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11月3日のまにら新聞から

DFA says it is China which is ''intruding into Philippine waters''

[ 427 words|2023.11.3|英字 (English) ]

"It is China that is intruding into Philippine waters", the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement Thursday following China's accusation that a Philippine military vessel illegally entered their waters.

The DFA said that the accusation of China on the alleged intrusion of BRP Conrado Yap (PS39) in their territory near the Bajo de Masinloc on 30 October 2023 "has no legal basis and only serves to raise tensions in the West Philippine Sea."

"Bajo de Masinloc is an integral part of the Philippine territory and over which the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction. The 2016 Arbitral Award upheld its status as a high-tide feature that has no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf of its own as opposed to an island as defined under Article 121(3) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," it stated.

"The Philippines’ conduct of maritime patrols in the waters around Bajo de Masinloc is a legitimate and routine act of a sovereign country in its territory and territorial sea and is part of the Philippines’ administrative responsibility," the DFA added.

In Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Col Medel Aguilar said that China should stop its illegal activities within the territorial waters of the Philippines.

"They should not be there and they should not harass our fishermen, so they should stop all of their activities there," he said.

The DFA noted that the Philippines as the sovereign state has no obligation to seek the approval of another country when navigating its own territorial sea.

"Beyond the territorial sea of Bajo de Masinloc is the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf generated from the main Philippine archipelago, over which the Philippines exercises sovereign rights and jurisdiction," said DFA.

"The 2016 Arbitral Award categorically declared that China’s claims to historic rights, or other rights or jurisdiction, over the maritime areas in the South China Sea within the so-called “nine dash line” are contrary to UNCLOS."

The agency also reminded the Chinese authorities "that its apparent exercise of maritime law enforcement powers, interference with Philippine vessels, harassment and intimidation of Filipino fisherfolk, or any other activity that infringes upon the Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in Bajo de Masinloc and the West Philippine Sea are violations of international law, particularly UNCLOS and the Arbitral Award."

"The Philippines has consistently demanded that Chinese vessels in Bajo de Masinloc leave the area immediately.The Department will continue to be vigilant in protecting our country’s sovereignty and safeguarding the rights provided for under UNCLOS," it stated. Robina Asido/DMS