China Accuses Philippines of Maritime Trespass Near Scarborough Shoal

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China has lodged a formal complaint against the Philippines, accusing them of trespassing into waters near Scarborough Shoal, which China calls Huangyan Dao, “without the approval of the Chinese government.” 

The incident has escalated tensions in the already contentious South China Sea.

Air Force Senior Colonel Tian Junli, the spokesperson for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, released a statement on Monday, claiming that a Philippine frigate had “trespassed” into what China considers its territory. 

According to Tian, the Chinese PLA’s naval and air forces tracked, monitored, warned, and restricted the Philippine military vessel following Chinese law.

China asserts that the Philippines’ actions have “seriously violated China’s sovereignty, international law, and basic norms governing international relations.” 

They are concerned that this incident may lead to misunderstandings and miscalculations. 

China has called on the Philippines to immediately cease its infringement and provocative actions to prevent further escalation.

Tensions have been building up for years due to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. 

China has been asserting expansive claims over the region, which includes the West Philippine Sea. 

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China has lodged a formal complaint against the Philippines, accusing them of trespassing into waters near Scarborough Shoal, which China calls Huangyan Dao, “without the approval of the Chinese government.”

The Scarborough Shoal, 120 nautical miles away from Zambales, has long been recognized as a traditional fishing area for Filipinos. 

The disagreement regarding fishing rights and territorial sovereignty has caused tension between the two countries.

The 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea, a landmark ruling by an international tribunal, invalidated China’s historic nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea. 

This ruling also impacts the vital shipping passage for $5.3 trillion of trade through the area annually.

Despite the 2016 ruling favoring the Philippines, China has consistently disregarded it, continuing its military activities and territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea. 

This ongoing dispute has heightened tensions in the region and remains a complex issue with global implications, as it threatens freedom of navigation, trade routes, and regional stability.

The latest incident near Scarborough Shoal underscores the need for diplomatic efforts to address these disputes and reach a peaceful resolution in the South China Sea, as further escalations could have severe consequences for all parties involved.

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