Fishing activities

3 new diplomatic protests filed against Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea


Patricia Lourdes Viray –

September 30, 2021 | 2:25 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines – The top Philippine diplomat on Thursday ordered the filing of three new diplomatic protests against Beijing’s activities in the western Philippine Sea.

In a series of tweets, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. ordered the DFA to file a protest against “Chinese radio challenges illegally launched against Philippine maritime patrols.”

“Now file our protest against China’s relentless and illegal restriction on Filipino fishermen from carrying out legitimate fishing activities in Bajo de Masinloc,” Locsin said on Twitter.

In a separate tweet, Locsin also ordered the filing of another diplomatic protest against the continued presence of Chinese fishing vessels near Iroquois Reef in the western Philippine Sea.

Locsin, however, did not provide further details on the protests.

This year alone, the Philippines has lodged multiple diplomatic protests against the presence and action of Chinese Coast Guard vessels at Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, as well as the presence of hundreds of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

In March, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported the presence of more than 200 Chinese militia ships near the Julian Felipe (Whitsun) reef, prompting the DFA to file daily protests for each day Beijing does not withdraw. its ships in the Region.

In April, Locsin also ordered a protest to be filed over remarks by a Chinese official calling on the Philippines to stop their exercises in the West Philippine Sea.

The PCG has increased its presence and activities in the country’s exclusive economic zone in the western Philippine Sea following reports of Chinese ships in the region.

Coastguard patrols resulted in the dispersal of foreign ships after a radio challenge from Philippine authorities.

The Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative noted the “dramatic” increase in Philippine patrols, which reflects the country’s determination to assert its sovereign rights.

“The increased patrol efforts by the Philippines send a message that Manila is determined to assert its rights. But they are pale in comparison to the near-permanent presence of the Chinese coastguard and militia throughout the South China Sea,” he said. the think tank said in a report released in May. .