“We do not wish to be part of a US-China intramural,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said in a statement as response to reported sailing of United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, USS Hopper (DDG-70) within 12 nautical miles off Scarborough Shoal on evening of January 17.
“The United States can take care of its own interest,” he added.
Secretary Roque also noted that “the Philippines’ claim over Scarborough Shoal is recognized under our constitutional law and international law.”
Scarborough Shoal is well within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone and is an an integral part of the Philippine territory.
China who is also claiming Scarborough Shoal slammed the latest move by US.
“We strongly urge the US side to immediately correct its mistake and stop making such provocative moves so as to avoid undermining China-US relations and regional peace and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said on January 20.
Sources: https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/presidential-spokesperson-chinas-protest-us-warship-near-scarborough-shoal/; http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1527341.shtml