag-asa islands.”
The DFA, which filed the protest on Friday, also demanded the immediate withdrawal of Chinese vessels in the said area.
Foreign Affairs Acting Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and Asean Affairs and Philippine Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Leader Elizabeth Buensuceso said the presence of the Chinese vessels also threaten regional stability and security besides infringing on the sovereignty of the Philippines.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs lodged a diplomatic protest yesterday against the incessant deployment, prolonged presence, and illegal activities of Chinese maritime assets and fishing vessels in the vicinity of the Pag-asa islands, demanding that China withdraw these vessels,” the DFA said in a statement on Saturday.
The filing of the protest comes after the Philippine and Chinese governments recognized the importance of dialogue to ease tensions in the South China Sea during the resumption of its bilateral consultation mechanism (BCM) meeting last May 21.”There was mutual recognition of the importance of dialogue in easing tensions and understanding each country’s position and intentions in the area. Both sides acknowledged the importance of addressing differences in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality to pave the way for practical cooperation and initiatives,” a joint statement issued after the May 21 meeting stated. SOVEREIGNPH