Historical rights, 9-dash line only exist in China’s imagination – DND chief

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National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has criticized China’s massive maritime claim that extends to West Philippine Sea.

“That area is within our [exclusive economic zone],” Secretary Lorenzana said as quoted by GMA News Online adding that China “have no right to claim they are enforcing their laws.”

“Their so-called historical rights over an area enclosed by their 9-line doesn’t exist except in their imaginations,” the Lorenzana added.

Secretary Lorenzana made the statement after Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on August 21 that “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.”

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

Zhao added “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, the Department of Foreign Affairs (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’s continuing illicit issuances of radio challenges against Philippine aircraft conducting legitimate regular maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea,” DFA added.