Philippines accuses Chinese boats of ‘dangerous’ actions

Philippines accuses Chinese boats of ‘dangerous’ actions
Philippines accuses Chinese boats of ‘dangerous’ actions

Hello and welcome to the details of Philippines accuses Chinese boats of ‘dangerous’ actions and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This photo taken on February 15, 2024, shows an aerial view of China Coast Guard vessel (upper) shadowing the BRP Datu Tamblot (lower) during a mission to bring supplies and assistance to the fishermen in Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. ― AFP pic

MANILA, Feb 17 ― The Philippines today accused Chinese coast guard ships of “dangerous” manoeuvres after they repeatedly blocked a Filipino vessel delivering supplies to fishermen at a reef off the Southeast Asian nation’s coast.

The incidents happened near the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal on Thursday and yesterday, several days after the Philippine Coast Guard made similar accusations against Chinese boats in the same area.

Scarborough Shoal ― a triangular shaped chain of reef and rocks in the disputed South China Sea ― has been a flashpoint between the countries since China seized it from the Philippines in 2012.

Since then, Beijing has deployed patrol boats that Manila says harass Philippine vessels and prevent Filipino fishermen from reaching a lagoon where fish are more plentiful.

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In the latest incidents, a Chinese navy ship, China Coast Guard vessels and other Chinese boats shadowed a Philippine vessel belonging to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources that was bringing food and fuel to Filipino fishermen, allowing them to spend more time at sea and pursue a larger catch.

AFP correspondents and journalists from several local outlets were on board the Philippines’ BRP Datu Tamblot for the three-day roundtrip.

The Datu Tamblot and the China Coast Guard vessels issued repeated radio challenges to each other, with each side accusing the other of encroaching into their territorial waters.

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On four occasions, Chinese coast guard vessels briefly blocked the Datu Tamblot by crossing its bow and stopping in its path as it neared the shoal.

“It’s not permitted for any vessel to cross the bow of another vessel because it is very dangerous,” Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Jay Tarriela told a news conference in Manila.

Tarriela, who is the coast guard’s spokesman for the West Philippine Sea, said such actions could “cause a collision”.

Despite the Chinese actions, the Datu Tamblot was able to get within a few kilometres of the shoal and deliver 21,000 litres of diesel and other provisions to 19 Philippine fishing boats, Tarriela said.

Scarborough Shoal is 240 kilometres west of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon and nearly 900 kilometres from the nearest major Chinese land mass of Hainan.

China claims almost the entire sea and has ignored an international tribunal ruling that its assertions have no legal basis.

The incidents came after tense standoffs between China and the Philippines around disputed reefs in the South China Sea last year that saw collisions between vessels from the two countries and Chinese ships blasting water cannon at Philippine boats. ― AFP

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