The Philippines on Tuesday protested China’s use of military-grade laser, including dangerous maneuvers, against a Coast Guard vessel while on a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal.
In a protest lodged by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila called out China’s Coast Guard for its “latest aggressive activities” against Philippine vessels, heightening tensions anew between the two Asian neighbors locked in yearslong 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.
Source: Gma Network