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Filipino diplomat fumes over China incursions

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 14:01, 4 May 2021  
Filipino diplomat fumes over China incursions

China has refused repeated calls from the Philippines to withdraw the boats, and tensions have intensified as Manila steps up maritime patrols in the area

The Philippines’s top diplomat has demanded in an expletive-laden social media message that China’s vessels leave the country’s waters, the latest salvo in a war of words between Manila and Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O… GET THE F*** OUT,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr wrote on Twitter on Monday.

After his comments lit up social media, Locsin commented further on Tuesday: “If Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone”, referring to his Chinese counterpart.

The latest spat over the resource-rich waters – which China claims almost entirely – flared up in March after hundreds of Chinese boats were spotted inside the Philippines’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

China has refused repeated calls from the Philippines to withdraw the boats and tensions have intensified as Manila steps up maritime patrols in the area. Beijing has refused to acknowledge the Philippine EEZ in the South China Sea as defined by the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague.

Locsin frequently uses strong language on social media and defended his latest outburst by saying: “Usual suave diplomatic-speak gets nothing done.”

Shiningbd/Mb