US destroys China’s ‘maritime militia’ and backs disputed Philippines


Chinese ships near Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea on March 21.

Source: Philippine Coast Guard via AP Photo

The United States expressed concern about the presence of more than 200 Chinese fishing boats near a disputed reef in the South China Sea, saying that Beijing uses “maritime militias to intimidate, provoke and threaten other nations.”

Chinese ships “have been moored in this area for many months in increasing numbers, regardless of the weather,” the US embassy in the Philippines said in a statement. porcelain It said earlier that its boats near Whitsun Reef were shielding themselves from the wind.

“We support the Philippines, our oldest treaty ally in Asia,” the US Embassy said. Manila has filed a diplomatic protest with China and has asked Chinese ships to immediately leave what it considers to be part of its exclusive economic zone.

Chinese ships “blatantly infringe on Philippine sovereignty” and the nation demands that China “direct its fishing vessels to desist from environmentally destructive activities,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a separate statement on Tuesday.

The incident occurs in the middle of tensions between the US and China, and as the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte builds friendly ties with Beijing while maintaining its alliance with Washington.

Duterte will discuss the incident with China’s envoy to Manila, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Tuesday, repeating that the two nations can speak as friends. More than 180 vessels were still near the reef, the Philippine military said after patrolling the area on Monday.

(Add the statement from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in the fourth paragraph)

.

Source link