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China coast guard urges Philippines to stop infringing on sovereignty


BEIJING – China’s coast guard on Friday urged the Philippines to stop infringing on the country’s sovereignty after several Philippine resupply vessels entered into waters near the Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea.

The Philippine National Security Council said it would issue a statement soon on the resupply mission.

China’s coast guard said two small Philippine transport ships and three coast guard ships entered the waters adjacent to the Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, without the permission of the Chinese government.

The shoal is in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

China rejects that and says it has sovereignty over the Spratlys, known in China as the Nansha Islands, and its adjacent waters.

The two countries have had several confrontations during the past few months in the region, and China has condemned Philippine resupply missions to the shoal.       

“The China coast guard has followed Philippine vessels in accordance with the law, taken control measures, and made temporary special arrangements for the Philippine side to transport food and other necessary daily necessities,” the coast guard said in a statement.

“We urge the Philippines to immediately stop its violations of China’s territorial sovereignty,” the statement said. – Reuters

Jino Nicolas

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