(BGF) – In a commentary published in People Daily, China affirmed it has “indisputable sovereign rights” over the Nansha Islands, including the Half Moon Shoal (known as Hasa-Hasa Shoal by the Philippines) and reminded the Philippines to bear consequences for deliberate provocation, referring to the arrest of 11 Chinese fishermen off the Half Moon Shoal on May 7. China called the action “illegal and invalid”, and would be regarded as “direct infringements of China’s sovereignty.”
Manila to bear consequences for deliberate provocation
May 14, 2014 | By Zhu Dongyang
Philippine Maritime Police arrested 11 Chinese fishermen and their boat off Hasa-Hasa Shoal on May, 7. (Photo Credit: The Philippine Daily Inquirer)
BEIJING, May 14 — In a reckless move that further undermined the peace of South China Sea, Manila went ahead with a premeditated plot to provoke Beijing in a vain wish to infringe upon China’s sovereignty.
Last week, Philippine police detained 11 Chinese fishermen and their boat near China’s Half Moon Shoal in the South China Sea on the grounds that they poached sea turtles.
But no matter the allegation was true or not, Manila was wrong in the first place because China has indisputable sovereign rights over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters, including the Half Moon Shoal, where the incident occurred.
Thus any actions taken by the Philippines against the Chinese fishermen are illegal and invalid and would be regarded as direct infringements of China’s sovereignty.
The timing of the incident is tricky, as it happened not long after U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Manila, during which the two sides reasserted their military alliance.
The provocation also came days before the annual summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), during which the emboldened Philippines, together with Vietnam, launched a failed bid to pit the regional bloc against Beijing over territory claims.
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