Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Ferreros del Rosario said on that day that due to the increasingly worse weather, President Aquino issued an order on June 15 to call two Philippine boats back to port from Huangyan Island sea area.
On April 10, 12 Chinese fishing boats were disturbed by a Philippine warship when they were carrying out their operation in the lagoon within China’s Huangyan Island. The Philippine warship attempted to detain the Chinese fishermen blocked in the lagoon but it was hindered by two Chinese marine surveillance boats. That gave rise to a standoff between the two countries’ ships and boats.
Though the Philippine government withdrew its warship later, it replaced the warship with a coast guard boat and a boat from the bureau of fishery and aquatic product resources at Huangyan Island sea area. The Philippine Meteorological Bureau issued a forecast earlier that Typhoon Guchol and southwestern monsoon would bring serious wave and storm to that area. Del Rosario says that when weather conditions have improved, the Philippine government will make a “reassessment.”
Philippine President Aquino said earlier that Sino-Philippine relations are win-win mutual beneficial relations and the cooperation should be carried on and intensified. At present, the two countries are striving to peacefully handle the Huangyan Island incident through diplomacy.
Philippine and international laws have clearly determined Philippine territories and sea area. China and the Philippines should respect each other’s sovereignty. Regarding that, Liu Weimin, spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responded by saying that the Chinese side has noticed President Aquino’s attitude in attaching importance to Sino-Philippine relations. China attaches similar importance to developing Sino-Philippine relations and hopes that China and the Philippines will make joint efforts to promote healthy and stable development of the relations between the two countries.
Liu Weimin says, regarding the Huangyan Island incident, China has time and again expressed its position. At present, Chinese fishing boats are carrying out normal production operations in China’s Huangyan Island sea area and China’s public services ships keep on providing administration and services for Chinese fishing boats and fishermen. The situation as a whole tends to be easing.
China hopes that the Philippine side will not adopt any actions to make matters complicated and deteriorating, and will work along with China for the same purpose – to satisfactorily handle relevant issues through diplomacy. At the same time, he stressed that according to Philippine law, the Philippines has time and again officially acknowledged that the Huangyan Island does not lie within Philippine territories. “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” is not the rule of international law for determination of territorial ownership. Therefore, undoubtedly China has sovereignty over Huangyan Island.
Earlier, Ma Keqing, Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, also stressed that China and the Philippines should face squarely their South China Sea disputes, when he attended activities of Philippine Chinese communities. China has all along strived to resolve relevant disputes through diplomacy. Ma believes that the South China Sea disputes can be satisfactorily resolved as long as both countries proceed from the overall interests of their relations on the basis of their sincere and good desire.
As for the problem at present, both countries should maintain the easing trend of the situation, and persist in carrying out diplomatic dialogue. China believes that as long as the two countries use their political wisdom and work for the same goal, they will certainly be able to overcome the difficulties, recover the friendly feelings between the peoples of the two countries and obtain steady development of Sino-Philippine friendly cooperation.
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