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5月22日のまにら新聞から

Open Scarborough Shoal for international inspection: NSC said as China denies destructive activity of its fishermen

[ 413 words|2024.5.22|英字 (English) ]

The Philippine government reiterated its challenge to China to open the Scarborough Shoal for international inspection after the Chinese Foreign Ministry denied the alleged destruction by the Chinese fishermen in South China Sea during the term of the previous administration.

"In the face of China's repeated denials, we call China to open up Bajo de Masinloc to international inspection and we also call on the 3rd - party inspector from relevant United Nations bodies or respected environmental organization to determine the true situation therein in order to protect the environment," National Security Council Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya said on Tuesday.

In a press conference in Beijing on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed that the Philippines is wrongly accusing China over the severe degradation in Scarborough Shoal.

"I noted earlier media reports saying that according to some in the Philippines, large amounts of coral reefs surrounding Zhongye Dao are severely degraded, the damage is man-made, and the only suspect is China. Let me make it very clear, China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao, including Zhongye Dao, and the adjacent waters," he said.

"The Philippines illegally occupied China’s Zhongye Dao and has carried out frequent activities in the adjacent waters of Zhongye Dao. If any environmental degradation appears in those waters, it is the Philippines who needs to reflect on its behavior, instead of wrongly accusing China," he added.

Wang made his remarks after the photos of harvesting the giant clams and other marine species in Scarborough Shoal from 2016 to 2019 was revealed by the Philippine government for the first time on Monday.

PCG Spokesperson on the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said Chinese fishermen continued to illegally harvest giant clams despite the 2016 decision of the arbitral tribunal nullifying China's claim over the South China Sea.

Malaya stressed that "giant clams, among others, are declared protected species under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species with Wild Fauna and Flaura (CITIES)."

He also reiterated that "China has no legal rights over Bajo de Masinloc and all of its expansive claims over the entire South China Sea have been invalidated and nullified by the 2016 Arbitral ruling."

"In fact, the Arbitral Tribunal in its decision stated that 'The Tribunal also found that Chinese authorities were aware that Chinese fishermen have harvested China Sea (using Method that inflict severe damage on the coral reef environment) and had not fulfilled their obligations to stop such activities'," he added. Robina Asido/DMS