New Philippine Government Against China's Presence in South China Sea Waters

New Philippine Government Against China's Presence in South China Sea Waters
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (3rd L) and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) attending a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

International Military - Government of the President-elect of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will continue to oppose Beijing's presence in parts of the South China Sea in the Philippines. This attitude comes after more than 100 Chinese vessels were seen in the disputed waters.

The Philippines has lodged hundreds of diplomatic protests against China's activities in the South China Sea in recent years, after an international tribunal in The Hague rejected Beijing's massive claim to the territory in 2016.

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"We will continue to file a diplomatic protest. It doesn't matter if we put 10,000 of them, because if we don't, it means we agree on the situation on the ground," said Clarita Carlos, who was nominated as National Security Adviser Marcos Jr., at a press conference on Friday (10/6/2022), as quoted from Arab News.

The South China Sea is a strategic and resource-rich waterway claimed by China almost in its entirety. But other countries, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, also have overlapping claims.

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Marcos Jr. would add to the hundreds of diplomatic protests raised against Beijing in the South China Sea over the past few years. Marcos Jr, who won a landslide victory in last month's presidential election, will take over the country's top job from President Rodrigo Duterte who will step down on June 30.

Carlos' comments follow a formal complaint launched by the Philippines Department of State about the "illegal presence of Chinese fishing and maritime vessels". The presence of these ships is not only illegal, it is also a source of instability in the region.

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The foreign office revealed on Thursday that Philippine authorities saw in April more than 100 Chinese vessels operating illegally in part of the country's exclusive economic zone around the boomerang-shaped Whitsun Reef.

"The Philippines calls on China to comply with its obligations under international law, cease and desist from exhibiting illegal and irresponsible behavior, avoid escalating tensions at sea and immediately withdraw all of its vessels from the Philippine maritime zone," the Philippine State Department said.

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