Home PH vs China: No promise to abandon Ayungin rights

PH vs China: No promise to abandon Ayungin rights

PH counters China No promise made abandoning rights over WPS Ayungin

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – On Wednesday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) rejected China’s claims that a promise was made on Ayungin Shoal or other parts of the West Philippine Sea. 

The Chinese Embassy defended the Chinese Coast Guard’s (CCG) risky tactics and use of water cannons against a resupply operation by the Filipinos on Tuesday, which left four Filipino military personnel injured.

Declaring that Beijing is the rightful owner of the Spratly Islands, it charged Manila of violating its “commitments to China,” allegedly about a bilateral summit held in January to reduce regional tension.

In response, DFA Spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza reacted by highlighting Manila’s efforts to have a diplomatic conversation about the matter to carry out President Xi Jinping and Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directives to ease tensions.

“China, however, has referenced supposed agreements or arrangements out of these discussions. The Philippines has not entered into any agreement abandoning its sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) and continental shelf, including in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal,” she said in a press briefing.

“No temporary special arrangement exists between the Philippines and China about Ayungin Shoal.” Daza reiterated that the Filipino resupply missions to Ayungin Shoal align with domestic and international laws as opposed to China’s entry into another country’s EEZ.

“They say that, of course, they own the entire area, that the fishing activities by Chinese fishing boats, what they’re doing in terms of regulation and enforcement are legitimate and lawful and beyond reproach,” she said.

An EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles (NM) from a coastal state’s shore, the same state with jurisdiction over resources in that stretch of water.

Ayungin Shoal, which is situated in the West Philippines Sea, is only 106.3 NM from Palawan and at least 617.39 NM from the Chinese mainland – clearly beyond the 200 NM maximum maritime entitlement for an EEZ under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Philippine government would continue to protect and uphold the country’s legal maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea.


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