Wait, Not so Fast, Apparently China Doesn’t Agree to Philippine Declaration

24 November 2016. A few days ago I wrote that China had agreed with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order that certain parts of Scarborough Shoal – over which both China and the Philippines claim sovereignty – were to become a marine sanctuary and were off-limits to fishing. Duterte’s office had stated that China backed the idea. But apparently not. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China would allow Philippine fishermen to operate around the shoal, but that "China's sovereignty and jurisdiction of Huangyan Island [the Chinese name for the shoal] has not and will not change." It looked like a face-saving way to break the dispute over the area, after the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favour of the Philippines, but maybe not. See “China Declines to Say If It Supports Philippine Fishing Ban,” at http://www.marinelink.com/news/philippine-declines418648

 

By Dr. Ann Griffiths

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