Phl protests China harassment at sea

March 5, 2011
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines summoned on Thursday the Chinese embassy in Manila and lodged a diplomatic protest against the harassment of a Department of Energy (DOE) research vessel by two Chinese navy gunboats off the disputed Spratly islands on Wednesday, sources at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday.
President Aquino said the Philippines has already brought the matter up with the Chinese embassy, and an expert on the Spratly islands is also headed to Beijing to discuss the matter.
“There is also a Coast Guard vessel that will be in the area to assist this energy contracted survey ship to finish its job. The Coast Guard ship will ensure that our rights are protected by making sure that this survey ship is granted authority by our government to finish its job,” Aquino said in an interview in Bacolod.
A DFA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The STAR that Bai Tian, charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy, was summoned by the DFA on Thursday afternoon.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Jianchao is in China and Bai represented the embassy.
Another official said DFA Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda Basilio handed the note verbale to the embassy official protesting the harassment by the Chinese Navy gunboats.
“That was done yesterday by Undersecretary Basilio. She handed the note verbale to the embassy’s charge d’affaires,” the official told The STAR.
The DFA officials explained that the incident occurred within the Philippines’ 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone (EEZ), specifically 80 nautical miles from the nearest Philippine archipelagic baseline of Palawan.
“The area of the incident is outside the Spratlys group of islands. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) only accords 12 nautical miles as the maximum of any country’s territorial waters,” the official stressed.
The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
UNCLOS came into force in 1994, a year after Guyana became the 60th state to sign the treaty. To date, 161 countries and the European Community have joined the Convention. However, it is uncertain as to what extent the Convention codifies customary international law.
The Philippine government sought China’s explanation on the incident.
“The Chinese diplomat assured Undersecretary Basilio that he will report and clarify the information given to him by the DFA,” the official said.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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