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Tension in the Pacific: The Philippines prevented the Chinese regime from building an artificial island in disputed waters

Tension in the Pacific: The Philippines prevented the Chinese regime from building an artificial island in disputed waters

A member of the Philippine Coast Guard looks through binoculars while on a resupply mission to Philippine forces stationed on a stranded warship in the South China Sea. Reuters/Adrian Portugal/archive photo

The Philippine authorities said on Saturday that their forces had been prevented Chinese Coast Guard It built an artificial island on a coral atoll in disputed waters in the sea South China Near the Philippine island of Palawan.

In a statement, Philippine Presidential Communications Office He pointed out that the Philippine Coast Guard prevented the Chinese authorities from establishing an artificial island on Sabina Atoll, known as “Escoda” to the Filipinos, and “Xianbin Jiao” to the Chinese.

“The mere fact that the Philippine Coast Guard prevented the Chinese government from pursuing its claim on Sabina Atoll means that we are still effective. “The (Philippine) state has sovereign rights over those waters.”Philippine Coast Guard spokesman Jay Tarella said.

The spokesman stated that the BRP ship Teresa Magbanua had been in the waters around Sabina for 26 days to avoid “illegal activities” by China, and added that they were awaiting the arrival of a Japanese ship to assist with surveillance duties.

According to Philippine broadcaster GMA, two other Philippine ships, BRP Cabra and BRP Malabrigo, are patrolling the waters near Sabina Atoll.

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel conducts maneuvers alongside the Philippine Coast Guard’s BRP Cabra. (AP Photo/Jim Gomez, File)

The Philippine authorities accused Beijing of destroying coral reefs, which it then uses as building materials to develop artificial islands.

Sabina Atoll is located in the Spratly Archipelago, approximately 123 nautical miles west of Palawan, and is claimed by Philippines, China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

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In recent months, clashes between Chinese and Filipino ships have multiplied in the South China Sea, especially around Scarborough and Second Thomas islands, where Filipino fishermen go fishing.

Philippine authorities claim the atolls lie 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the exclusive economic zone, which under international law gives them the right to exploit resources even though they are considered international waters.

Beijing cites historical reasons for claiming almost the entire South China Sea, through which about 30% of global trade flows and which contains 12% of the world’s fishing grounds, as well as oil and gas fields.

The Philippine National Security Council called for “immediate” expulsion from the country Chinese diplomats “Responsible” for leaking an alleged conversation between the two countries regarding their disputes in the South Sea, which Beijing described as “reckless.”

Individuals in the Chinese Embassy responsible for violating Philippine laws (…) should be expelled from the country immediately“, confirms a statement issued by Philippine Security Advisor, Eduardo M. Año.

The advisor asks the Asian archipelago’s Foreign Ministry to take “appropriate measures” against Chinese diplomats who claim to have recorded an alleged phone conversation between a member of their mission in Manila and a Philippine defense official.

The complaint refers to the leak of a text of an alleged phone conversation on January 3, which was echoed by some Philippine media, in which Manila would have accepted the Chinese proposal to send a smaller number of ships to a disputed atoll between the two countries in the sea and notify Beijing of their missions in advance.

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“The Chinese Embassy’s repeated actions in spreading disinformation, which now exposes false transcripts of recordings of alleged conversations between representatives of the two countries, should not go unpunished,” Anew’s statement adds.

(With information from EFE)