News Release

China’s threat to detain fishermen in WPS ‘an escalation’ – PBBM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. considered China’s threats to detain ‘trespassers’ in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) an act of escalation.

In an interview with members of the media on the sidelines of his state visit to Brunei Darussalam, President Marcos described China’s threat as a different policy and a worrisome development.

“The new policy of threatening to detain our own citizens, that is different. That is an escalation of the situation. So, yes, it is now very worrisome,” President Marcos said.

President Marcos made the remarks when asked to react on China’s four-month fishing ban in the South China Sea, including parts of WPS.

He said China’s action is “just an extension again of their claim that this is all the maritime territory of China.”

“So, it’s nothing new,” the President said. “There are sometimes fishing bans because it’s the season. And this is something that we have actually agreed upon before,” he said.

The Chinese government has reportedly issued the regulation after the recently concluded civilian resupply mission to Filipino fishermen in WPS. PND