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India backs PH move to uphold rights over SCS

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INDIAN SUPPORT. A Chinese Coast Guard ship blasts a Filipino resupply boat with water cannon in Ayungin Shaol on March 5, 2024. Visiting Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar on Tuesday (March 26) said India supports the Philippines' defense of its national sovereignty amid ongoing South China Sea disputes. (Photo courtesy of AFP Facebook)
MANILA – India supports the Philippines' defense of its national sovereignty amid ongoing South China Sea disputes, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar reiterated days after the latest harassment by China in Ayungin Shoal.
A much-larger China Coast Guard (CCG) vessel blasted a Filipino resupply boat with water cannon on Saturday.
The CCG also attempted to obstruct the resupply mission to troops stationed at BRP Sierra Madre by placing a floating barrier at the northwestern entrance of Ayungin Shoal's lagoon.
Despite these, the mission was accomplished.
In a press conference at a Pasay City hotel on Tuesday, Jaishankar emphasized the importance of abiding by the international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
"We regard UNCLOS 1982 as very important. We regard it as the constitution of the seas. We believe that all parties must adhere to it," he said.
"[W]e firmly support Philippines in the upholding of its national sovereignty – our position is very clear."
Jaishankar is in Manila for a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo.
His itinerary includes a courtesy call on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and a meeting with the Department of National Defense.
India's reiteration follows more than 20 other foreign governments backing Manila after the incident between the CCG and the Philippine resupply mission on March 23.
The incident resulted in injuries to Filipinos aboard Unaizah May 4.
Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, the European Union, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States have also released statements expressing either support or concern about the dangerous maneuvers and use of water cannons by China in the Philippine exclusive economic zone. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2024-Mar-27 12.00.00 UTC+0800