Join our crew and become one of the 107,371 members that receive our newsletter.

Chinese militia vessels spotted at Sabina Shoal in South China Sea

Philippine Coast Guard personnel survey several ships believed to be Chinese militia vessels in Sabina Shoal in the South China Sea, in a handout photo distributed by the Philippine Coast Guard on May 5 and taken according to source on April 27, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS

President Marcos Says Philippines ‘Will Not Lose An Inch’ Of Territory

Total Views: 2521
February 18, 2023

MANILA, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said on Saturday that the country “will not lose an inch” of territory, his remarks coming on the heels of continuing maritime tensions with Beijing in the South China Sea.

The Southeast Asian nation this week protested what it called as Beijing’s “aggressive activities” that have stoked a long-running territorial dispute over the South China Sea.

“The country has seen heightened geopolitical tensions that do not conform to our ideals of peace and threaten the security and stability of the country, of the region and of the world,” Marcos said in a speech at a military alumni homecoming event.

“This country will not lose an inch of its territory. We will continue to uphold our territorial integrity and sovereignty in accordance with our constitution and with international law. We will work with our neighbours to secure the safety and security of our peoples.”

Beijing’s embassy in Manila did not respond to a request for comment. China’s foreign ministry had said its coastguard conducted actions according to law.

On Tuesday, Marcos summoned China’s envoy to express his “serious concern” over Beijing’s “increasing frequency and intensity of actions” against the Philippine Coast Guard and Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea.

The Philippines’ foreign ministry on Tuesday also filed a diplomatic protest after Manila’s coastguard reported its Chinese counterpart had directed a “military-grade laser” at one of its ships supporting a resupply mission to troops, temporarily blinding its crew on the bridge.

However, Marcos sees the laser pointing incident as insufficient to invoke a mutual defence treaty with United States, a longstanding ally.

“If we activated that, what we are doing is escalating, intensifying the tensions in the area and I think that would be counterproductive,” Marcos told reporters.

Marcos said he discussed with China’s ambassador to Manila what he saw was intensifying actions of Chinese marine militia, coast guard and navy, including the laser pointing incident.

China’s recent actions came just a month after Marcos’ state visit to Beijing, where the two countries pledged to handle disputes peacefully and boost cooperation.

China claims large swathes of the strategic waterway, where about $3 trillion in ship-borne trade passes annually, which was invalidated by an international tribunal in The Hague in 2016. 

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Michael Perry)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 107,371 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

Join Our Crew

Join the 107,371 members that receive our newsletter.