Philippines to protest China's planned work on disputed shoal

Reuters file

"The Philippines is fully committed to seeing that we can get to that point", he added. "Now the two leaders's emphasis on the importance of full and effective implementation is consistent with what China has been calling for", Yang said.

The Philippines would take necessary action to defend and protect the country's sovereignty and entitlements in the disputed maritime borders, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

SENATORS are calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to act on China's plan to build a radar station on the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal.

China however has repeatedly refuse to recognizethe said decision.

Aguirre added that his country was "strengthening the relationship with the United States" in response to China's reported move.

Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, at the same time, suggested the Philippine government could lodge a "strong protest" against China before the United Nations.

"The Defense Secretary (Delfin Lorenzana) has often stated that he has not been consulted by the President, and in the recent Benham Rise incident, the Department of Foreign Affairs had no idea about what arrangement the President made with China", Alejano said. "We'll be awaiting a reply from China before we consider what to do next..."

"We recognise too that respect for freedom of navigation and overflight is in the interest of all countries within and outside the region", said Duterte following a meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in Bangkok.

But President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pivoted towards China and away from traditional ally the U.S. since his election a year ago, admitted that the country did not have the military clout to stop China's plans, and instead said that he would talk "face-to-face" with Chinese officials and look for a "peaceful, diplomatic solution".

"Now, the objective of the code is to see how we can manage our disputes carefully, not to raise tensions, not to escalate tensions". But you know, I think, through the years, many ideas have already developed regarding what kind of elements can go into the code.

China's activities in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which at least $5 trillion of goods passes annually, have been closely watched by the Philippines, which has seen Beijing build and arm artificial islands in its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said it was the duty of the government to invoke the ruling of the worldwide tribunal and take action before global legal institutions to contest the plan of China to build a radar installation on Panatag Shoal.

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