The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest anew demanding China’s withdrawal from the vicinity of Pag-asa Island, citing ‘the incessant deployment, prolonged presence, and illegal activities of Chinese maritime assets and fishing vessels.’
The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Saturday, May 29, that it filed the protest on Friday, May 28. “The Pag-asa Islands is an integral part of the Philippines over which it has sovereignty and jurisdiction,” it added.
Pag-asa Island, also known as Thitu Island, is located 480 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan. It is the largest of what the Philippines refers to as the Kalayaan Island Group, a chain of nine islets it claims as a territory within the larger group known as the Spratlys.
The DFA’s protest this week comes after the Philippines and China agreed last week in a bilateral dialogue on the importance of holding dialogues on territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea to deescalate tensions over the disputed waters.