During the latest incident of China Coast Guards’ harassment, its dangerous manoeuvres collided with the Philippine supply boat headed for Ayungin Shoal.
Who ‘Bumped’ Who?
New maritime contentions between China and the Philippines occurred early Sunday when the former again blocked the Philippines’ boat to deliver supplies to BRP Sierra Madre in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).
Both countries exchanged condemnations as to who caused the collision. The Philippines denounced the Chinese coast guards for making treacherous blocking steers, resulting in the collision with the Philippine resupply boat.
The incident happened some 25 kilometres from Second Thomas Shoal, where the rundown BRP Sierra Madre lies to mark the Philippines’ claims in the sea. This site is a particular hotspot, where the Philippines recurrently implicated China in intentionally blocking its resupply mission.
“We are relieved and thankful that no Filipino personnel were harmed. But we are concerned by the escalation and provocations by Chinese vessels who have no business being in the West Philippine Sea,” said Jonathan Malaya, Philippine National Security Council spokesperson.
Malaya is grateful that no one was hurt. The extent of the damage to the supply boat is still being assessed.
China, on the other hand, blamed the Philippine boat for purposely acting up by reversing in an intended approach into a Chinese fishing vessel. It reproached the Philippine boat for trespassing into the Nansha Islands and Renai Reef. This was the reason why they intercepted the Philippine boat in accordance with the law, resulting in a minor collision during the first incident.
China Coast Guards Received Condemnation from Unlawful Actions
The US State Department condemned China for its dangerous and wrongful actions. It reiterated its mutual defence treaty with the Philippines expands to armed aggressions on Philippine armed forces, aircraft, and public vessels. It includes its coast guards anywhere in the South China Sea.
Numerous Western countries also raised concerns about the collision incident between the Philippines and Chinese coast guards. EU Ambassador to the country, Luc Véron said the recurrence and exacerbation of occurrences as high-risk and alarming.
Canada’s envoy said that China’s actions as outrageous and persistent intimidation and harassment undermine safety, soundness, and security throughout the region. Moreover, it increases the risk of miscalculation.