July 20, 2024
Philippines and China accuse one another of ‘harmful’ incidents involving 
a number of vessels in South China Sea


The Philippines and China on Sunday accused one another of harmful maneuvers and inflicting a collision in contested waters within the South China Sea, the most recent in a string of maritime confrontations between the 2 nations which have heightened regional tensions.

In an announcement shared on X, spokesperson for the Nationwide Activity Drive for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) Jay Tarriela stated that Chinese language Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels had “harassed, blocked and executed harmful maneuvers on Philippine civilian provide vessels – in one other try to illegally impede or impede a routine resupply and rotation mission” to the Second Thomas Shoal.

The Philippine Coast Guard stated a minimum of two of its vessels had been broken on account of being fired on by water cannon.

Nonetheless, the Chinese language Coast Guard stated Philippine ships had “illegally intruded” in its waters and it was taking “management measures towards the Philippine vessels in accordance with the legislation.”

It stated a Philippine vessel had “ignored quite a few warnings from China” and “intentionally swerved and collided in an unprofessional, harmful method” with a Chinese language boat. “The duty lies fully with the Philippines,” the Chinese language Coast Guard stated.

The Philippines has troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre, a former US Navy ship the nation grounded in 1999 on the Second Thomas Shoal – often known as Ayungin Shoal to Manila and Ren’ai Reef to Beijing – to implement its declare to the realm. China disputes Manila’s declare and the 2 nations have been concerned in more and more frequent run-ins within the excessive contested waterway.

The Philippines stated in its assertion Sunday that one in every of its vessels had been towed by the Philippine Coast Guard again to Ulugan Bay on the Philippine island of Palawan, whereas one other vessel suffered harm to its mast, the assertion learn.

Chinese Coast Guard boats close to the floating barrier are pictured on September 20, 2023, near the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, in this handout image released by the Philippine Coast Guard on September 24, 2023. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

It additionally stated one other resupply vessel, Unaizah Mae 1 (UM1), efficiently reached BRP Sierra Madre and “resupply is ongoing,” regardless of the availability vessel having been rammed by a Chinese language Coast Guard ship.

“We condemn, as soon as once more, China’s newest unprovoked acts of coercion and harmful maneuvers towards a authentic and routine Philippine rotation and resupply mission,” Tarriela stated, including that it had “put the lives of our individuals in danger.”

Maritime disputes throughout the huge South China Sea have ratcheted up lately as an more and more assertive China militarizes disputed islands and confronts its regional rivals over their competing claims within the strategically essential and resource-rich waterway.

Beijing claims “indeniable sovereignty” over nearly the entire 1.3 million sq. miles of the South China Sea, in addition to a lot of the islands and sandbars inside it, together with many options which might be a whole lot of miles from the Chinese language mainland.

The waterway is significant to worldwide commerce and can be residence to huge fertile fishing grounds upon which many lives and livelihoods rely.

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