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HomeCHINA THREATENS OTHERSPhilippines relentless in safeguarding its interests in South China Sea against China

Philippines relentless in safeguarding its interests in South China Sea against China

Manila and Beijing engaged in discussions regarding their stances on the Second Thomas Shoal, where the Philippines has maintained a deteriorating warship with a small crew since grounding it in 1999 to reinforce its sovereignty claims.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), both sides “reaffirmed their commitment to reduce tensions while maintaining their respective positions.”

In a meeting on Tuesday, the Philippines and China agreed on the necessity to “rebuild trust” and “restore confidence” to enhance the management of maritime disputes. Despite this, Manila emphasized to its neighbor its unwavering determination to safeguard its interests in the South China Sea.

The high-level talks between senior officials from both foreign ministries followed what the Philippine military described as China’s “most aggressive” actions in recent history by its Coast Guard against Filipino vessels during a routine resupply mission last month, resulting in serious injury to a Filipino sailor.

“There was substantial progress on developing measures to manage the situation at sea, but significant differences remain,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement.

Manila has actively sought broader international backing for its maritime claims, forging closer alliances with nations to promote a rule-based system that upholds international law following the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 verdict declaring China’s extensive claims as lacking legal foundation.

However, China contends that its actions in the South China Sea have been legitimate and conducted in accordance with the law, rejecting any claims or measures derived from the ruling.

“The Philippines will be relentless in protecting interests and upholding its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea,” the DFA said in the statement using the term Manila uses to refer to waters within its exclusive economic zone.

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