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Responding to a request for comment, a spokeswoman for the US State Department reiterated a March 28 statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying the US "stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of (China's) maritime militia pressure in the South China Sea". His tweet continued, "What are you doing to our friendship? You".
The award handed down by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016 invalidates China's historic and expansive claim to the South China Sea, defined by a 9-dash line covering nearly the entirety of the 3.5 million square miles of strategic waters, where an estimated $5 billion worth of trade sails through annually. We do not. we are trying.is yoursThe diplomat added.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea on April 28 reported that three Chinese Coast Guard vessels continue their "illegal presence" in Bajo de Masinloc or the Panatag Shoal off Zambales, one in the municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan, and another one in Ayungin Shoal.
The recent dispute between Manila and Beijing over these resource-rich waters, which China claims nearly entirely, erupted in March, after hundreds of Chinese ships were spotted inside the Philippines' special economic zone.
The warning comes after the Philippine Foreign Ministry accused the Chinese Coast Guard of "combat activities" against Filipino ships that are now patrolling near the fish reefs in Scarborough, which is controlled by China but also claimed by Manila.
Xi Jinping and Rodrigo Duterte
China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, through which about US$3 trillion ($3.88 trillion) of shipborne trade passes each year.
The DFA said two diplomatic protests have been filed against these acts of the China's Coast Guard, Chinese fishing vessels, and Beijing's maritime militia.
In 2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled China's, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was inconsistent with worldwide law. China said it owns the reef and the Chinese vessels were sheltering from rough seas.
The DFA is rejecting China's claim of sovereignty over Bajo de Masinloc, noting that the claim, made by the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 26, was "without basis in global law" and is "not recognized by the worldwide community". The Philippine government says the reef is within an internationally recognised offshore zone where Manila has exclusive rights to exploit fisheries, oil, gas and other resources.
'Our statements are stronger because of the more brazen nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of intrusions, ' Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, executive director for strategic communications at the foreign ministry, said.
Duterte for the most part has pursued warmer ties with China in exchange for Beijing's promises of billions of dollars in investment, aid and loans.