PH embassy rejects China’s remarks vs. Ambassador Romualdez

MANILA: The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on Monday disputed the recent remarks of the Chinese Embassy in Manila against Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez. In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said Romualdez is not a mouthpiece for 'another country' nor is he spreading 'erroneous 'China threat' and 'Sinophobia' remarks.' 'His statements regarding the developments in the South China Sea have been consistent with the position expressed by the Philippine Government's highest officials, particularly regarding the threat posed by unlawful, aggressive, and provocative actions of the Chinese Coast Guard and Chinese maritime militia against Philippine vessels and personnel and Filipino fishermen,' the statement read. These actions, it added, include the use of lasers, water cannons, and other dangerous maneuvers in violation of international maritime regulations. The Chinese Embassy has urged Romualdez to "stop spreading erroneous information'. It also accused him of stirring up trouble in the South Chin a Sea. 'China has always been committed to properly handling the South China Sea disputes with relevant parties through dialogue and consultation, while firmly safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests," the Chinese embassy said on Sunday. Despite the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration's decision invalidating China's nine-dash line map to claim nearly the entire South China Sea, Chinese maritime assets continue to assert aggression in Bajo de Masinloc and the Spratly Island group. 'Conflating Philippine efforts to defend its territorial and maritime entitlements with serving the interests of another country negates the Philippines' legitimate rights and interests to protect and defend our nation's sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea, and the Philippine Government will not stand for it,' the Philippine Embassy said. 'The Philippines consistently maintains its respect and support for, and commitment to an international rules-based order , particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the 2016 Arbitral Award, and will continue to work closely with like-minded partners in this regard,' it added. Source: Philippines News Agency