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HomeNewsPhilippines accuses China of illegal actions in South China Sea

Philippines accuses China of illegal actions in South China Sea

The tensions in the South China Sea rose on Sunday as Philippine Coast Guard and Chinese Coast Guard engaged in a standoff with the Philippines accusing China of blocking and water-cannoning their military supply. The developments mark another attempt by China to assert its claims over the territories of the South China Sea.

The Philippines condemned the “excessive and offensive actions” of China against its vessels while China maintained that it took the necessary action to deter Philippine ships which were trespassing and carrying illegal building materials, news agency Reuters reported on Sunday.

The report mentions that the incident took place close to the Second Thomas Shoal, which is referred to as Ayungin Shoal by Manila. The area is a submerged reef where a small number of its troops reside on an old US ship from World War Two that was deliberately grounded in 1999.

“We call on the China Coast Guard and the Central Military Commission to act with prudence and be responsible in their actions to prevent miscalculations and accidents that will endanger people’s lives,” the Philippines armed forces said.

“We urge the Philippine side to immediately stop its infringing activities in these waters,” China Coast Guard spokesman Gan Yu responded and asserted the country’s claim over the disputed Spratly Islands.

China’s adamant assertion in the South China Sea

The tensions are not new as other countries in the region like Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, and the Philippines reject China’s claim over the areas of the South China Sea. The countries warn China against any maritime actions in the disputed areas like building islands on reefs etc.

The matter even went to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and in its 2016 ruling the international court ruled that all claims of China to the South China Sea were groundless. As expected, China rejected the ruling and continued its dangerous maneuvers in the South China Sea.

US State Department also reacted to the incident between China and the Philippines coast guard. “The United States reaffirms an armed attack on Philippine public vessels, aircraft, and armed forces – including those of its Coast Guard in the South China Sea – would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty,” it said in a statement.



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Updated: 06 Aug 2023, 08:35 PM IST

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