Chinese embassy justifies presence of buoys in PH waters

China sees nothing wrong with sending its own buoys to the Philippine waters as it has said it is "in accordance with the law."

The Chinese Embassy in Manila made the statement on Friday after a ship tracking data observed that Beijing deployed its largest beacon vessel to the West Philippine Sea, several days after the Philippines did the first move.

Nansha Islands is the Chinese name for Spratly Islands, which are part of the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ), based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 Arbitral Ruling.

"China's deployment of buoys in relevant waters of China's Nansha Islands is an act of exercising its sovereignty in accordance with law," the embassy said.

"It aims to ensure the safety of maritime navigation and operations, and provide public goods for passing ships and countries in the region," it added.

On May 14, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported on May 14 that five navigational buoys marked by a Philippine flag were installed in the West Philippine Sea.

The floating markers were placed off Patag (Flat) Island, Balagtas (Irving) Reef, Kota (Loaita) Island, Panata Island (Lankiam Cay), and Julian Felipe (Whitsun) Reef—all in the Kalayaan Island Group (Spratly Islands)—by the PCG's Task Force Kaligtasan sa Karagatan (TF KsK) from May 10 to 12, according to Commodore Jay Tarriela, PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea.

"The installation of these buoys, adorned with the Philippine flag, signifies the country's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). This move highlights the Philippines' unwavering resolve to protect its maritime borders and resources and contribute to the safety of maritime trade," Tarriela said in a tweet.