China tells PHL to stop ‘illegally’ sending aircraft near Spratly features garrisoned by China

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry told Philippines to stop illegal provocations which include sending aircraft near Kalayaan Island Group (Spratly Islands) features occupied by China after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lodged a diplomatic protest.

“The Philippines infringes on China’s sovereignty and security by sending military aircraft into air space adjacent to Nansha (Spratly) islands and reefs garrisoned by China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on August 21.

“China urges the Philippine side to immediately stop illegal provocations,” he added.

Zhao added that “it is beyond reproach for China Coast Guard to conduct law enforcement in Huangyan Dao (Scarborough Shoal) waters as it is a lawful practice.”

On August 20, DFA said it lodged “a diplomatic protest to China over the illegal confiscation by the Chinese Coast Guard of fish aggregating devices (payaos) of Filipino fishermen in Bajo de Masinloc in May.”

“The Philippines also resolutely objected to China‚Äôs continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges against Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea,” DFA added.