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Filipino soldiers repel Chinese coast guard ‘With Bare Hands’

Filipino soldiers repel Chinese coast guard ‘With Bare Hands’

Filipino soldiers repel Chinese coast guard ‘With Bare Hands’

Filipino soldiers repel Chinese coast guard ‘With Bare Hands’

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  • Philippine soldiers used “bare hands” to fight off Chinese coast guard personnel in the disputed South China Sea.
  • One Filipino soldier lost a thumb when a Chinese vessel rammed his boat.
  • China denied its personnel were to blame, claiming they had been “restrained.”
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Philippine soldiers used their “bare hands” to fight off Chinese coast guard personnel armed with swords, spears, and knives in the disputed South China Sea, according to the country’s top military commander. General Romeo Brawner accused Chinese vessels of ramming Philippine boats, boarding them, and seizing weapons.

One Filipino soldier lost a thumb when a Chinese vessel rammed his boat, the general said. China denied that its personnel were to blame, claiming they had been “restrained.” Both sides have engaged in a series of dangerous encounters while trying to enforce their claims on disputed reefs and outcrops, with this incident appearing to be an escalation.

The skirmish occurred as the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard delivered supplies to Filipino troops stationed at the Second Thomas Shoal. Gen Brawner reported that soldiers saw the Chinese coast guard armed with knives, spears, and bolos, the Filipino term for sword. He noted that this was the first time Filipino troops had encountered the Chinese using such weapons in the area.

“We saw in the video how the Chinese even threatened our personnel by pointing their knives at our personnel,” Gen Brawner said.

Chinese personnel also seized several guns, destroyed items including motors, and punctured inflatable vessels. He added that the incident amounted to “piracy.”

“They have no right or legal authority to hijack our operations and destroy Philippine vessels operating within our exclusive economic zone,” Gen Brawner told reporters.

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Beijing dismissed the allegations, claiming its personnel aimed to block an “illegal transportation” of supplies. Foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian told reporters in Beijing that “no direct measures” were taken against the Filipino soldiers.

“Law enforcement measures taken by the China Coast Guard at the site were professional and restrained,” he added.

In an earlier statement, the Chinese coast guard blamed the Philippines for the incident, stating that Filipino troops “ignored China’s repeated solemn warnings… and dangerously approached a Chinese vessel in normal navigation in an unprofessional manner, resulting in a collision.”

China routinely attempts to block re-supply missions to the shoal. Filipino officials say the Chinese employ “dangerous maneuvers” such as shadowing, blocking, firing water cannons, and shining lasers to blind Filipino crews temporarily.

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