China told to restrain self


The Philippines has raised the alarm anew over China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed territories in the South China Sea, calling on Beijing to “exercise self-restraint.”

“The Philippines reiterates its serious concern on China’s massive reclamation activities and planned construction of facilities in those features. These activities cause irreparable damage to the marine environment and marine biodiversity of the region,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The DFA said China’s reclamation and construction activities “grossly violate” the 2002 Asean-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and may serve to escalate the disputes and undermine efforts to promote peace, security, and stability.

“The Philippines calls on China anew to heed calls from the region and the international community to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities pursuant to Paragraph 5 of the DOC,” the department added.

Harry Roque, director of the UP Law Center’s Institute of International Legal Studies, described as “worrisome” China’s construction of artificial islands in Johnson South Reef, its expansion of its artificial island in Fiery Cross reef, and its deployment of naval forces to ward off any opposition.

The Philippines has already lodged an arbitration case against China before the United Nations International Tribunal on the Law of the Seas, which Beijing refused to acknowledge.


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