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UPDATE 2-Philippines foreign minister issues expletive-laced tweet over China sea dispute

GlobalMay 04, 2021 05:30
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© Reuters.

* Chinese vessels illegally present in EEZ - minister
* Philippines files new diplomatic protests
* Duterte calls on China to allow Filipino fishermen

(Adds U.S. comment; Note graphic language in paragraph 3 some
may find offensive)
MANILA, May 3 (Reuters) - The Philippine foreign minister on
Monday demanded in an expletive-laced Twitter message that
China's vessels get out of disputed waters, the latest exchange
in a war of words with Beijing over the South China Sea.
The comments by Teodoro Locsin, known for making blunt
remarks at times, follow Manila's protests for what it calls the
"illegal" presence of hundreds of Chinese boats inside the
Philippines 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
"China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see…
O…GET THE FUCK OUT," Locsin tweeted on his personal account.
"What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We're
trying. You. You're like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on
a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese
province ...", Locsin said.
China's embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a
request for comment. Chinese officials have previously said the
vessels at the disputed Whitsun Reef were fishing boats taking
refuge from rough seas.
Responding to a request for comment, a spokeswoman for the
U.S. State Department reiterated a March 28 statement by U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying the United States
"stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of (China's)
maritime militia pressure in the South China Sea."
"As we have stated before, an armed attack against the
Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the
Pacific, including in the South China Sea, will trigger our
obligations under the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,"
the spokeswoman added.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through
which about $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year. In
2016, an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled that the claim
was inconsistent with international law.
In a statement on Monday, the Philippine foreign ministry
accused China's coast guard of "shadowing, blocking, dangerous
manoeuvres, and radio challenges of the Philippine coast guard
vessels."
On Sunday, the Philippines vowed to continue maritime
exercises in its South China Sea EEZ in response to a Chinese
demand that it stop actions it said could escalate disputes.
As of April 26, the Philippines had filed 78 diplomatic
protests to China since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in
2016, foreign ministry data shows.
"Our statements are stronger too because of the more brazen
nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of
intrusions," said Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, executive director
for strategic communications at the foreign ministry.
Duterte for the most part has pursued warmer ties with China
in exchange for Beijing's promises of billions of dollars in
investment, aid and loans.
"China remains to be our benefactor. Just because we have a
conflict with China does not mean to say that we have to be rude
and disrespectful," Duterte said in a weekly national address.
"So, kindly just allow our fishermen to fish in peace and
there is no reason for trouble," Duterte said, addressing China.

UPDATE 2-Philippines foreign minister issues expletive-laced tweet over China sea dispute
 

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