On the increasing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea, the President of the Philippines said, we will not be afraid

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

Amid China's growing aggression, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has said his country will not be intimidated by Beijing's expansionist acts, Al Jazeera reported.

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His remarks came at the headquarters of the Philippine South China Sea forces on Palawan island.

According to the Philippine President, “While defending the nation, we are true to our Philippine nature and we seek to resolve all these issues through peaceful means.”

During his visit to the headquarters, Marcos presented medals to 80 sailors who took part in the resupply mission, and urged the sailors to continue defending their country despite the “dangerous” situation.

Al Jazeera quoted Marcos as saying that the Philippines would continue to exercise its independence.

“We will never be intimidated or harassed by anyone. We will continue to exercise our freedoms and rights, in accordance with international law, in support of our national interests,” Marcos said.

The statement comes in response to the recent violent clash between Chinese and Philippine sailors near the Second Thomas Shoal, about 200 km off Palawan Island.

During that incident, the Chinese military injured Philippine navy personnel and damaged at least two military boats in the South China Sea.

Additionally, the Al Jazeera report claims that the Philippine sailors have also accused the Chinese coast guard of stealing and damaging their equipment.

Earlier, the Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported that the Philippines Armed Forces rejected China's allegation that a Philippine ship illegally entered its waters and collided with one of its coast guard vessels, calling it a “deceptive and misleading statement by the China Coast Guard.”

In a message to reporters, Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public relations office, said, “The AFP will not discuss operational details on the legitimate humanitarian rotation and resupply mission at Ayungin Shoal, which is within our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).” “We will not rely on the deceptive and misleading claims of the China Coast Guard (CCG),” Trinidad said, according to a PNA report.

The AFP official stressed that the presence and activities of Chinese vessels in the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) violate Manila's sovereignty and sovereign rights, which remains the main issue.

According to PNA, Trinidad said the Chinese coast guard's continued aggressive actions had increased tensions in the region.

The statement by the Philippine Armed Forces comes after the China Coast Guard (CCG) claimed that a Philippine replenishment ship illegally entered the waters near Ren'ai Reef (the Chinese name for Ayungin Shoal) on Monday last week, forcing them to take appropriate action.

It is noteworthy that Ayungin Shoal is a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea (SCS). The BRP Sierra Madre, considered an outpost of the Philippine Navy, has been stationed in Ayungin since 1999.

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