Philippines to ignore new Chinese maritime law in West PH sea

New Chinese law requires ships crossing the South China Sea to provide information, including the position of their vessels, to Chinese authorities

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines does not recognize China’s new maritime law, which requires foreign vessels in the South China Sea to “report their detailed information” to China.

“Our position on this matter is that we are not honoring these laws by the Chinese in the West Philippine Sea because we consider that we have the sovereign right in those waters. So we will not recognize this law of the Chinese, ”Lorenzana said at the 70th anniversary event of the mutual defense treaty on Wednesday, September 8th.

As of September 1, the Chinese government amended its 1983 Vessel Traffic Safety Act which now required ships crossing the South China Sea to report information, including the position of their vessels, to Chinese authorities, Chinese authorities World time reported September 6.

There are at least five types of vessels that must notify China. This includes submersibles, nuclear ships, ships carrying radioactive material, ships carrying bulk oil, chemicals and noxious substances, and ships labeled by China as “harmful” to their maritime traffic.

However, the new law does not encompass the West Philippine Sea, as the 2016 Hague ruling has already invalidated China’s non-existent claim of nine dashes in the region. The decision upheld the principle of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which stipulates that all maritime features located in a country’s exclusive economic zone belong by right to that country.

Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Tuesday (September 6) that the Philippines would not recognize China’s efforts to impose reporting obligations.

“What reporting requirements? We haven’t heard of any requirements and we wouldn’t mind if there are any; the West Philippine Sea including our EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) is ours. Full stop! ”Said Locsin.

The United States, one of the Philippines’ longtime allies, has also said the new Chinese law will not affect their operations in the Indo-Pacific. The United States has also been proactive in dealing with Chinese bullying in recent months under President Joe Biden’s administration.

The United States says military ships crossing the South China Sea are part of its exercise to assert freedom of navigation in the disputed waterway.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin noted during his visit to Singapore in July that China’s claims have no basis in international law: “Beijing’s claim over the vast majority of the South China Sea has no basis in international law… we let us remain committed to the treaty obligations we have to Japan… and to the Philippines in the South China Sea.

After his 7-day visit to Southeast Asia, US Vice President Kamala Harris also said China continues to intimidate other countries into backing its demands in the region. Harris’s visit to the region is part of the continued U.S. protest against China. – with a report by Sofia Tomacruz / Rappler.com