Philippines to protest China over Coast Guard action

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MOSCOW, January 25 – RIA Novosti. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the country would file a protest with China over reports that the Chinese coast guard had driven Filipino fishermen out of the shallow waters of Ayungin.
In early January, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that a Chinese vessel had driven a Filipino fishing boat out of the disputed Ayungin Shallows. The incident comes just weeks after Marcos and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on a “compromise” during the Filipino leaders’ trip to Beijing Jan. 3-5. During the visit, the countries signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint mechanism for direct communication.

Beijing and Manila agree on cooperation in the South China Sea

“We immediately used the direct communication mechanism that I mentioned to contact the Chinese government. But this will not prevent us from continuing to make an official protest and send a note verbale about this,” the Philippine newspaper Manila Times quoted Marcos as saying.
The president added that he hoped the Philippines and China would soon come to an agreement that would allow Filipinos to fish in peace.
“I hope that we can come to some kind of agreement, because I don’t see any benefit for the Chinese in this surveillance of our boats. These fishing boats are not armed. They pose no threat to anyone,” Marcos said.
For decades, China has been arguing with several countries in the Asia-Pacific region over the territorial ownership of a number of islands in the South China Sea, on the shelf of which significant hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered. First of all, we are talking about the Xisha archipelago (Paracel Islands), the Spratly Islands, one of which is the island of Pag-asa (Titu), and Huangyan (Scarborough Reef). Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines are involved to varying degrees in this dispute.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in July 2016, following a lawsuit filed by the Philippines, that China had no grounds for territorial claims in the South China Sea. The court decided that the disputed territories of the Spratly (Nansha) archipelago are not islands and do not form an exclusive economic zone. Then Beijing replied that it does not consider the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague valid, does not recognize and does not accept.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr is the new President of the Philippines

Translation by RJ983

Disclaimer: Via RIA Novosti – Checked

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