China recently accused the Philippines of trespassing into the waters adjacent to Bajo de Masinloc (the Scarborough Shoal) in the West Philippine Sea on Monday without approval from China’s government.
In a written statement, the People’s Liberation Army (abbreviated PLA) Air Force Senior Colonel Tian Junli, China’s PLA Southern Theater Command spokesperson, said China’s air and naval forces warned, tracked, monitored, and restricted the Philippines’s military vessel per law.
China’s PLA spokesman has mentioned that the Philippines violated China’s sovereignty, international law and basic norms governing international relations, which is likely to result in misunderstandings and miscalculations.
The Philippine side is urged to put an end to infringement as well as provocations to avoid more escalations, mentioned the spokesperson, adding that the assigned troops to the PLA Southern Theater Command were on high alert all the time to defend China’s national security and sovereignty resolutely and stability and peace in the South China Sea.
Bajo de Masinloc, which China refers to as the Huangyan Dao/Huangyan Island, lies approximately 198 km west of Subic Bay and is based in Zambales.
It is thus covered by the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. However, China claims that it has indisputable sovereignty on the shoal, which it refers to as the Huangyan Island and adjacent waters.
Early in October 2023, the China Coast Guard mentioned that it drove away a gunboat that belonged to the Philippine Navy after it intruded into the waters of Bajo de Masinloc.
The coast guard mentioned that it adopted necessary steps like forcing out the gunboat and also controlling the route following repeated dissuasion as well as warnings from China’s side were ignored.
In September 2023, the Philippine Coast Guard (abbreviated the PCG) said it had cut out a 300-meter floating barrier installed by China, which blocked access to the much-disputed zone that Beijing has been controlling for over a decade.
References: Firstpost, Manila Times
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