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China’s fishing ban is against PH sovereignty – Palace

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By the Philippine News Agency

The three-month fishing ban imposed by China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) is against Philippine sovereignty, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

A Filipino fisherman rests on a dinghy as Chinese fishing boats pass by at the disputed Scarborough Shoal April 5, 2017.  (REUTERS/Erik De Castro / MANILA BULLETIN)

A Filipino fisherman rests on a dinghy as Chinese fishing boats pass by at the disputed Scarborough Shoal April 5, 2017.
(REUTERS/Erik De Castro / MANILA BULLETIN)

“That’s against the sovereignty – that’s our position,” replied Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo when asked in a Palace briefing if the fishing ban was objectionable on the part of the Philippines.

“Is it objectionable for a sovereign country to have its property or island assaulted or intruded into? Your question, if your answer is yes, then the answer to your question is yes,” he said.

The Chinese agricultural ministry reportedly said the annual fishing ban, which covers both Chinese and foreign fishermen, will run from May 1 until August 16.

Vietnam “resolutely” rejected China’s unilateral fishing ban decision, according to media reports.

Panelo said the government will always be consistent with its policy “that it will assert its sovereignty over the areas claimed to be its own.”

“So, it will always pursue that line,” he added.

The Presidential Spokespeson, however, said he will leave it to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. to make a statement on the issue.

“I will leave that to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to make a direct statement on that,” he added, noting that all department heads “know their jobs.”

In April, President Rodrigo Duterte held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China from where both leaders reiterated their respective stand on the sea row.

Panelo said the two leaders also agreed to use a bilateral consultation mechanism to resolve the conflict.

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