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Philippines summons China's diplomat over 'harassment' off disputed shoal
Publication Date : 25-02-2014
Manila on Tuesday summoned China's charge d'affairs in the Philippines to "strongly protest" a January 27 incident where China' Coast Guard used water cannon to drive Filipino fishing boats off a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.
In a news conference, the Department of Foreign Affairs' spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippines denounced the "acts of harassment and the manner by which these were committed by China to drive away Philippine vessels in Bajo de Masinloc".
Bajo de Masinloc is the Philippines' name for Scarborough Shoal, a rich fishing ground and the subject of a territorial spat between Manila and Beijing.
The Philippine shipping boats had been seeking shelter there during bad weather, Hernandez said.
He said three vessels from China's Coast Guard and 14 Philippine fishing boats were involved in the incident.
The Chinese side used water cannon on two of the fishing boats that ventured 40 yards from the shoal, he added.
Hernandez said there were nine other incidents of Chinese harassment of Filipino fishermen reported last year.