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PH files 58th diplomatic protest vs China this year

November 18 ----- The Philippine government protested for the 58th time this year China's actions in the West Philippine Sea, including the latter's recent and second water cannon attack on a Philippine supply boat. The National Task Force-West Philippine Sea said that the Philippine Embassy in Beijing already issued demarche to China's Foreign Ministry and protested China's actions after its coast guard made dangerous maneuvers using a water cannon against a Philippine resupply boat in the waters off Ayungin Shoal on Friday morning last week.

That raised the number of diplomatic protests filed by Manila this year to 58, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). "Total number of protests under PBBM (President Bongbong Marcos) from July 2022 to 7 Nov. 2023 is 125," it added. The Philippine government said DFA already reached out to its Chinese counterpart through the direct communication mechanism, which was established following President Marcos and Chinese leader Xi Jinping's bilateral meeting. "We firmly insist that Chinese vessels responsible for these illegal activities leave the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal immediately," the task force's statement read. China, for its part, claimed it owns the features and islands in the West Philippine Sea and justified its actions against the Philippine boat.

The Philippines, according to the task force, condemned China's activities in the waters, especially its unprovoked act against the country's vessels conducting legal operations. "The systematic and consistent manner in which the People's Republic of China carries out these illegal and irresponsible actions puts into question and significant doubt the sincerity of its calls for peaceful dialogue," it added.



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