South China Sea: Beijing ‘in control’ of waters claim Philippines as row continues to boil
The stark admission came from rivals the Philippines, who admitted the country was in control of the area. Earlier this week, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made the claims during a State of the Nation Address. According the Inquirer, his comments earned a feisty backlash from the country’s Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
Mr Carpio said the remarks didn’t reflect the actual scale of the issue as China occupies only seven islands.That number reflects less than 10 percent of the South China Sea.Salvador Panelo, Mr Duterte’s chief legal counsel and spokesperson, refuted Mr Carpio and the department’s claims.He said: “But when you are in possession, does that mean you possess only one portion?READ MORE: South Korea fires warning shots at Russian jets during air patrol
“When you have military installation there, in other words, you are showing that you can guard the whole area; that means they are in possession.“You don’t have to be there physically. Like you have 10, 000 hectares, do you need to be all over the 10,000 hectares to call it your own?“As far as they are concerned, it is theirs. They are in possession because they can enforce it.”Tensions over the waters have been boiling in recent months, with arguments escalating between the US and China.
Fears of open conflict over the South China Sea have also been raised.China claims the waters, but Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines also believe it is theirs.Last week, Vietnam demanded China removed oil tankers from the waters.However, reports suggest that China could continue to escalate its numbers.