China’s carrier group conducts exercises in South China Sea

The Shandong China's first entirely home-built aircraft carrier underscores its rise as a regional naval power at a time of tensions with the US

Let me think ... or ... get away from the damnExternal Relations Minister Teodoro Luxen tweeted.

China's embassy in Manila did not immediately comment on Locsin's remarks.

China has repeatedly complained about American Navy ships getting close to islands it occupies in the South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all also have competing claims.

"What are you doing to our friendship?"

It was seized by China in 2012 and subsequently ignored a 2016 decision by an global court that declared its historic claim over most of the South China Sea to be unfounded.

In April this year, the DFA said it would file a diplomatic protest daily until all of the 220 blue-hulled vessels, which were identified as the People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) vessels have left Julian Felipe Reef (Whitsun Reef), which is part of the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The recent dispute between Manila and Beijing over these resource-rich waters, which China claims nearly entirely, erupted in March, after hundreds of Chinese ships were spotted inside the Philippines' special economic zone.

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The DFA also protested the "incessant, illegal, prolonged, and increasing presence" of Chinese fishing vessels and maritime militia vessels in Philippine waters. "Not us. We're trying", he replied to a news article on the diplomatic protests.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, through which about US$3 trillion ($3.88 trillion) of shipborne trade passes each year.

Following his tweet, the Philippine Foreign Ministry in a statement accused China's coast guard of "shadowing, blocking, unsafe maneuvers, and radio challenges of the Philippine coast guard vessels" on April 24 to 25 in the vicinity of Bajo de Masinloc, Reuters reported.

Beijing took control in 2012 and always ignored a decision issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), based in The Hague (Netherlands), which ruled in 2016 in Manila, saying that Beijing had no "historical right" to do so.

The Philippine Department officially challenged the actions of Chinese boats towards the Philippine Coast Guard during patrols and maneuvers near the coral reefs in March. However, after leaving Julian Felipe Reef, some of the Chinese vessels remained scattered in nearby features of the WPS.

Locsin has been a vocal critic of China in the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has pushed for closer ties with Beijing after taking office in 2016.

The DFA is rejecting China's claim of sovereignty over Bajo de Masinloc, noting that the claim, made by the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 26, was "without basis in global law" and is "not recognized by the worldwide community".

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