Marcos summons Chinese envoy over actions vs. PCG, Filipino fishermen
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian to express his serious concern over the increasing frequency and intensity of actions of China against personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard and Filipino fishermen.
The Presidential Communications Office disclosed this on Tuesday afternoon.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila confirmed the meeting between Marcos and Huang in a post on its website.
"They exchanged views on how to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, strengthen dialogue and communication, and properly manage maritime differences between China and the Philippines," it said.
The latest incident was China’s use of military-grade laser against a PCG vessel while on a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal.
A Philippine Naval vessel – the BRP Sierra Madre – has been grounded at Ayungin shoal since 1999.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) already lodged a protest against the incident.
The DFA called out China’s Coast Guard for its “latest aggressive activities” against Philippine vessels, heightening tensions anew between the two Asian neighbors locked in years-long territorial disputes in the resource-rich waters.
“The diplomatic protest, released to the Chinese Embassy in Manila on 14 February 2023, condemned the shadowing, harassment, dangerous maneuvers, directing of military-grade laser, and illegal radio challenges by CCG vessel 5205 against PCG vessel BRP Malapascua on 6 February 2023,” a DFA statement said.
Actions of the Chinese Coast Guard against the Philippine vessel “constituted a threat” to the country’s “sovereignty and security as a state, and are infringements of its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone,” the DFA said.
“The Philippines has the prerogative to conduct legitimate activities within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. China does not have law enforcement rights or powers in and around Ayungin Shoal or any part of the Philippine EEZ,” said DFA spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza.
The United States has declared support for the Philippines, a long-time defense ally, against harassment, reiterating that “an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft, including those of the Coast Guard in the South China Sea, would invoke US mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 US Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.”—LDF, GMA Integrated News