China rejected Philippines protest over Mabini Reef airstrip

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said China has rejected the protest made by the Philippines over the supposed construction of an airstrip at the Mabini Reef (Johnson South Reef) in the disputed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) by the Chinese side.

In a brief statement, the DFA said China did not accept the objections of the Philippines despite no less than President Benigno Aquino III raising the issue during the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders' summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

"On April 4, the Philippines protested Chinese reclamation on Mabini (Johnson) Reef. The Chinese side rejected the protest," said the DFA.

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Despite this, the Philippine government is expecting a better resolution on the matter after it included the Mabini Reef in its case pending at the Arbitral Court of the United Nations (UN).

"The Philippines already included Mabini Reef in the Memorial to clarify Mabini Reef's physical character," said the DFA.

Earlier, DFA spokesman Charles Jose was quoted as saying that China has been moving earth and materials to the Mabini Reef in recent weeks.

The Philippines has already filed an arbitration case before the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea Arbitral Tribunal against China's unilateral claim of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). (HDT/Sunnex)

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