THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summoned Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian on April 12, 2021. The DFA expressed displeasure over the illegal lingering presence of Chinese vessels in Julian Felipe Reef.
DFA Acting Undersecretary Elizabeth P. Buensuceso informed Ambassador Huang that Julian Felipe Reef lies within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of the Philippines. The continuing presence of Chinese vessels around the Reef is a source of regional tension.
Acting Undersecretary Buensuceso stressed that the July 12, 2016 Award in the South China Sea Arbitration ruled that claims to historic rights, or other sovereign rights or jurisdiction that exceed the geographic and substantive limits of maritime entitlements under UNCLOS, are without lawful effect.
On the untoward statements of the Chinese embassy spokesperson on Defense Secretary Lorenzana, the Chinese side was reminded of proper decorum and manners in the conduct of their duties as guests of the Philippines.
Both sides affirmed the use of peaceful settlement of disputes in addressing their differences on the SCS/WPS issue.
In closing, the DFA reiterated the firm demand of the Philippines that China ensure the immediate departure of all its vessels from the area of Julian Felipe Reef and other maritime zones of the Philippines.