Philippines Rejects China’s Maritime Proposals as Contrary to National Interests

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 1:07 pm


Tensions between the Philippines and China continue to escalate over disputed waters in the South China Sea, with the Philippine foreign ministry announcing on Tuesday that it has received several maritime-related proposals from China. However, the Philippines rejected the proposals, stating that they are contrary to the country’s national interests.

Among the proposals from China was one that insisted on actions seen as acquiescence or recognition of China’s control and administration over the Ayungin Shoal (known as Second Thomas Shoal in the Philippines). The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) clarified that considering such a proposal would violate the country’s constitution or international law.

The DFA responded to a news article quoting an unidentified ranking Chinese official, who claimed that Beijing’s proposals to normalize the situation in the South China Sea were met with inaction by the Philippine government. The DFA expressed surprise at China’s disclosure of sensitive details from bilateral discussions.

China presented 11 concept papers addressing issues around the Second Thomas Shoal and fishing concerns near the Scarborough Shoal. Despite the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling that China’s claims in the South China Sea had no legal basis, Beijing maintains indisputable sovereignty over the disputed islands.

China accused the Philippines of provocations and infringements in the South China Sea, claiming it had proposed initiatives to control the maritime situation and collaborate with the Philippines. The Philippines countered that it submitted its own proposals, but China’s responses did not reflect the country’s interests on South China Sea issues. Tensions between the two nations have increased, with recent incidents, including accusations of the China Coast Guard firing water cannons at a Philippine vessel involved in a resupply mission.

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