Marcos touts ties with ‘good friend’ Beijing as Philippines issues new South China Sea protest
- The President-elect said cooperation with others, including ‘strongest partner’ China, would hasten his country’s economic recovery
- His comments came as the foreign ministry lodged a fresh diplomatic protest against China’s maritime activities within Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone
Marcos said cooperation with others would hasten his country’s economic recovery. “We can only do it with our partners, and our strongest partner has always been – in that regard – our close neighbour, our good friend, the People’s Republic of China.”
His comments came as the foreign ministry late on Friday said it had lodged a fresh diplomatic protest against China’s maritime activities within Manila’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
It was the second diplomatic protest by the ministry this week, adding to more than 300 complaints filed against Beijing’s “illegal” activities in the South China Sea.
The foreign ministry said the Chinese actions took place at the Second Thomas Shoal, claimed by both Beijing and Manila and is located 105 nautical miles (195km) off the Philippines’ Palawan province.
China engaged in “illegal fishing” while Chinese coast guard vessels shadowed Philippine boats on a resupply mission around its shoal, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“China has no right to fish, monitor, or interfere with the Philippines’ legitimate activities therein,” it added.
On Thursday, the department also announced that it had protested the return of over 100 Chinese vessels around Julian Felipe Reef.
The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
China claims large swathes of the South China Sea and continues to assert its presence in the strategic waterway, despite an arbitration ruling in 2016 invalidating Beijing’s claim.