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Philippines defies China’s unilateral fishing ban in South China Sea 

Manila: The Philippines delivered another blow to China, carrying out aggressive activities in the South China Sea using its military might. The Philippines has openly defied the annual fishing ban imposed by China. Filipino National Security Advisor (NSA) warned that the fishing ban does not apply to their fishermen. At the same time, the Filipino task force issued an independent statement that said their fishermen are encouraged to go out and fish in Philippine waters. Therefore, the tensions between China and the Philippines have sharply escalated in the South China Sea.   

Only 24 hours ago, the Philippines had lashed out at China for staging military drills in the South China Sea. The Filipino Foreign and Defence Ministries had issued independent statements, severely criticising China for the move. Also, the Filipino Foreign Minister expressed outrage and reacted by demanding China to leave the area on social media. The statement prompted a strong protest from China, calling for basic manners from the Filipino foreign minister.   

However, the dispute between the two nations appears heading towards a tipping point. China had announced a fishing ban from the 1st of May to August. The ban imposed on the South China Sea extends to the West Philippines Sea, which is a part of the Filipino territorial waters. Therefore, the Philippines has vehemently opposed the decision. The Philippines, which had previously only expressed its displeasure at China, has taken a more assertive stance, encouraging its fishermen to go out and fish in the West Philippines Sea. As the statement came straight from the National Security Advisor, it dealt a hard blow to China.   

Only last week, the Philippine Coast Guard and Task Force had thwarted China’s intrusion attempts into its waters. The Philippines had warned China in a statement issued after that, saying the country would continue monitoring the Chinese militia ships. Yet, China is repeatedly making incursion attempts into the Filipino waters. 

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