Manila – The Philippines on Wednesday filed two diplomatic protests against China for harassing a navy ship in the South China Sea and for unilaterally establishing two districts that cover Manila’s claimed territories in the disputed area.
Foreign Secretary, Teodoro Locsin said the protests were received by the Chinese embassy in Manila.
The protests covered the pointing of a radar gun at a Philippine navy ship in Philippine waters and China’s declaration of Philippine territory as part of Hainan province, which are both violations of international law and Philippine soveignty,” Locsin said.
There was no additional information on the incident involving the Philippine naval ship.
Over the weekend, the city of Sansha in Hainan province announced the creation of two new districts, one in the Paracels named Xisha by China and one in the Spratlys which the Chinese call Nansha.
There are several areas claimed by the Philippines in the immediate area.
Earlier in the month, the Philippines urged claimants to the South China Sea to avoid provocative actions that would raise tensions as the region and the world coped with the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is never a good time to indulge in provocations; they usually end in defeat of aggression or a devastating price of victory,’’ the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities over reefs and outcrops in the area, which are also claimed in part by Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.