APART from filing a diplomatic protest, the Philippines will engage China openly on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly once the reported construction of a maritime rescue center in the West Philippine Sea is verified, Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Jr. said Saturday.
In a series of tweets, Locsin agreed with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio’s position that the country should take action against China for putting up a new facility on Fiery Cross Reef or Kagitingan Reef.
“And we will (protest). I however preferred engaging them openly on the floor of the UN General Assembly,” Locsin said. In another tweet, he clarified that the term used should be “protest,” not “contest” as Carpio put it.
The Chinese state media, Xinhua news has reported that China has opened a “maritime rescue center” on Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) “to better protect navigation and transport safety.”
China’s transport ministry said the center “will offer better support to maritime rescue operations in the southern part of the South China Sea.”
The Government of China had said it plans to use its artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea for humanitarian purposes.
Experts however warned that China is militarizing these waters.