I warned China of ‘worst’ if military exercises spill to PHL territory – Locsin

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“I immediately consulted the map and it was clear the naval exercises did not take place in the coordinates of our Philippine territory. However, I warned, and this kind of irritated Beijing, should these exercises spill over to my territory then they must expect the worst,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. said in interview with CNN Philippines on August 28 commenting on recent Chinese military exercise near Paracel Islands in which ballistic missiles were reportedly fired.

“I have a specific territory outline and that I will not brook any violation of my territory,” Secretary Locsin said.

It can be remembered that Secretary Locsin said, regarding the July 1 to 5 Chinese military exercise, “the Chinese naval military exercises, if they stick to their coordinates, do not impinge on Philippine territory. These exercises are taking place in waters of Xisha Islands, the Paracels, which Vietnam claims sovereignty.” 

“Should the exercises spill over to Philippine territory, then China is forewarned that it will be met with the severest response, diplomatic and whatever else is appropriate,” Locsin added.

Commenting on the recent Chinese military exercise, United States Department of Defense said “conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability.”

“The PRC’s actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea. Such exercises also violate PRC commitments under the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea to avoid activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability,  and call into question its motivations with ongoing negotiations for a Code of Conduct between China and ASEAN,” the Pentagon said.

“This military exercise is the latest in a long string of PRC actions to assert unlawful maritime claims and disadvantage its Southeast Asian neighbors in the South China Sea,” the US department said.