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Philippines and China blaming each other over vessels incident in China Sea

Philippines and China blaming each other over vessels incident in China Sea

Philippines and China blaming each other over vessels incident in China Sea

Philippines and China blaming each other over vessels incident in China Sea

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  • The Philippines and China traded accusations on Sunday over dangerous collision in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
  • This marks the latest in a series of maritime confrontations between the two nations, escalating tensions in the region.
  • This occurred during a routine resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal.
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The Philippines and China traded accusations on Sunday over dangerous incidents and a collision in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

This marks the latest in a series of maritime confrontations between the two nations, escalating tensions in the region. The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) spokesperson, Jay Tarriela, stated that Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels engaged in actions that harassed, blocked, and executed dangerous maneuvers against Philippine civilian supply vessels.

This occurred during a routine resupply mission to the Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippine Coast Guard reported damage to at least two of its vessels from water cannon fire during the incidents.

However, the Chinese Coast Guard said Philippine ships had “illegally intruded” in its waters and it was taking “control measures against the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law.”

It said a Philippine vessel had “ignored numerous warnings from China” and “deliberately swerved and collided in an unprofessional, dangerous manner” with a Chinese boat. “The responsibility lies entirely with the Philippines,” the Chinese Coast Guard said.

The Philippines has stationed troops on the BRP Sierra Madre, a former US Navy ship intentionally grounded in 1999 at the Second Thomas Shoal, also known as Ayungin Shoal to Manila and Ren’ai Reef to Beijing. This strategic move aims to assert the Philippines’ claim to the area, a claim disputed by China. The two countries have experienced a growing number of confrontations in the highly contested South China Sea.

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According to the Philippines’ statement on Sunday, one of its vessels was towed back to Ulugan Bay on the Philippine island of Palawan by the Philippine Coast Guard, while another vessel sustained damage to its mast.

Despite these incidents, the statement reported that the resupply vessel, Unaizah Mae 1 (UM1), managed to reach BRP Sierra Madre, and the resupply operation is ongoing. The supply vessel had reportedly been rammed by a Chinese Coast Guard ship.

“We condemn, once again, China’s latest unprovoked acts of coercion and dangerous maneuvers against a legitimate and routine Philippine rotation and resupply mission,” Tarriela said, adding that it had “put the lives of our people at risk.”

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