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Philippines Affirms Self-Reliance in Security Amid South China Sea Disputes

FILE PHOTO: A Philippine flag flutters on BRP Sierra Madre, a dilapidated Philippine Navy ship that has been aground since 1999, on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea March 29, 2014. REUTERS/Erik De Castro/File Photo

The Philippines has reiterated its intent to continue supporting and provisioning its outposts in the South China Sea independently, without the need for external authorization, according to statements from the country’s national security adviser.

On Saturday, the Philippines’ National Security Council reaffirmed the nation’s right to uphold its sovereignty and jurisdiction, specifically over the Second Thomas Shoal. “Our operations within our territorial waters and exclusive economic zone proceed without bowing to external pressure or intimidation,” National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Ano declared.

This statement was a direct response to China’s earlier demand that the Philippines should notify Beijing before conducting such operations. China’s Foreign Ministry had stated on Friday that it would permit the Philippines to deliver supplies and evacuate personnel, provided there was prior notification to Beijing.

Secretary Ano sharply criticized these demands, labeling them as “absurd, nonsense and unacceptable,” and firmly stated, “We do not and will never require China’s permission for our activities in these areas.”

However, the council emphasized that the Philippines is still committed to engaging in dialogue and peaceful negotiations to address and resolve the broader disputes in the South China Sea.

This announcement follows a recent incident reported by the Philippine Coast Guard, in which Chinese forces allegedly obstructed the evacuation of a critically ill Filipino service member in the disputed waters.

This development is part of a longstanding territorial conflict in the South China Sea, where China asserts nearly exclusive claims over the area—a crucial maritime route that supports over $3 trillion in trade each year.

Despite a ruling in 2016 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague dismissing China’s extensive maritime claims as legally unfounded, Beijing has continued to reject this decision.

Lucas Falcão

International Politics and Sports Specialist, Chief Editor of Walerts with extensive experience in breaking news.

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