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8月22日のまにら新聞から

Palace says protest vs China over incident in South China Sea no effect on COVID-19 vaccine talks

[ 250 words|2020.8.22|英字 (English) ]

The Philippines' recent diplomatic protest to China over an incident in the West Philippine Sea would not affect negotiations on the country's possible acquisition of coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19) being developed in Beijing, Malacanang said on Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in an interview over state-run PTV4, said the Department of Foreign Affairs lodges diplomatic protest when it sees there is a violation of the country's sovereign rights.

"It won't (affect)," he said when asked if the DFA's filing of a diplomatic protest on Thursday over the illegal confiscation by the Chinese Coast Guard of fish aggregating devices of Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc last May could affect the country's talks with China for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"A protest is being made by our diplomats if they see that there is a violation of our sovereignty or what we call as sovereign rights," he said.

Roque also expressed belief that the protest would not have an impact on the overall "close ties" of the two countries.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed interest to secure COVID-19 vaccines from China and Russia once they are available in the market.

In the same protest, the DFA said the Philippines also "resolutely objected China's continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea."

China has been claiming almost the entire South China Sea, including those areas within the 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, which Manila calls as West Philippine Sea. Celerina Monte/DMS