Philippines calls out China for ‘unprovoked coercion’ in South China Sea

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The Philippines connected Tuesday accused China of “unprovoked acts of coercion and vulnerable maneuvers” successful a disputed area of nan the South China Sea, saying Chinese ships had fired h2o cannons astatine 1 of its vessels, injuring immoderate crew.

China’s actions put “into mobility nan sincerity of its calls for serene speech and lessening of tensions,” a Philippine task unit connected nan South China Sea said successful a statement.

Philippine vessels which were carrying retired a resupply ngo for Filipino troops adjacent nan Second Thomas Shoal were “harassed (and) blocked” by Chinese maritime militia and seashore defender ships, which fired h2o cannons that shattered nan windshield of 1 of its boats, causing insignificant injuries to astatine slightest 4 unit members, it said.

The Chinese seashore guard’s “reckless” and “illegal” actions besides led to nan collision betwixt a Chinese and Philippine ship, pinch nan second sustaining “minor structural damage,” Manila’s seashore defender spokesperson said separately.

But China laid nan blasted connected its neighbor, saying Philippine ships had illegally intruded into waters adjacent to nan Second Thomas Shoal, which it calls Renai Reef, truthful it had to return power measures.

China claims almost nan full South China Sea, which includes nan Second Thomas Shoal, and has deployed vessels to patrol nan disputed atoll which lies wrong nan Philippines’ exclusive economical area (EEZ).

The shoal, known successful nan Philippines arsenic Ayungin, is location to a mini number of Filipino troops stationed connected a rusting warship which Manila grounded location successful 1999 to reenforce sovereignty claims.

“The on-site cognition was master and restrained, reasonable and lawful,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said astatine a regular news conference.

“China erstwhile again urges nan Philippine broadside to extremity maritime violations and provocations and refrain from taking immoderate actions that whitethorn complicate nan maritime situation,” Mao said.

Tuesday’s incident was nan latest successful a bid of maritime run-ins betwixt nan Philippines and China, which person been locked successful a territorial conflict successful nan South China Sea contempt a 2016 ruling by nan Permanent Court of Arbitration which recovered that China’s claims had nary ineligible basis. Beijing rejects that ruling.

“Peace and stableness cannot beryllium achieved without owed respect for nan legitimate, well-established, and legally settled authorities of others,” nan Philippine task unit said. “We request that China show that it is simply a responsible and trustworthy personnel of nan world community.”

The Philippines moved a measurement person to enacting a Maritime Zones rule aft its Congress passed nan measure that intelligibly establishes nan nonstop metres and bounds of nan country’s maritime entitlements nether world law.

But China said it has “lodged intense representations pinch nan Philippine side” to reason nan measure, which Mao described arsenic “an out-and-out evil law, which will inevitably complicate nan business successful nan South China Sea”

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr said astatine a forum successful Australia connected Monday that his state will cooperate successful talks pinch China but it will push back, when its sovereignty and maritime authorities are ignored.

In a departure from his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte’s pro-China stance, Marcos has accused Beijing of aggression successful nan Philippines’ exclusive economical zone, including nan usage of h2o cannon, “military-grade” lasers and collision strategies to thrust distant Philippine vessels.

The China Coast Guard issued a connection connected nan latest incident betwixt nan countries on pinch different past seashore defender actions, including a nexus to what it called nan “illegal penetration of Scarborough Shoal” connected Feb. 23.

In that incident it said a China Coast Guard vessel took basal measures to thrust a Philippine alloy distant successful accordance pinch nan law.