MANILA (AFP) – The Philippines said Thursday it had lodged a formal protest at the United Nations over China’s claims to the Spratly islands and adjacent South China Sea waters.
The newest controversy in the decades-old multilateral dispute centres on formal notes sent by China to the UN secretary general in 2009 outlining the basis of its claim, foreign ministry spokesman Ed Malaya said.
“Yes, we can confirm that the Philippines filed a note with the UN expressing its position on the nine-dotted line,” he told AFP, referring to a map attached to the Chinese letter that delineated China’s claim.
The Philippines and China, along with Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, claim all or part of the Spratlys, which are believed to sit on vast mineral resources.
Manila last month complained that Chinese patrol boats inappropriately harassed a Philippine oil exploration vessel in disputed waters near the Spratlys.