Officials in Manila have expressed concerns about war ships from China entering Philippine territory – despite Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte’s refusing to condemn it. He sparked outrage over the past week when he declared he would not stop China’s Xi Jinping roaming the waters. But Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana called out the Chinese leader himself.
Colleague Salvador Panelo, who is the presidential spokesman, added: “I agree with Secretary Lorenzana. It’s becoming an irritant if you keep on repeating certain acts that may be viewed to be in violation of the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and not as an act of friendship between two countries.”
He then suggested the government file a complaint to China when asked by reporters how Mr Duterte would respond.
He said “the government can always file a diplomatic protest and let them respond to it”.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is also known as the law of the sea and came into play in 1982.
The legislation defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
General David Goldfein, chief of staff of the US Air Force in the Pacific, accused China of violating the convention due to Beijing’s aggression over the waters.
He said: “I think quite frankly any activity that we see both at sea and in the air, and increasingly now we’re also having the same conversation in space and in cyber, has got to adhere to some international rules of order that we all live by. So, anybody in the region that violates those, it’s concerning.”
He made his comments when asked for his thoughts over the unauthorised passage of Chinese ships in Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi, which is owned by Manila.
READ NOW: South China Sea: ‘no let up’ US vow to keep sea-lanes open
He is he wanted the US to help ensure the waters are kept open for all without any interference from China.
In reference to the US’ commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty signed by the US and the Philippines in 1951, he said: “So part of our engagement here, and our presence here, is to make sure that we keep the global commons open for all. And everybody benefits when we can have freedom of navigation, to include China.
“There’s no letup in our willingness or our ability to fly or sail where we need to and when we need to, and there will be no letup in the future. That’s our commitment to the region.”
Last week at least three vessels from China were spotted in the Philippines’ waters.
South China Sea alert: Fears of war surge
South China Sea: Beijing on collision course with US
South China Sea bombshell: Philippines in crisis
Mr Duterte claimed that the Philippines would be decimated if they tried to remove Chinese forces from the disputed zone.
He said: “When Chinese President Xi says ‘I will fish’, who can prevent him?”
“We have to temper it with the times and realities we face today.”
Source: Read Full Article