Philippines attempts to resupply troops on a WWII-era ship in the South China Sea.
Armed forces emphasize exercising sovereign rights and adhering to rules-based international order.
China’s claim over the South China Sea disputed by global community; other nations hold conflicting claims.
After China foiled a previous effort using water cannons, the Philippine armed forces announced on Saturday that they would try again to resupply troops stationed in a rusted World War II-era ship on a shoal in the South China Sea.
Armed forces spokesperson Medel Aguilar said in a statement, “This exercise of our sovereign rights and jurisdiction is a testament to our firm belief in the rules-based international order that underpins regional peace and stability.”
This month, Manila lodged a diplomatic protest against Beijing after the Chinese coast guard deployed water cannons and “dangerous” manoeuvres to prevent the Philippines from providing supplies to a small contingent of troops on the Second Thomas Shoal.
China claims practically the whole South China Sea, an allegation that has been denied globally, while Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, and the Philippines each have different claims to certain sections.
Aguilar stated that Manila expects all relevant parties to respect its sovereignty and control over its maritime zones, and that the city supports peaceful dispute resolution.
The Chinese embassy in Manila did not reply quickly to a request for comment.
On August 7, the Chinese coast guard stated it had instructed the Philippines not to send ships to the shoal or “construction materials used for large-scale repair and reinforcement” to the battleship.
The Philippines deliberately grounded the warship in 1999 as part of its claim to the shoal, which is within its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The armed forces said, The planned resupply mission “is a clear demonstration of our resolve to stand up against threats and coercion, and our commitment in upholding the rule of law.”
An international arbitration ruling rejected China’s broad claim to practically the entire South China Sea in 2016.
China, which does not recognise the verdict, has constructed artificial islands in the South China Sea with airstrips and surface-to-air missiles.