Chinese warships have passed through Philippine internal waters four times this year without informing the government.
But the government needs to be informed if these are vessels of the People's Liberation Army-Navy that are passing through Philippine internal waters, he said.
Ever since 1973, barely a few years removed from the SS Manhattan's transit through the Northwest Passage, Canada has held that these waters constitute internal waters under historic title and thus fall under full Canadian sovereignty.
There are, however, serious deficiencies with both its internal waters claim and the accompanying historical title claim.
The internal waters claim appears at first glance to be more robust.
The land area includes internal waters
and waters landward of the baseline, in accordance with international law.
Any waters that lie inland of the territorial sea (bays, inlets, harbours etc) are known as internal waters and are subject to the full sovereignty of the coastal state with no associated right of innocent passage through them.
Its authority is more limited over vessels than it would have if the waters were territorial sea and substantially less than if the waters are internal waters of the state.
As such the claim was intended to treat the waters of the Canadian arctic within the sector up to the North Pole as internal waters of Canada, subject to full Canadian sovereignty as if they were land.
But because China's statement invoked both "sovereignty" (which, pursuant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, or Unclos, can be exercised only in internal waters and the territorial sea) and "sovereign rights" (which, pursuant to the same, is exercised only in the exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, that is 200 nautical miles from the baseline of a state), it was uncertain if it claimed the West Philippine Sea as a lake where its sovereignty may be exercised, or as part of its EEZ, where it can only explore and exploit the natural resources found there.
But after it announced its intention to board foreign vessels in the disputed waters, it is now clear that China treats the disputed waters as its internal waters.