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DFA criticizes China over ‘illegal and aggressive’ actions in Ayungin Shoal

Rachelle Tonelada

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has formally condemned the ‘illegal and aggressive’ actions of Chinese vessels, including that of China Coast Guard (CCG), during a June 17 routine rotation and resupply (RORE) mission of Philippine vessels in Ayungin Shoal.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the DFA said it “expresses grave concern over the incident that occurred in the Ayungin Shoal” and “denounces the illegal and aggressive actions of Chinese authorities that resulted in personnel injury and vessel damage.”

The DFA reaffirmed its commitment in pursuing peace and stability within the region, noting that it has been “exerting efforts to rebuild a conducive environment for dialogue and consultation with China on the South China Sea.”

“This cannot be achieved if China’s words do not match their actions on the waters. We expect China to act sincerely and responsibly, and refrain from behavior that puts at risk the safety of personnel and vessels,” the DFA underscored.

The statement reiterated the call for China to adhere to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award. It urged Beijing to respect the Philippines’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in its own waters.

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