Philippines Files 10 Protests Vs China in 2 Months Over Sea Row

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines has filed 10 diplomatic protests against China over alleged “violations” in the South China Sea with barely two months into 2023, underscoring renewed tensions between the two nations over the disputed waters.

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These form part of the 77 diplomatic protests filed against China under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday. That’s almost a fifth of the 388 protests filed throughout the six-year term of Marcos’s predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

“The Philippines continues to protest China’s persistent and illegal presence in Philippine waters, including those near Ayungin Shoal,” the agency said.

Beijing has been asserting its claims to a wide swath of the South China Sea, including islands and reefs Manila sees as its own. Earlier this month, the Philippines protested China’s move to aim a military-grade laser at a Philippine ship in the contested waters. The US has described China’s move as “provocative,” while Beijing has said the laser was not military grade.

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