Philippines accuses China Coast Guard of firing water cannon at its boats

There have recently been a number of similar naval stand-offs - like this one in June - between the Philippines and China
There have recently been a number of similar naval stand-offs – like this one in June – between the Philippines and China
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The Philippine Coast Guard has accused its Chinese counterpart of stopping its ships in the disputed South China Sea and firing water cannons at them.

It said that this incident occurred as its ship escorted boats carrying supplies for Filipino military stationed on a disputed Spratly Island.

The US condemned Beijing’s “dangerous actions”, also blaming Chinese “maritime militia” for the incident.

China has not publicly commented on the reported incident.

Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, including the Spratlys, which is also claimed in part by the Philippines.

There are also competing claims by Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.

In a statement, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the incident happened on Saturday as its vessels were heading to Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands.

It described China’s actions as “excessive and unlawful”, adding that they also violated international law.

Meanwhile, the US Department of State voiced its support for “our Philippine allies”.

“Firing water cannons and employing unsafe blocking manoeuvres, PRC [China’s] ships interfered with the Philippines’ lawful exercise of high seas freedom of navigation and jeopardised the safety of the Philippine vessels and crew,” the department said in a statement.

China ignores an international arbitration court’s ruling that its claim to almost the entire South China Sea is ill-founded.

In April, a BBC team aboard a PCG ship witnessed Chinese harassment at first hand.

The South China Sea is now one of the world’s biggest flashpoints, especially as US-China tensions have soared in recent years.

Access to these waters is key to defending Taiwan at a time when China’s claims over the self-governed island have intensified.

The waterways also host $5tn (£4tn) of global trade every year, raising concerns that Beijing’s increasing footprint could restrict commerce.


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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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