The Philippines on Tuesday said it had filed a diplomatic protest with China for unilaterally declaring a South China Sea fishing ban, and complained also of harassment and violations of its jurisdiction by Beijing’s coast guard.
The foreign ministry in a statement accused the Chinese vessels of disrupting a joint marine scientific research mission as well as energy exploration activities at two sites in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
In another statement, it denounced China’s imposition of a fishing moratorium aimed at regenerating fish stocks, an annual ban that includes waters inside the EEZs of Vietnam and the Philippines.
China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Philippine statements, which referred to developments in March and April.
The foreign ministry said the coast guard’s actions were “not consistent with innocent passage and are clear violations of the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.”
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