Philippines says its vessel did not illegally enter any space under Chinese sovereignty

October 31, 2023 - 1:52 PM
A Philippine supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship during a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in the South China Sea, October 4, 2023. (Reuters/Adrian Portugal)

 The Philippines National Security Adviser on Tuesday said Manila’s vessel did not illegally enter any space under Chinese sovereignty and called on China to stop “its aggressive action in Philippine waters”.

The remarks came after the Chinese military on Monday said in a rare warning that a Philippine military ship “illegally entered” waters near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea without authorisation.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano accused China of “over hyping” the incident and “creating unnecessary tensions between our two nations.”

“We urge China to act responsibly, respect UNCLOS, adhere to the 2016 Arbitral Ruling, promote the rules-based international order, and stop its aggressive and illegal actions in Philippine waters,” Ano said in a statement.

Ano was referring to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the ruling, handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016 that concluded Beijing’s claim to almost the entire South China Sea was groundless.

China and the Philippines have had several confrontations in the South China Sea, recently trading accusations about a collision between a Chinese coastguard vessel and a boat from the Philippines.

– Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor