Philippines protests China’s “illegal” presence in the South China Sea | South China Sea News

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Manila has filed a diplomatic protest against the “continuous and long-term” presence of Chinese ships near Zhongye Island.

The Philippines protested that China “continued illegal existence and activities” near the islands it owns in the South China Sea.

in a statement On Saturday, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it had lodged a diplomatic protest against the “continuous deployment, long-term existence, and illegal activities of Chinese offshore assets and fishing vessels near Zhongye Island or Baise Island.”

It asked Beijing to withdraw ships from the area and said: “Pag-asa Island is an inalienable part of the Philippines and it has sovereignty and jurisdiction.”

Beijing did not immediately comment.

The latest petition is at least the 84th diplomatic protest of the Philippines against China since President Duterte took office in 2016.

It comes from Escalating tensions Hundreds of Chinese ships entered the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines. Manila says it believes these ships are operated by militias, while Beijing says they are fishing boats that escape bad weather.

Zhongye or Pag-asa is located approximately 451 kilometers (280 miles) off the coast of the Philippines. The island is the largest of the eight coral reefs, shoals and islands controlled by Manila in the Spratly Islands.

Just 25 kilometers (15 miles) away, China built a mini city on the Zhubi Reef with a runway, hangar, and surface-to-air missiles.

In 2016, an international court declared invalid China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea, but Beijing ignored this decision.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have also put forward competing claims on multiple islands and features in the region.



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