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NSA Carlos suggests submitting a note verbale against China.

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Following reports that the Chinese Coast Guard interfered with a Philippine naval station team’s attempts to recover an unidentified floating object spotted near Pag-asa Island, National Security Adviser (NSA) Clarita Carlos said Tuesday that she has recommended to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. the filing of a note verbale against China.

Carlos, who is also the chair of the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS), stated in an interview with DZBB that “Siguro ‘yung pwedeng i-disclose sa public ‘yung dati nating ginagawa, mag-note verbale tayo sa China (Perhaps what I can disclose to the public is what we have always done before, which is to file a note verbale

The two leaders discussed efforts to prioritize constructive engagement and critical dialogue during their recent bilateral meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, she said would be referenced in the note verbale.

Let’s say that this occurred after Xi Jinping and President Bongbong met in Cambodia and made a commitment to focusing on constructive engagement and critical dialogue. She continued, “Doon sila sinabi na talagang tutukuran nila constructive engagement at critical dialogue and ito nangyari naman ito (Let’s say that this occurred after Xi Jinping and President Bongbong met in Cambodia and made a commitment to doing so

In the midst of yet another tense incident in the West Philippine Sea, Carlos also questioned the Chinese leader’s sincerity in trying to amicably resolve the territorial conflict between the two nations.

Ano ba iyon? “Nangyari na naman ito, paulit-ulit na lang ito. What was the leader’s most recent statement, made by Si Xi Jinping? What’s up with that? What is the real point, since it happens again? What is the main point of Xi Jinping’s speech as their leader? Does it have no significance?)” she asked.

She reaffirmed that the Philippines is still willing to talk to China, but she also voiced the hope that Beijing would acknowledge Manila’s determination to advance its national interests in the disputed waters.

“Since we are not at war with this nation, let’s keep the lines of communication open. If there is an overriding national interest, China must be maintained it. I believe China realizes where our highest national interest is and what needs to be done to protect it, as well as the territorial integrity of our nation and individual Filipino citizens. The defense of our territory, the Filipino people, and our oceans is in our utmost national interest, she continued.

A Chinese Coast Guard ship “forcefully retrieved” an unidentified floating object that was being pulled by a Philippine vessel in the waters off Pag-asa Island on Monday, according to the Western Command (Wescom), based in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The floating device was allegedly acquired following a “friendly consultation” with the Philippine side, according to the Chinese Embassy in Manila, which disputed that it had been taken forcibly.

As US Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in the Philippines on Sunday for talks to deepen ties with the Philippines, a treaty ally, a dispute took place.

Harris will also reiterate US backing for a 2016 international tribunal decision that invalidated China’s claims in the hotly contested sea during his three-day tour, which includes a stop in Palawan.

There are conflicting claims in the South China Sea between China, the Philippines, and a number of other littoral governments.

Beijing’s nine-dash line, which demarcates about 80% of the South China Sea, was found to be unlawful by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which has its seat in The Hague.

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