Philippines summons Chinese ambassador over vessels in conflict areas

Manila-Philippines said on Tuesday that it had summoned a Chinese ambassador to convey the “greatest discomfort” of Southeast Asian countries to the continued presence of Chinese vessels in conflict areas around coral reefs in the South China Sea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the Chinese ambassador, Huang Xi Ren, was summoned on Monday and that China should immediately withdraw all vessels from the conflicting Whitson Reef and other Philippine waters.

Last month, the Philippines described the presence of about 220 boats, believed to have militias stationed in the 200-mile (322 km) exclusive economic zone, as “threatening and threatening,” with the United States, Japan and others. The intention of the Chinese administration.

The Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that it reminded Huang that the Philippines had won a groundbreaking arbitration case in 2016. It upheld its sovereignty in the claims of its rivals by the Chinese administration.

The Chinese embassy also called for “proper courtesy and manners in performing duties as a guest in the Philippines,” after previously stating that Manila’s call for withdrawal of the Flotilla was “not an expert.” It was.

“Both sides have confirmed the use of peaceful resolution of conflicts in addressing their differences in the South China Sea issue,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The last time the Chinese envoy was summoned by Manila was in 2019, after a Chinese ship sank a Philippine boat.

The Philippine Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Teodoro Locsin said on Twitter Tuesday that nine ships remain in the area.

President Rodrigo Duterte has criticized US foreign policy and sought to improve relations with Beijing since he came to power, but the Chinese administration’s maritime claims have sometimes put him in a difficult position.

The Philippines and the US military began military exercises on Monday, showing that they said it was a commitment to the US-Philippines alliance.

Neil Jerome Morales