Two former Philippine officials have taken the bold step of filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing Chinese President Xi Jinping of crimes against humanity over his government’s assertive actions in the disputed South China Sea, which they say deprived thousands of fishermen of their livelihood and destroyed the environment, AP reported.
Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and chief anti-graft prosecutor Conchita Carpio Morales said Thursday that they filed the complaint with the tribunal last week, before the current Philippine president’s move to withdraw the country from the tribunal took effect last weekend.
They accused Xi and other Chinese officials of turning seven disputed reefs into islands in a massive engineering feat, causing extensive environmental damage, and of blocking large numbers of fishermen from their fishing grounds.
“This has seriously undermined the food and energy security of the coastal states in the South China Sea, including the Philippines,” del Rosario and Carpio Morales said in a statement.
There was no immediate reaction from China.