Thursday, July 6, 2023

Philippines denounces China for obstructing its ships in South China Sea


The Philippines has denounced Chinese vessels for navigating dangerously close to its patrol ships and intercepting them in the South China Sea last week. The two countries have overlapping territorial claims in the region.

The Philippine Coast Guard said on Wednesday that the incident happened in waters around the Spratly Islands on Friday during a supply operation.

It said two Chinese coast guard vessels approached two Philippine patrol ships, coming as close as 90 meters to them while they were escorting boats carrying supplies to a military facility on the Second Thomas Shoal, which Manila effectively controls.

Footage and photos purportedly taken at the scene show a large Chinese coast guard vessel navigating alongside a Philippine patrol ship. They also show a Chinese vessel crossing in front of a Philippine ship, seemingly attempting to block its way.

The Philippine Coast Guard also said six fishing boats, allegedly carrying Chinese maritime militias, anchored to occupy the entrance of the shoal.

Furthermore, two Chinese navy ships and another coast guard ship also hindered the supply operation.

As a result, the Philippine patrol ships gave up approaching the military position.

A Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson condemned the Chinese side, emphasizing that the site of the incident is within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone. The official said that Philippine ships will continue their patrols in the waters regardless of the level of threat or the size of Chinese vessels.



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