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DFA slams Chinese consul general’s false narratives on West Philippine Sea

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs slammed a Chinese official yesterday for again making false claims on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue.

Ma. Teresita Daza, DFA spokesperson, denounced a statement made by Chinese consul general Zhang Zhen at an event in Iloilo last week, undermining the Philippines’ legal rights over the WPS.

“We note the statement made by the Chinese consul general last Feb. 8, 2024. We take serious exception to China’s continued misrepresentation of the law and the facts,” Daza said.

“The Philippines and China are both parties to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” she stressed.

Zhang allegedly labeled the 2016 arbitral award favoring the Philippines as “illegal, null and void.”

The Chinese official was quoted as saying that China “has and will never accept it” while insisting that China’s alleged rights and interests in the South China Sea “are deeply grounded in the historical facts and the international law.”

“We have and will consistently call on China to act responsibly and abide by its obligations under UNCLOS and the final and binding 2016 Arbitral Award on the South China Sea,” Daza said.