Philippines says China’s claim over Scarborough shoal have no legal basis

A LANDSAT 7 image of Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. — WIKIPEDIA

MANILA — China’s repeated claims of sovereignty over the Scarborough shoal in the South China Sea has no legal basis under international law, a senior Philippine security official said on Wednesday.

“Since the Philippines exercises sovereign rights over Bajo de Masinloc and its surrounding waters under international law, only the Philippines has the authority to exercise maritime law enforcement functions to the exclusion of other countries,” Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson at the Philippines’ national Security Council said in a statement, referring to the disputed shoal by the Philippine name.

China’s coastguard late on Tuesday said Beijing indisputable sovereignty over the shoal, which is located within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. — Reuters