www.republika-online.com

Loading...

5 Western nations side with PH over WPS kerfuffle

Republika

In the long-standing dispute between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea, five more countries have taken the former’s side.


Australia, Japan, France, Germany and Canada joined the United Nations in reminding China to follow international maritime laws and the 2016 Hague ruling that rejected Beijing’s claims over the sea which included the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).


Japanese ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko said: “Japan strongly opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo on maritime issues and are concerned with recent destabilizing incidents in the [West Philippine Sea].”


Meanwhile, France and Germany, in a joint statement expressed their “serious concerns” regarding the Nov. 19 incident between the Chinese Coast Guard and two Philippine boats near Ayungin Shoal. They urged China to “refrain from conduct that endangers stability in [the] Indopacific.”


The Chinese Coast Guard on the eve of Nov. 19 water-cannoned two wooden-hulled Philippines boats on a supply mission to Ayungin Shoal resulting in the wreckage of one outrigger and causing them to abandon the mission.


Department of National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana has reportedly been in constant communication with Chinese ambassador to Manila, Huang Xilian, who promised that Chinese vessels would no longer interfere with supply provision to Filipino forces on the shoal.


Beijing claimed that the Philippine boats were trespassing, but Lorenzana said that Chinese vessels were the ones “violating our sovereign rights within our exclusive economic zone.”


The EEZ was awarded to the PH by the 1982 United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and ratified by China. This includes 370 kilometers from the Philippine mainland.


“They have no right to impede, prevent or harass our ships within our EEZ, whether we are fishing or bringing supplies to our detachment in the [BRP] Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal,” Lorenzana stated.


According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Command (Wescom) chief Vice Adm. Ramil Roberto Enriquez, the damaged outrigger was under repair in order to resume the supply mission.


The United States, with whom the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty, attested that they would come to the country’s aid should an armed attack on Philippine public vessels occur.


Same Category

News

Palace says pandemic may end this year

Republika
News

Metro, 38 other areas under Alert Level 1

Republika
News

Robredo endorsed by over 500 nuns and priests

Republika
News

Russia invades Ukraine

Republika