To criticize China for passing a new law that allows its Coast Guard to shoot any foreign vessels operating within its so-called “jurisdictional waters” is “none of our business,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Monday.
Locsin’s statement was in reaction to the view expressed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros calling the new Chinese law passed by the New People’s Congress in Beijing a “very negative” development in the South China Sea issue.
“It’s none of our business; it is China’s business what laws it passes; so please a little self-restraint,” Locsin said.
The DFA secretary likened China’s passage of its coast guard law to steps that the Philippine government took to defend its sovereignty such as devising a rubber stamp that stamps most of the South China Sea and parts of Borneo into the passports of inbound Chinese nationals where “no one has complained.”
Hontiveros was alarmed by the latest development which she said can only harm efforts to solve the sea dispute through political and diplomatic means.
Also on Monday, Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario called the Duterte administration to build a credible defense posture and strengthen its alliances with other countries in the light of the new Chinese law that will take effect beginning February 1, 2021.
“In the face of this new Chinese aggression, we should prioritize what we have been saying before: build a credible defense posture for our country and strengthen our security alliance with freedom-loving nations like the United States, the countries comprising the European Union, Japan, Australia, and our ASEAN neighbors,” Del Rosario said.