The Philippine Foreign Minister has warned Beijing to “ get the f *** out ” from a disputed area of the South China Sea amid an escalating war of words between the countries.
Teddy Locsin Jr. sent the expletive message Monday when the Philippine State Department complained that Chinese coastguard ships were harassing their own ships near a disputed island in the sea.
‘China, my friend, how politely can I say it? Let me see… GET THE FUCK OUT, ”Locsin said in a tweet from his personal account.
‘What are you doing with our friendship? You. Not We. Tried. You are like an ugly bastard compelling your attention to a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to beget a Chinese province … ”Locsin said.
Teddy Locsin Jr, the Philippines’ secretary of state, told China in an angry tweet to get ‘THE F *** OUT’ from the South China Sea.
Locsin sent the message amid reports that the Chinese Coast Guard had harassed Filipino ships near a dispute island called Scarborough Shoal
When asked about his language, Locsin later said that “just speaking softly diplomatically doesn’t get you anywhere.”
His department has filed dozens of protests in recent weeks over what it calls repeated and illegal incursions of Chinese ships into Philippine waters.
The latest feud was sparked by clashes between rival coast guards around the Scarborough Shoal – an uninhabited island claimed by both nations.
In the latest incident, the State Department said it has “ protested the shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuvering and radio challenges by the Chinese Coast Guard of Philippine Coast Guard vessels conducting legitimate maritime patrols and training drills ” from April 24-25 near Scarborough Shoal.
The island is surrounded by rich fishing waters that were effectively taken by China in 2012 after a stalemate between Chinese and Philippine fishing boats.
The department said it also protested “ the incessant, illegal, protracted and increasing presence of Chinese fishing and maritime militia ships in Philippine maritime zones ” in disputed waters.
It said hundreds of Chinese ships were spotted by Philippine law enforcement agencies from January to March this year in areas around Scarborough Shoal and the Philippine-occupied island of Thitu, referred to as Pagasa by Filipinos.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Philippines to respect what it calls Chinese sovereignty in disputed waters and to “ stop actions complicating the situation and escalating disputes. ”
China claims virtually the entire South China Sea, a vast ocean area bordered by Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China, through which $ 3 trillion in shipping passes annually.
China and the Philippines both claim the Scarborough Shoal and the rich fishing waters that surround it (photo: Fishing vessels of both countries at an impasse in 2017)
In 2016, an arbitral tribunal in The Hague ruled that China, which Beijing bases on its old maps, was in violation of international law.
The escalating feud between Manila and Beijing began after more than 200 Chinese vessels were spotted in early March that were suspected by the Philippine authorities of being piloted by militias.
The Philippine government demanded that the ships leave and then deployed coastguard ships in the area.
China said it owns the reef and the Chinese ships sheltered from rough seas.
Many of the Chinese ships have left Pentecost, about 325 nautical miles (325 kilometers) west of the Philippine province of Palawan, but a number are still docked in the area, which is part of a shallow atoll partially occupied by China and Vietnam .
The Philippine government says the reef is located in an internationally recognized offshore zone where Manila has exclusive rights to exploit fishing, oil, gas and other resources.
On Sunday, the Philippines vowed to continue maritime exercises in the EEZ in the South China Sea in response to a demand from China to stop actions that it believes could escalate the disputes.
On April 26, the Philippines had filed 78 diplomatic protests with China since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, State Department data shows.
“Our statements are stronger because of the more brutal nature of the activities, the number, frequency and proximity of burglaries,” said Marie Yvette Banzon-Abalos, director of strategic communications at the State Department.
For the most part, Duterte has sought warmer ties with China in exchange for Beijing’s pledges of billions of dollars in investment, aid and loans.
While the Philippine leader still considers China to be “a good friend,” he said last week, “There are things that aren’t really subject to compromise.”