Two protests were filed against China for disputes in Philippine waters, said the Department of Foreign Affairs on April 22.
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the diplomatic protests were filed for two reasons: for pointing a radar gun at a Philippine Navy ship in Philippine waters, and for declaring parts of Philippine territory as part of China’s Hainan province. They are “both violations of international law and Philippine sovereignty,” he added. The Chinese Embassy received these protests at 5:17 p.m. today.
China announced on April 17 that it has established the Nansha District in Spratly Islands, with its government to hold office in Yongshu Jiao, the Chinese name for the Philippines’ Kagitingan Reef. It also established the Xisha District, which will manage the Vietnam-claimed Paracel Islands, the Macclesfield Bank, and surrounding areas. Both districts will be under Sansha City Hainan, China.
Vietnam protested against China’s establishment of Xisha District.
Maritime expert Jay Batongbacal, retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and former Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario earlier urged the DFA to protest against China’s claim, as the lack of protest could be interpreted as consent to the new Chinese district in Philippine territory.