Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana spoke in Manila on July 25. Photo: AP.

The Philippines requires China to respect international law

Philippine Defense Minister asked China to respect international maritime law after the incident of preventing foreign oil tankers near Scarborough Shoal.

"The Chinese government must respect international maritime law if it is to win the respect of the international community," Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement released on November 3.

The statement was made by Lorenzana after a Chinese warship allegedly blocked the Green Aura tanker flying the Liberia flag near the Scarborough Shoal on Sept. 30.

Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana spoke in Manila on July 25. Image: AP.

The Greek-owned tanker, controlled by a Filipino crew, is believed to be hindered by Chinese warships en route from Thailand, through the Scarborough Shoal to China. Scarborough has been a land of disputes between the Philippines and China for many years.

Philippine media quoted Manolo Ebora, the captain of Green Aura, as the ship entered the 12-nautical-mile area near Scarborough Shoal at 7:30 pm on September 30, receiving radio signals from a nearby vehicle itself. introduced as "Chinese warships".

The ship ordered Green Aura to move about 10 nautical miles from the shoal and also sought to block the course of the tanker. Green Aura then left the Scarborough Shoal safely.

Lorenzana confirmed that Scarborough Shoal is within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines and the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the 2016 ruling declared it to be a common fishing area.

The Philippine Defense Minister said the Green Aura had safely arrived at the port and said it should not "be serious" or "incite" the incident, while emphasizing that countries need to "be cautious and respect their freedom. shipping in the South China Sea ".

"The report was transferred to the Philippine National Task Force in the South China Sea, for appropriate action," said Lorenzana. The Philippine Foreign Ministry said it was still verifying information about the incident.

During a press conference yesterday, spokesman for Philippine President Salvador Panelo said Green Aura was "not a Philippine ship" so the incident "was not a matter of concern" for Manila, but of the nation owning the ship. .

Panelo said the incident did not affect ongoing South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) negotiations, but expressed his agreement with Defense Minister Lorenzana's call that China should. respect international maritime law.

"I agree and believe that China should do the same, because China also states that we need to respect international law," Panelo said.

Mai Lam (Follow Inquirer)

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