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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Filipinos accuse the Chinese. “Only pirates do that”

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The Philippines accuses the Chinese Coast Guard of “intentionally ramming the ship at high speed” during a rotation and resupply mission in the South China Sea. The Philippine military published a video online showing a fragment of the incident – it shows Chinese officers swinging axes and sharp tools at Filipino soldiers.

The incident occurred on Monday in the Spratly Islands area of ​​the South China Sea China and Philippines they are in a dispute. Footage released by the Philippine military on Thursday shows Chinese coast guard officials swinging an ax and other sharp implements at Filipino soldiers in what Manila described as a “brazen act of aggression.”

Read also: Western pilots targeted by China. Warns the Five Eyes Alliance

According to CNN, at a press conference organized on Wednesday, senior Philippine military officials said that Chinese coast guard officers illegally boarded a Philippine vessel and “plundered” it. They were to take, among other things, seven rifles stored in weapon cases. The Chinese also allegedly destroyed the outboard engine, communication and navigation equipment. Then – as the Filipino side claims – the Chinese took away the private mobile phones of the Filipino staff.

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“They deliberately punctured our rubber boats with knives and other sharp tools,” said Alfonso Torres Jr., commander of the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

-Only pirates do that. Only pirates board, steal and destroy ships, equipment and property, said Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in a statement quoted by CNN.

“Illegal and aggressive actions”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines also commented on the matter. In a published statement, the Philippine side announced that it “condemns the illegal and aggressive actions” of the Chinese services, which resulted in injuries to personnel and damage to the ship during Manila's routine resupply mission in the South China Sea.

“In line with the Philippine commitment to pursue peace, (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is making every effort to create an environment conducive to dialogue and consultations with China on the South China Sea,” the ministry said in a statement. “This cannot be achieved if China's words do not match its actions in this area,” the Philippine side emphasized.

The US ambassador in Manila, MaryKay Carlson, also commented on the incident. On social media she wrote thatUnited States condemn China's “aggressive and dangerous maneuvers” that “caused injuries” and “damaged Philippine ships.”

China reported “light collision”

On Monday morning local time (after midnight in Poland), the China Coast Guard reported that a Philippine supply vessel “illegally” entered the waters adjacent to the Second Thomas Bank in the South China Sea and “deliberately approached” Chinese patrol boats, causing “light collision”.

For years, both sides have been exchanging accusations of dangerous maneuvers and collisions in the vicinity of Second Thomas Shoal, located in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The atoll, which is the subject of a territorial dispute between Manila and Beijing, is called Ayungin by the Philippines and Ren'ai by China. In 1999, the Philippines intentionally grounded the World War II-era warship Sierra Madre there in response to Chinese expansionist activities on nearby Mischief Reef. There is a garrison of Filipino infantry on board this unit. The authorities in Manila regularly send transports of supplies to soldiers, which Chinese units – according to the Philippines – are intentionally blocking. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague overturned China's territorial claims against the Philippines. However, the government in Beijing, which has historic claims to virtually the entire area of ​​the South China Sea, ignored his ruling.

Main photo source: Philippine Armed Forces

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