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22 Apr, 2020 15:54

Manila protests Beijing’s sea claim & ‘weapon pointing’ at Philippines navy ship

Manila protests Beijing’s sea claim & ‘weapon pointing’ at Philippines navy ship

The Philippines has protested Beijing’s declaration that a Manila-claimed region in the disputed South China Sea is Chinese territory, and its aiming of a weapons control radar at a Philippines navy ship, the top diplomat has said. The country's Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted that two diplomatic protests were received by the Chinese Embassy in Manila late Wednesday.

China’s recent moves in the disputed waterway have been criticized by rival Southeast Asian claimant nations and by the US. Beijing has declared a section of Philippines-claimed territory to be part of its southernmost province of Hainan, Locsin said, adding that a “radar gun” was pointed at a Philippines navy ship its own territorial waters. Locsin described the actions as “violations of international law and Philippine sovereignty.”

China recently announced the establishment of two districts to administer two disputed groups of islands and reefs in the South China Sea to fortify its claim to virtually the entire waterway, AP said.

In addition to China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have been locked in long-simmering territorial disputes in the South China Sea.