Home News The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is disappointed by China’s aggressive actions

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs is disappointed by China’s aggressive actions

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A senior Filipino diplomat, Teodoro Locsin Jr., recently joined a coast guard trip to the disputed South China Sea. During the trip, Locsin witnessed Beijing’s ships block and nearly collide with Philippine vessels, including one that he was on. This incident took place on October 10th, when Locsin was on one of two Philippine coast guard vessels escorting two Philippine boats to deliver supplies to a Filipino marine territorial outpost in the Second Thomas Shoal.

Locsin, who was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr as a special envoy to China and also serves as the Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom, participated in the trip to gain firsthand knowledge of the situation in the South China Sea. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs believes that this firsthand information will allow Locsin to effectively convey the country’s concerns to China.

Locsin is known for his past expletive-laced criticisms against China on social media during his time as the Philippine foreign secretary under President Rodrigo Duterte. In 2021, he demanded in a tweet that the Chinese leave a Philippines-claimed reef and expressed his frustrations with China’s aggressive actions in the disputed waters.

During this recent trip, Locsin witnessed eight hours of hostilities at Second Thomas Shoal. This area, which is a rich fishing area off the northwestern Philippines, has been occupied by a small Philippine military contingent but is surrounded by China’s coast guard and militia vessels. The Philippines successfully delivered supplies to Filipino marines and navy personnel stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre, but the Chinese coast guard and militia ships blocked and surrounded the Philippine coast guard escort vessels.

According to Commodore Jay Tarriela, a spokesperson for the Philippine coast guard, a Chinese coast guard ship came within a meter of colliding with a Philippine patrol ship. Tarriela condemned this behavior, stating that the Chinese coast guard vessel violated international law and the collision regulations.

The incident was witnessed by several journalists who were invited by the Philippine coast guard to join the trip as part of a strategy to expose China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea. A major clash in the South China Sea could potentially involve the United States, which has pledged to defend the Philippines, its treaty ally.

The territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve not only China and the Philippines but also Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan. These disputes have been a long-standing flashpoint in Asia.

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