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Get Out: DFA Tells China Why it Must Leave Philippine Reef

DFA tells Chinese Embassy to respect Philippine officials.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Maxar Technologies via Agence France-Presse

Manila on Monday reiterated its demand for Beijing to pull out its ships from a Philippine reef, listing down reasons why China must get out.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it would issue daily diplomatic protests until China removes its fishing vessels near the Julian Felipe Reef. The presence of such vessels "demonstrate lack of good faith" in the ongoing negotiations on a binding code of conduct in the disputed waters, the ministry said.

"The continued deployment, lingering presence and activities of Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea and China’s tolerance thereof blatantly infringe upon Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction," the DFA said in a statement.

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It also denounced the statement of the Chinese Embassy that lied about bad weather conditions which prompted the vessels to seek shelter.

"The Embassy statement contained blatant falsehoods such as claims of adverse weather conditions when there were none and the supposed non-existence of maritime militia vessels in the area. The statement also attempted to promote the clearly false narrative of China’s expansive and illegitimate claims in the West Philippine Sea," the DFA said.

The DFA's statement supported Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana's earlier call that  China should order its ships to leave the reef.


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Manila claims Julian Felipe Reef as part of the Kalayaan Islands, which largely overlap with what China calls Nansha. It also renamed the waters the West Philippine Sea. The island chain is known internationally as the Spratlys.

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The Chinese Embassy called Lorenzana's statement "perplexing" and said the Philippine defense chief should  "avoid any unprofessional remarks which may further fan irrational emotions."

DFA tells Chinese Embassy to respect Philippine officials

The DFA called out the Chinese Embassy for its statement on Lorenzana.

"Moreover, the Department of Foreign Affairs strongly denounces the Embassy’s attempt to impugn the Secretary of National Defense -- a Cabinet Official of the Republic of the Philippines -- by calling his statement 'unprofessional'," the DFA said.

"Chinese Embassy officials are reminded that they are guests of the Philippine Government, and as guests must at all times observe protocol and accord respect to Philippine Government officials," it added.

China has long been involved in a maritime dispute with the Philippines and several other governments over its sweeping claims in the South China Sea.

It giant refuses to recognize a UN court's ruling that favored the Philippines and invalidated its vast claims and instead has ramped up its militarization in the waters by building artificial islands.

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