Department of National Defense downplays China’s claims on South China Sea
MANILA – The Department of National Defense today said the Chinese Embassy’s statement justifying the presence of Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef at the West Philippine Sea is an “utter disregard of the Chinese Embassy in Manila of international law especially the UNCLOS to which China is a party is appalling.”
In a statement released this afternoon, the Department of National Defense said China’s nine-dash line claim is without any factual or legal basis.
“This together with its so-called historical claim, was flatly and categorically rejected by the arbitral tribunal. The Philippines’ claims stand on solid ground, while China’s do not,” it added as it called for China to respect Philippine sovereignty over the Kalayaan Islands as well as the sovereign rights over its Exclusive Economic Zone as specified in the UNCLOS and further affirmed by the arbitral award.
The continuous presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area “reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine Sea.”
Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said the Chinese have done this at Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc and at the Panganiban Reef “brazenly violating Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights under international law.
“As party to the DOC, China should refrain from conductive activities that disturb regional and international peace and security,” Secretary Lorenzana added. (Melo M. Acuña)
File Photo of Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana. (DND Supplied Photo)