Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stay out of exclusive economic zone, Philippines warns China boat

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense on Friday called on the Chinese government not to derail any ongoing diplomatic talks on the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal standoff with the deployment of a powerful gunboat to the West Philippine Sea.

DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said as long as the powerful Yuzheng 310, a fishery patrol boat, does not enter the Philippines' 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), there will be "no problem."

"We are optimistic that our neighbor China will not do actions that may derail the ongoing diplomatic initiatives toward a peaceful resolution at Scarborough Shoal," Galvez told reporters.

On Thursday Chinese state media reported that the Yuzheng 310 was deployed to secure Chinese fishermen in the West Philippine Sea. This, even as a stalemate between Beijing and Manila over fishing rights that started April 10 at Scarborough Shoal remained unresolved.

Galvez clarified Friday that the Yuzheng 310 will not be deployed at Scarborough Shoal.

"Chinese media reported that it will be deployed to the West Philippine Sea but it did not state Scarborough Shoal, so as long as it stays in international waters there will be no problem," Galvez said.

"But when it goes within the EEZ that's a different story," he added.

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| April 20, 2012 | Article Link