President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. condemned Beijing's directive to detain foreigners suspected of entering disputed areas in the South China Sea, calling it 'completely unacceptable to the Philippines.'

'The position that we take is that it's unacceptable and we will take whatever measures to always protect our citizens,' Marcos said on Saturday.

Beijing has authorized its China Coast Guard (CCG) to detain foreigners suspected of 'trespassing' within its claimed borders for up to 60 days without trial.

The directive is part of new regulations issued by the CCG on Wednesday to standardize its law enforcement procedures, and will take effect on June 15, according to the state-run China News Service.

A 92-page document released by the state-run news agency confirmed the CCG adopted these measures on May 15, the same day the 'Atin Ito' coalition began its second civilian-led mission to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

Under the new directive, the CCG is permitted to detain foreigners suspected of violating entry and exit rules, individuals assisting others in illegally entering or exiting Chinese territory, and those with illegal residence or employment.

The regulations also allow the detention of people 'endangering national security and interests, disrupting social and public order, or those engaging in illegal and criminal activities,' as translated by an open-source translation tool.

For years, Filipino fishermen have faced persistent harassment from Chinese vessels in the contested waters, causing a steep decline in their livelihood.

Beijing claims nearly the entire South China Sea, dismissing claims from other countries, including the Philippines, and an international court ruling that found its assertions to have no legal basis.

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