This Monday, officials from the Philippines accused the Chinese coastguard of “intentionally” colliding with their vessels that were on a resupply mission in a part of the South China Sea, according to reports from Reuters.
Both China and the Philippine’s blamed each other for the collisions, with the most serious one being this past Sunday; no one was harmed luckily.
China stated that the Philippine boats “bumped dangerously with Chinese fishing vessels” and coastguard vessels. On Monday, China’s embassy in Manila stated that they “called on the Philippines government to stop causing trouble and provocation at sea and to stop smearing China’s reputation with groundless attacks,” according to Reuters.
On the Philippine’s end, officials from their coastguard, foreign ministry, defense ministry, national security council, and armed forces have condemned the Chinese coast guard for their actions and handling of the collisions.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told his Philippine counterpart, Eduardo Ano, that they have the US’s support, emphasizing that they too believed China’s actions were “dangerous and unlawful.”
Gilberto Teodoro, the Philippines Defense Secretary, stated in a news conference that “Chinese Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels, in blatant violation of international law, harassed and intentionally hit [Manila’s supply boat and coastguard].”
“This is a serious escalation of the illegal activities conducted by the Chinese government in the West Philippine Sea in complete disregard of any norm or convention of international law,” Teodoro said.
Teodoro also emphasized “the support of our allies and like-minded nations such as the United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and European Union in condemning China’s aggression and expansionist actions.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.