Hello and welcome to the details of Philippine supply boat ‘rammed’ by China Coast Guard vessel, says official and now with the details
Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This handout photo taken and released on December 10, 2023 by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shows a China Coast Guard vessel (R) using water cannon against the M/L Kalayaan chartered supply boat (L) during a mission to deliver provisions at Second Thomas Shoal in disputed waters of the South China Sea. — AFP pic/Philippine Coast Guard handout
MANILA, Dec 10 — A Philippine boat was “rammed” by a Chinese coast guard ship during a resupply mission today, the Philippine coast guard said, in the latest such confrontation in the disputed South China Sea.
Jay Tarriela, the coast guard spokesman for the West Philippine Sea, said on social media platform X that a Chinese ship also “water cannoned” three Philippine vessels involved in the resupply mission, causing “serious engine damage” to one of the boats.
The incident near Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands comes a day after the Philippines accused the Chinese coast guard of using water cannons to “obstruct” three government boats delivering provisions to Filipino fishermen near Scarborough Shoal, off the main island of Luzon.
Hours before the latest incident, a civilian convoy involving 100 Filipino fishermen embarked on a trip that would pass Second Thomas Shoal as part of a mission to deliver Christmas cheer and provisions to a remote outpost.
Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometres from the western Philippine island of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometres from China’s nearest major landmass, Hainan island.
A handful of Filipino troops are stationed on the crumbling BRP Sierra Madre, which the Philippine Navy grounded on the reef in 1999 to check China’s advance in the waters.
The troops depend on the resupply missions for their survival.
Tarriela said the two supply boats and a Philippine Coast Guard vessel escorting the mission were water cannoned.
One of the supply boats suffered engine damage while the other supply boat was “rammed” by a Chinese patrol ship.
It is not clear if the supply boats were able to deliver their cargo.
The Philippines and China have a long history of maritime incidents in the contested South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars of trade pass annually.
China claims almost the entire waterway and has ignored a 2016 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration that its claims have no legal basis.
Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to the sea.
Tensions between Manila and Beijing have escalated this year as China becomes more assertive in pressing its claims to the waters, with the Philippines publishing strongly worded statements with videos and photos of the incidents.
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, who took power in June 2022, warned last month that the situation in the South China Sea had become “more dire”. — AFP
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