Department of Foreign Affairs summons Chinese ambassador
MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summoned Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian yesterday as the Department expressed “displeasure over the illegal lingering presence of Chinese vessels in Julian Felipe Reef.”
In a statement released earlier today, the DFA said Acting Undersecretary Elizabeth P. Buensuceso informed Ambassador Huang that Julian Felipe lies within the Republic of the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone and the continuing presence of Chinese vessels within the Reef is a source of “regional tension.”
She explained the July 12,2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration ruled that claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdictions that exceed the. Geographic and substantive limits of maritime entitlements under UNCLOS, are without lawful effect.
Regarding the untoward statements of the Chinese Embassy’s spokesperson on Defense Secretary Lorenzana, the Chinese side was reminded of proper decorum and manners in the conduct of their duties as guests of the Philippines.
“Both sides affirmed the use of peaceful settlement of disputes in addressing their differences on the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea issue,” the statement added.
The DFA reiterated with firm demand of the Philippines that China ensure the immediate departure of all its vessels from the area of Julian Felipe Reef and other maritime zones of the Philippines. (Melo M. Acuña)
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian (File Photo/Melo M. Acuna)