MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr on Wednesday, August 24, urged China to stop its reclamation activities in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
"For the international community, the red line is that this should be stopped. Right now, there should be no further reclamation activities," Yasay said in a briefing at the Senate.
Yasay explained that China's reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea "have impacted negatively" on the disputed waters.
"This has been a concern," he said.
This is one of Yasay's strongest statements about China since Manila won a historic case against Beijing the West Philippine Sea.
President Rodrigo Duterte has said the Philippines will not "flaunt" this ruling as Manila aims to boost its ties with Beijing.
In fact the Philippines, through special envoy and former president Fidel V. Ramos, has invited China to "formal discussions" on the sea dispute.
The Senate briefing is ongoing as of posting time. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.