On the Chinese Embassy’s Statement justifying the presence of Chinese vessels in the Julian Felipe Reef (WPS)
04 April 2021
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The utter disregard by the Chinese Embassy in Manila of international law especially the UNCLOS to which China is a party is appalling. Its nine-dash line claim is without any factual or legal basis. This, together with its so-called historical claim, was flatly and categorically rejected by the arbitral tribunal. 

The Philippines’ claims stand on solid ground, while China’s do not. 

China should respect Philippine sovereignty over the Kalayaan Islands, and its sovereign rights over its Exclusive Economic Zone as defined by UNCLOS and affirmed by the arbitral award. 

The continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine Sea. They have done this before at Panatag Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc and at Panganiban Reef brazenly violating Philippine sovereignty and sovereign rights under international law. 

As a party to the DOC, China should refrain from conducting activities that disturb regional and international peace and security. 

Delfin N. Lorenzana 
Secretary of National Defense 
04 April 2021