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China slams Philippines for 'illegal provocation,' violating sovereignty

China on Saturday urged the Philippines to stop its supposedly "illegal provocations" in the West Philippine Sea, according to a report on “24 Oras Weekend.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian issued the statement after the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against China for what it said was its “continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges [against] Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea.”

The Philippines sent the military planes over the air space of the disputed Spratly Group of Islands, where most of the Philippine claims in the West Philippine Sea are located.

But China, who claims historic rights to the islands, said sending the planes was an intrusion on China’s security and sovereignty, the report added.

In its diplomatic protest, the Philippines also slammed the Chinese Coast Guard's confiscation of fish aggregating devices installed by Filipino fishermen.

In 2016, an arbitral tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands invalidated Beijing’s claims over the West Philippine Sea, saying that there was “no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the nine-dash line.”

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has yet to react on the Chinese ambassador's remarks. -Joahna Lei Casilao/MDM, FMA News