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Philippine army condemns Chinese language coast guard’s use of water cannon on its boat in disputed sea

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine army on Sunday condemned a Chinese language coast guard ship’s “extreme and offensive” use of a water cannon to dam a Filipino provide boat from delivering new troops, food, water and gasoline to a Philippine-occupied shoal within the disputed South China Sea.

The tense confrontation on Saturday on the Second Thomas Shoal was the newest flare-up within the long-seething territorial conflicts involving China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

The disputes within the South China Sea, one of many world’s busiest sea lanes, have lengthy been thought to be an Asian flashpoint and a fragile fault line within the rivalry between the US and China within the area.

Philippine navy personnel on board two chartered provide boats had been cruising towards Second Thomas, escorted by Philippine coast guard ships, when a Chinese language coast guard ship approached and used a robust water cannon to dam the Filipinos from the shoal that China additionally claims, in keeping with Philippine army and coast guard officers.

The Chinese language ship’s motion was “in wanton disregard of the protection of the individuals on board” the Philippine navy-chartered boat and violated worldwide legislation, together with the 1982 U.N. Conference on the Legislation of the Sea, stated the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which didn’t say if any of its sailors had been injured.

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The “extreme and offensive actions towards Philippine vessels” close to the shoal prevented one of many two Filipino boats from unloading provides wanted by Filipino troops guarding the shoal onboard a long-marooned Philippine navy ship, the BRP Sierra Madre, the Philippine army stated in a press release.

It referred to as on the Chinese language coast guard and China’s central army fee “to behave with prudence and be accountable of their actions to forestall miscalculations and accidents that may endanger peoples’ lives.”

The Division of Overseas Affairs in Manila didn’t instantly challenge any response however has filed a lot of diplomatic protests over more and more hostile actions by China in recent times. Chinese language authorities officers didn’t instantly touch upon the incident.

China has lengthy demanded that the Philippines withdraw its small contingent of naval forces and tow away the actively commissioned however crumbling BRP Sierra Madre. The navy ship was intentionally marooned on the shoal in 1999 and now serves as a fragile image of Manila’s territorial declare to the atoll.

Chinese language ships had blocked and shadowed navy vessels delivering meals and different provides to the Filipino sailors on the ship within the shoal, which Chinese language coast guard ships and a swarm of Chinese language fishing boats — suspected to be manned by militias — have surrounded for years.

Whereas the U.S. lays no claims to the South China Sea, it has usually lashed out at China’s aggressive actions and deployed its warships and fighter jets in patrols and army workouts with regional allies to uphold freedom of navigation and overflight, which it says is in America’s nationwide curiosity.

China has warned the U.S. to cease meddling in what it calls a purely Asian dispute and has warned of unspecified repercussions.

Moreover, Beijing has criticized a latest settlement by the Philippines and the U.S., that are longtime treaty allies, permitting American forces entry to further Filipino army camps beneath a 2014 protection settlement.

China fears the entry will present Washington with army staging grounds and surveillance outposts within the northern Philippines throughout the ocean from Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, and in Philippine provinces going through the South China Sea, which Beijing claims just about in its entirety.

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