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Philippines files new diplomatic protests over Chinese boats in disputed waters April 15,2021   |  Source: Reuters

The Philippines filed fresh diplomatic protests to China on Wednesday after accusing its giant neighbour of undertaking illegal fishing and massing more than 240 boats within the Southeast Asian country’s territorial waters.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that two protests had been lodged, days after Manila summoned Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian to press for the withdrawal of its vessels on the disputed Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea and other Philippine maritime zones.

The Philippines last month described the presence of over 200 boats believed to be manned by militias inside its 200 mile (322 km) exclusive economic zone as “swarming and threatening”, while the United States, Japan and others have voiced concern about China’s intentions, prompting rebukes by Beijing.

In a Twitter post, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said: “they really are fishing everything in the water that belongs by law to us.”

A Philippine government taskforce said the vessels, which are about 60 metres (197 ft) in length, can catch a tonne of fish a day. It said 240 were in various areas in Philippine waters as of Sunday, including nine at Whitsun Reef.

“The continuous swarming of Chinese vessels poses a threat to the safety of navigation, safety of

 

© 2021 Reuters. All Rights Reserved.

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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