DFA chief: “China has no law enforcement rights” in the area; says China’s Coast Guard should “back off”
(Eagle News) – Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.,said he had already “conveyed in the strongest terms” to the Chinese embassy the country’s condemnation of China’s latest action in the Ayungin Shoal.
Locsin issued the statement on Thursday, Nov. 18, after the Western Command in Palawan reported that on Nov. 16, “three Chinese Coast Guard vessels blocked and water cannoned two Philippine supply boats en route to transport food supplies to Philippine military personnel in Ayungin Shoal.”
Locsin said that China should “back off” noting that the acts of the Chinese Coast Guard vessels were illegal.
“China has no law enforcement rights in and around these areas. They must take heed and back off,” Locsin said in a statement.
“I have conveyed in the strongest terms to H.E. Huang Xilian, Ambassador of China and to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing our outrage, condemnation and protest of the incident,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary said in a statement.
“I reminded China that a public vessel is covered by the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said.
-PHL to continue to provide supplies to Ayungin Shoal-
Locsin said this latest action by the Chinese Coast Guard was a “failure to exercise self-retrainint” on China’s part that could threaten the “special relationship between the Philippines and China that President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi Jin Ping have worked hard to nurture.”
The DFA chief also stressed that the Philippines would continue to provide supplies to its troops in Ayungin Shoal, also known as the Second Thomas Shoal.
“We do not ask permission to do what we need to do in our territory,” Locsin added.
The Ayungin Shoal is occupied by Philippine troops and is part of the country’s territory.
It is a shoal or atoll in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles west of Palawan.
(Eagle News Service)