Philippines pressured Chinese fishing boats to leave the disputed sea in disbelief of “sheltering” excuse.
Philippines sent fighter aircraft’s flybys to pressure over 220 Chinese-flagged fishing boats to withdraw from the disputed South China Sea and insisted on their disbelief that these fishing boats are taking refuge from bad weather.
· As the Philippine Coast Guard spotted more than 220 Chinese-flagged fishing boats in the disputed sea, Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana has recently revealed that “The authorities have sent
fighter planes to fly over China’s hundreds of fishing vessels located in the disputed area in the South China Sea.” He also insisted that Philippines want Chinese fishing boats to leave the disputed sea area immediately. In recent days, international concern has grown over what the Philippines has described as “over 220 of Chinese vessels are swarming and threatening which Philippines believed to be manned by the Chinese militias for certain. The Chinese boats were moored at the Whitsun Reef area or the Julian Felipe Reef, which are within Philippines ‘ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. As a result, the Philippine military aircraft were sent daily to monitor the situation.”
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· Prior to this, President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed to China’s ambassador, Huang Xilian, that the Philippines had its sovereign entitlements over the South China Sea, according to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’ ruling in 2016. This reaction from Philippines is, therefore, to defend the Philippines’ rights and protect its sovereignty,
· “the Philippine military will also beef up its naval presence in the South China Sea to conduct sovereignty patrols and protect Philippine fishermen. Our air force and marines are ready to protect Philippines’ sovereignty.” Lorenzana also added.
· Nevertheless, China’s embassy in Manila did not respond or comment further in this regard and only insisting that they are fishing boats sheltering from rough seas and no armed militia were aboard as allegedly claimed by Philippines. The South China Sea is an international dispute where Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, China, and Vietnam have competing for territorial claims in the South China Sea as the South China Sea is an important trade route with a value of at least 3.4 trillion US dollars of annual trade.