Philippines Demands Beijing Stop Seizing Fishing Boat Hauls in South China Sea

Asia & Pacific

On Monday, the Philippine president’s office demanded that China stop confiscating fish caught by Filipino fishermen in the disputed South China Sea.

Beijing claims numerous islets and shoals in the South China Sea, including Scarborough Shoal, and have spent the last few years reclaiming significant land around them to form stable islands large enough for military installations. The reef, also claimed by the Philippines, is 142 miles away from the Philippine island of Luzon, the South China Morning Post reported. 

On Monday, Harry Roque, the spokesperson for Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, confirmed reports that the Chinese Coast Guard confiscated fish caught by Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal last month.

“The (Chinese Coast Guard personnel) board our boats, look at where we store the fish and take the best ones. We cannot do anything because their huge vessels are there,” Romel Cejuela, one of the fishermen, said, the South China Morning Post reported Monday.

“We have addressed this issue to the Chinese and we are demanding that the Chinese take steps to stop the coastguard from doing these acts,” Roque told reporters Monday.

“That is unacceptable. That is why we informed the Chinese we will not allow fish to be taken from our countrymen,” he added.

On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that authorities were investigating the allegations.

“Out of friendship, China has…

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