Manila, Nov 16: The Philippines’ foreign ministry issued a statement on Thursday calling on China to dismantle illegal structures, cease reclamations, and take responsibility for environmental damage in the South China Sea. The Department of Foreign Affairs emphasized that resupply missions to the Second Thomas Shoal, located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), are lawful activities, and there will be no advance notification to China.
This response comes following a statement by the spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry regarding the Philippines’ recent resupply mission. “We are being asked to give prior notification each time we conduct a resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal. We will not do so. The resupply missions are legitimate activities within our EEZ, in accordance with international law,” stated Teresita Daza, spokesperson for the Philippine foreign ministry.
The routine resupply missions aim to support Philippine troops stationed on an intentionally grounded, dilapidated warship on Second Thomas Shoal. This atoll in the South China Sea, referred to as Ayungin by Manila and Renai Reef in China, is a contentious area subject to territorial disputes. The embassy of China in Manila has not provided an immediate response to requests for comments.