The online news portal of TV5
BEIJING -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying on Wednesday summoned the Charge D'affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China to express "great concern" over ongoing tensions at Scarborough Shoal.
Fu said the alleged "harassment" of Chinese fishermen by a Philippine naval ship in a lagoon near Scarborough Shoal has aroused "great concern" on the part of China.
On April 10, 12 Chinese fishing boats were stopped by a Philippine Navy gunboat on concerns that they had encroached into Philippine waters and were drawing fish and resources from the area. Two Chinese Marine Surveillance ships later came to the fishermen's defense, triggering a standoff between Philippine and Chinese vessels.
"The tension has been eased through bilateral negotiations," Fu acknowledged, but insisted that Philippine claims over Scarborough Shoal are historically disputable. The Philippines has invited China to settle the dispute at the level of the UN, but Beijing has so far indicated no willingness to raise the matter to international tribunals. Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Tuesday asked China to agree to bring the dispute to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea for arbitration.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Wednesday that both sides previously agreed to deal with disputes through bilateral talks.