Philippines summons Chinese ambassador over latest incidents in disputed waters

Bangkok, Dec 11 (EFE).- The Philippine government announced Monday that it has filed a diplomatic complaint and summoned Chinese ambassador Huang Xilian over incidents in disputed waters over the weekend.

Philippine Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teresita Daza, during a press conference in Manila, denounced that Chinese ships used water cannons against Philippine ships on Saturday and Sunday in the waters that Manila considers to be within its exclusive economic zone.

A first incident took place on Saturday near the Scarborough Shoal, about 220 kilometers (137 miles) from the Philippine island of Luzon, and the second took place on Sunday in the vicinity of the Ayungin sandbank, about 184 kilometers west of the Philippine island of Palawan, both in the South China Sea.

“China’s action on the 9th of December, dousing of Philippines vessels using water cannons are serious actions aimed at preventing Philippine authorities from undertaking legitimate activities around the area,” said Daza.

“These actions violate the Philippine sovereignty and jurisdiction and are a threat to peace, good order and security,” she added.

The spokesperson underlined that the resupply tasks carried out by the Philippine ships occurred within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

Daza recalled that the Court of Arbitration in The Hague agreed in its favor in 2016 in the sovereignty dispute with Beijing over Scarborough and other islands in the South China Sea.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. denounced Sunday on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, the “aggression and provocations perpetrated by the China Coast Guard and their Chinese Maritime Militia against our vessels and personnel over the weekend.”

He further stressed that the Philippines would “defend and protect our nation’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea.”

China and the Philippines have a conflict over the sovereignty of several islands and atolls in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims almost entirely and where it also has territorial disputes with Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei.

Tensions between the two countries have increased in recent months, as the Philippine president has been strengthening his defense alliance with the United States and reversing the rapprochement with Beijing undertaken by his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte. EFE


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