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4月5日のまにら新聞から

Lorenzana slams Chinese Embassy's "utter disregard" of international law

[ 391 words|2021.4.5|英字 (English) ]

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said the "utter disregard" by the Chinese Embassy in Manila of international law is "appalling."

Lorenzana made the statement after the Chinese Embassy in Manila slammed him for demanding the 44 Chinese vessels to leave the Julian Felipe Reef.

The Embassy said the area is considered by Beijing as part of “China’s Nansha Islands” and traditional fishing ground for its fishermen.

“The utter disregard by the Chinese Embassy in Manila of international law especially the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) to which China is a party is appalling,” Lorenzana said.

“Its nine-dash line claim is without any factual or legal basis. This, together with its so-called historical claim, was flatly and categorically rejected by the arbitral tribunal,” he added.

Lorenzana said the Philippines’ claims stand on solid ground, while China’s does not.

“China should respect Philippine sovereignty over the Kalayaan Islands, and its sovereign rights over its Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by UNCLOS and affirmed by the arbitral award,” he said.

The Defense secretary said the continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine Sea.

“They have done this before at Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc and at Panganiban Reef brazenly violating Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights under international law,” he said.

“As a party to the DOC (Declaration of Conduct), China should refrain from conducting activities that disturb regional and international peace and security,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a tweet, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said China’s claim that Julian Felipe Reef is a traditional fishing ground for the Chinese does not constitute a claim of possession.

“Oddly, if it is a strategy and not idiocy then swarming accomplishes nothing; they were doing this in consonance with claim of traditional fishing. Chinese were doing this in 1s, 2s and 3s,” Locsin said.

“Coming and going fishing makes no claim of possession per se; it is only when Chinese embassy claimed the area as Chinese territory?as evidenced by the swarm?that it becomes problematic. Considering a demarche,” he added.

Earlier, around 200 Chinese vessels were seen in the Julian Felipe Reef, which is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone, but the Chinese Embassy in Manila denied that the ships were operated by its maritime militia personnel. Ella Dionisio/DMS