Analysts say the new law could trouble the already contested waters of the South China Sea. It was passed by China’s National People’s Congress committee on Friday, according to state media.
A draft wording of the bill states the coast guard is allowed to use “all necessary means” to prevent threats from foreign vessels, according to Reuters.
It also allows the coast guard to demolish buildings that other countries have built on territories that China claims for itself.
And the law permits coastguard personnel to inspect foreign vessels in waters Beijing claims.
Teodoro Locsin, the Philippines' foreign minister, hit out at the new law (Image: Zheng Huansong / Xinhua News Agency / PA Images)Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Yesterday, the Philippines’ Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin hit out at the law, calling it a “verbal threat of war”.
Writing on Twitter, he also announced he had filed a diplomatic protest against it.
Mr Locsin said: “After reflection I filed a diplomatic protest. While enacting law is a sovereign prerogative, this one – given the area involved or for that matter the open South China Sea – is a verbal threat of war to any country that defies the law; which, if unchallenged, is submission to it.”
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The new law grants powers to China's coast guard (Image: Jay Directo / AFP / Getty)
Meanwhile, Fernando Hicap, the head of a Philippine fishing association called Pamalakaya, called the law “virtually a declaration of war against countries that