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HomeWorldAsiaChinese and Philippine ships collided into each other in South China waters

Chinese and Philippine ships collided into each other in South China waters

A Chinese coast guard ship and an accompanying vessel rammed a Philippine coast guard ship and a military supply boat Sunday off a disputed shoal, Philippine officials said.

Recent events show various situations in the South China Sea, in which both China and the Philippines have been involved many times already. No one among the Philippine crew was injured and damage to both vessels is being assessed, a top Philippine security official told The Associated Press.

China’s wide-ranging territorial claims in the South China Sea, including islands closer to Philippine shores, have raised tensions and drawn the United States, a long-time treaty ally of the Philippines, into the conflict.

U.S. Ambassador to Manila Mary-Kay Carlson wrote the following on Site X:

The United States condemns the PRC’s latest disruption of a legal Philippine resupply mission to Ayungin shoal, putting the lives of Filipino service members at risk.

The Chinese Coast Guard said the Filipino vessels “trespassed” into Chinese waters “without authorisation” despite repeated radio warnings prompting its ships to stop them. It blamed the Philippine vessels for causing the collision.

The Philippine side’s behaviour seriously violates the international rules on avoiding collisions at sea and threatens the navigation safety of our vessels, the Chinese coast guard said in a statement posted on its website.

In early August, a Chinese Coast Guard ship used water cannon against one of two Philippine supply boats to prevent it from approaching Second Thomas Shoal. This angered President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and prompted the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila to summon the Chinese ambassador to strongly protest.

As a result, Washington warned that it had a duty to protect the Philippines as a treaty ally.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry accused Washington of “threatening China” by raising the possibility of activating the US-Philippine mutual defence treaty. Beijing has repeatedly warned the US against interfering in regional territorial disputes.

The South China Sea is one of the world’s busiest trade routes. The disputes involve China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei and are considered one of the flashpoints of intense rivalry between the US and China in the region.

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