The number of countries supporting the Philippines and criticizing China for keeping its ships on the Julian Felipe Reef, which is covered by the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), has increased.
Aside from the US and Japan’s ambassador, the Canadian ambassador, who opposed China’s actions, has also expressed support for the Philippines.
“Canada opposes recent Chinese actions in the South China Sea, including off the coast of the Philippines, that escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the rules-based international order,” said Ambassador Peter Macarthur.
The Australian ambassador also expressed concern.
“Australia supports an #IndoPacific region which is secure, open, and inclusive. The South China Sea – a crucial international waterway – is governed by international rules and norms, particularly UNCLOS. We remain concerned about destabilising actions that could provoke escalation,” said Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson.
Even the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, was alarmed at the so-called actions that escalated tension in the South China Sea.
Canada, UK, Australia, European Union condemn presence of Chinese vessels in WPS
“The Philippines is an important partner for the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific. Earlier I spoke to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teddyboy Locsin about our Integrated Review & our shared concerns on Myanmar and the South China Sea, including actions which raise tensions there,” said Nigel Adams, Minister of State of Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of UK.
The European Union has also spoken. It said no country should be allowed to violate international law and security in the South China Sea and become a threat to peace.
“At EU-ASEAN ministerial, @JosepBorrellF said ‘We cannot allow countries to unilaterally undermine international law and maritime security in the #SouthChinaSea, thereby representing a serious threat to the peaceful development of the region’ EU stands by rules-based order #UNCLOS,” said EU Ambassador Luc Veron in a tweet.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy responded to the allegations.
“Neither these diplomats understand the basic facts, nor do they have the ability to think and judge independently. But they came out with irresponsible comments, using the same scripts,” it said.
The Chinese embassy had previously denied that they had maritime militia in WPS, claiming it was part of their territory.