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Monday, July 22, 2024

NSC warns public, media vs Chinese narratives on West Philippine Sea

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The National Security Council (NSC) on Saturday said the new narrative of Beijing about the “new model” of managing West Philippine Sea (WPS) tensions was only fabricated by the Chinese.

“This ‘new model’ announced by the Chinese Embassy is nothing more than a new invention,” the NSC said in a statement.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said the alleged “gentlemen’s agreement” and “internal understanding” were spun by a master propagandist to make Filipino actions during Exercise Balikatan appear provocative.

“Every now and then, China has a new narrative about alleged arrangements in the West Philippine Sea. First, it was the alleged ‘promise,’ which then became the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and now the latest version, the ‘new model’ or ‘internal understanding,'” Año said.

“The propaganda masters are clearly working overtime in Beijing to sow discord and division in our country for one purpose alone: to push their claim that the Philippines is the one causing increased tensions in the WPS and provoking conflict because it has reneged on its promises,” he added.

Año pointed out that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has nullified any existing agreements about the Ayungin made by his predecessor, former President Rodrigo Duterte, as claimed by the Chinese.

“As the President has clearly stated, there is no agreement whatsoever about Ayungin Shoal and that we shall continue to do all activities within the bounds of international law and we shall brook no interference in our lawful actions,” he said.

“The Chinese Embassy is reminded that any understanding without the authorization of the President has no force and effect. And therefore the Philippines never broke any agreement because there was none to begin with,” he added.

The National Security Adviser asserted that Ayungin is part of the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines, meaning it will not agree to enter any agreements that will violate the Philippine Constitution and international law.

Año likewise said the public and the media should take all Chinese Embassy statements about the WPS “with a grain of salt.”

“These are the same people who said that the entire South China Sea is theirs, who militarized artificial islands, who created military bases in our EEZ, who claim that the videos of blocking, dangerous maneuvers, and water cannons are all fabricated by the media in cahoots with the PH government. It is a trap, nothing more, nothing less,” he said.

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