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China warns PH not to abuse “goodwill” with Filipino fishermen; expect to face “relevant consequences”
China warns PH not to abuse “goodwill” with Filipino fishermen; expect to face “relevant consequences”
Nation
China warns PH not to abuse “goodwill” with Filipino fishermen; expect to face “relevant consequences”
by Karen Ow-Yong16 May 2024
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin answers questions from journalists during its regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday afternoon (Photo courtesy of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

MANILA - China gave a stern warning to the Philippines to not “abuse” its goodwill to Filipino fishermen, saying they will defend their territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction in the contested water surrounding Scarborough Shoal, locally known in the Philippines as Panatag Shoal.

“China made a goodwill arrangement in 2016 for Filipino fishermen to fish with a small number of small fishing boats in the adjacent waters of Huangyan Dao,” Wang Wenbin, Spokesperson, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

During the regular press briefing in Beijing, Wang explained that China “continues to oversee and monitor relevant activities of the Filipino fishermen in accordance with the law.”

If the Philippines abuses China’s goodwill and infringes upon its territorial sovereignty and jurisdiction, Wang gave the warning that China will defend its rights and will take countermeasures in accordance with the law.

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Wang also stated that “relevant responsibilities and consequences shall be borne solely by the Philippines.”

China made the announcement after five commercial fishing vessels carrying around 200 civilians from the Philippines, followed by a convoy of around 100 fishing boats, traversed the waters from Masinloc, Zambales towards Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

Headed by Atin Ito Coalition, together with civic organizations, political youth and, farmer and fishing groups, the convoy handed out supplies, such as fuel and food packs, to fisherfolk in the area.

According to accounts by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the convoy has successfully installed buoys with the words “WPS Atin Ito” within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EZZ).

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Philippine authorities said that the mission was a success after the civilian mission was able to break through the blockade of Chinese vessels and reach Scarborough Shoal.

Before this, two China Coast Guard vessels shadowed and tried to block the convoy which led to “radio challenges” between the PCG and its counterpart on Wednesday.

No Filipinos on board the fishing vessels were injured or hurt.

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