Chinese Harassment Threatens Regional Peace

Spread the love

United States Expresses Concern over Chinese Harassment of Philippine Vessels

The United States has expressed its concern over the repeated harassment of Philippine vessels by Chinese ships near Scarborough Reef (Panatag Shoal), stating that these actions are detrimental to regional peace and stability. On Tuesday, the China Coast Guard (CCG) and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels water cannoned and rammed vessels of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) while en route to Panatag Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc) to bring food and supplies to Filipino fishermen in the area.

International Calls for China to Respect Navigational Rights and International Law

The embassies of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom in the Philippines have expressed their concern over the dangerous actions by Chinese ships against the PCG and BFAR vessels near Scarborough Shoal. Australian Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu emphasized that China’s dangerous maneuvers and obstruction encountered by Philippine government vessels in the South China Sea might “create risks of miscalculation and endanger peace.” The ambassadors of Canada, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom also reiterated their call for the respect of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

US State Department and International Community Urge Peaceful Resolution

The US State Department’s Deputy Spokesman, Vedant Patel, urged China to respect the navigational rights and freedoms guaranteed to all states under international law. Patel also highlighted that the Chinese attack on Philippine ships on resupply missions came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to China. Patel emphasized that the Chinese coast guard’s installation of barriers endangers the livelihoods of Philippine fisherfolk and prevents them from exercising their legal rights to fish in those waters.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague, Netherlands, invalidated China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, which encroach on the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. Patel reiterated that these rights were set out in a final and legally binding judgment in the Philippines-China arbitration brought to the UNCLOS in 2016.

Philippine Response to Chinese Aggression

The Philippines has stated that China’s coast guard has become more aggressive toward its vessels in the South China Sea. The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) has emphasized its transparency policy in the West Philippine Sea, inviting members of the press, both local and foreign, to embed in regular BFAR humanitarian and assistance missions for fishermen throughout the West Philippine Sea and the country’s other maritime areas.

It is crucial for all parties involved to respect international law, uphold the principles of UNCLOS, and work towards a peaceful resolution of conflicts in the South China Sea. The repeated harassment of Philippine vessels by Chinese ships not only threatens regional peace and stability but also jeopardizes the livelihoods of Filipino fishermen. It is imperative that all nations involved work together to ensure the safety and well-being of those navigating the South China Sea and to uphold the rights and freedoms guaranteed under international law.

Source: The Manila Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *