China insists ‘Spratlys ours,’ asserts Sino fishers’ ‘rights’
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China dismissed anew Philippine claims to parts of the Spratlys in the South China Sea, saying the entire island chain has been Chinese territory for thousands of years. China’s position was stated on Thursday by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kan in response to recent statements by Philippine officials, including President Duterte, who said last week that he would deploy soldiers on a “suicide mission” if Chinese forces “touched” Pag-asa (Thitu) Island. Duterte made the statement after the military reported that at least 275 Chinese vessels, believed to be part of China’s maritime militia, were monitored from January to March close to Pag-asa, the biggest of nine islands and shoals occupied by Filipinos in the South China Sea.
Ramos, C. M., Aning, J., & Aurelio, J. M. (2019, April 13). China insists ‘Spratlys ours,’ asserts Sino fishers’ ‘rights’. Philippine Daily Inquirer, pp. A1, A4
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Fishers; Military operations; Jurisdiction; Territorial waters; Disputes; Bilateral agreements; International cooperation; Exclusive economic zone; International law; Law of the sea; Governments; Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA); Duterte, Rodrigo; Lu, Kan; Panelo, Salvador; Aquino, Benigno III; Arroyo, Gloria M.; Ramos, Fidel V.; Locsin, Teodoro Jr.