The Philippines has rejected an annual summer fishing ban imposed by China in the disputed South China Sea and encouraged its boats to keep fishing in the country’s territorial waters.
The fishing moratorium imposed by China since 1999 runs from May 1 to Aug. 16 and covers areas of the South China Sea — which the Philippines refers to as the West Philippine Sea (WPS) — as well as other waters off China.
“This fishing ban does not apply to our fishermen,” the Philippine National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“Our fisher folk are encouraged to go out and fish in our waters in the WPS,” the task force said, as it voiced its opposition to China’s ban imposed over areas within the territory and jurisdiction of the Philippines.
The Chinese embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Manila has for years been embroiled in a dispute over Beijing’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea, most of which is also claimed by Taiwan.
An international tribunal in 2016 invalidated China’s claims, but Beijing has rejected the ruling.
Tensions between the two countries recently escalated after Manila accused China of territorial incursions by hundreds of its vessels in the resource-rich waterway.
The Philippines has filed diplomatic protests against China over what it calls the “illegal” presence of the Chinese vessels, which it has said are crewed by militia.
Chinese diplomats have said that the boats are just sheltering from rough seas and have no militia aboard.
The task force said that it had spotted seven “Chinese Maritime Militia” at the Sabina shoal in the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) on Tuesday last week, which dispersed after being challenged by the Philippine Coast Guard.
Five returned two days later, but left after the coast guard returned, it said.
The Sabina shoal is about 130 nautical miles (240km) from the western Philippine island of Palawan.
Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) — the largest island in the Spratlys — has been administered by Taiwan since 1956.
“The Philippines is not deterred from defending our national interest, patrimony and our dignity as a people with all that we have,” the task force said.
A TAIWAN FIRST: The duo are the first badminton players from Taiwan to climb an Olympic podium, and Tai Tzu-ying has a shot at doing the same today Taiwanese badminton duo Lee Yang (李洋) and Wang Chi-lin (王齊麟) yesterday won the nation’s first Olympic gold medal in the sport when they prevailed over a third-seeded Chinese pair in the final of the men’s doubles at the Tokyo Olympics. Lee and Wang, both first-time Olympians, defeated Liu Yuchen (劉雨辰) and Li Junhui (李俊慧) 21-18, 21-12 in a 34-minute final at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza. As of yesterday, Taiwan had bagged seven medals in Tokyo — two golds, two silvers and three bronzes — topping its previous best of five medals in 2000 and 2004. Taiwan moved to No. 17 in the
‘TEAM TAIWAN’: Taiwanese athletes have performed admirably and raised the nation’s profile, but many abroad still think they are Chinese, an advocate said Advocacy groups have called for the national team to compete under the name “Taiwan” at the Tokyo Olympics, while former Olympian Chi Cheng (紀政) has launched another referendum petition on the issue. Taiwanese athletes have performed outstandingly at the Olympics and have raised the nation’s profile on the world stage, Northern Taiwan Society chairman Lee Chuan-hsin (李川信) said on Friday. “Many foreign news agencies, including Japan’s NHK, have called our delegation ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei.’ Therefore our own people and politicians should also speak of ‘Team Taiwan’ and Taiwanese athletes,” he said. “However, in Taiwan, most of the time the Taiwanese team
SOAKED: Although rain in central and southern Taiwan is to ease today, chances of heavy or extremely heavy rain would be high in the morning, a CWB forecaster said Extreme torrential rain brought by a southwesterly jet stream yesterday wreaked havoc in central and southern Taiwan, causing flash floods and triggering mudflows and landslides in mountainous areas. By 5pm yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau’s observation station in Yuyoushan (御油山) in Kaohsiung’s Liouguei District (六龜) had registered accumulated rainfall of 726.5mm since 12am on Saturday, the highest among the bureau’s observation stations. It was followed by the observation station in Kaohsiung’s Maolin District (茂林), which recorded accumulated rainfall of 671.5mm over the period. Six of the 10 observation stations that recorded the highest accumulated rainfall yesterday were in Liouguei, bureau
MEDIGEN: The Central Epidemic Command Center plans to wait until about 500,000 to 600,000 doses have passed testing before offering it in the vaccination program The inspection of the first four batches of the domestic COVID-19 vaccine has been completed and the doses are ready to be rolled out, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday. The inspection of the four batches of the vaccine made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗), a total of 265,528 doses, was completed on Friday last week and they are being sealed at a designated warehouse in preparation for use, FDA Research and Inspection Division head Wang Teh-yuan (王德原) said. The sealing was expected to be completed yesterday evening, he said. The Medigen vaccine, the first protein-based COVID-19 vaccine to be