China’s coast guard expels Philippine vessels from Scarborough Shoal, state media says

China’s coast guard expels Philippine vessels from Scarborough Shoal, state media says
China’s coast guard expels Philippine vessels from Scarborough Shoal, state media says

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - This photo taken on September 28, 2023 shows an aerial view of Chinese coast guard ships anchored inside the lagoon of the Chinese-controlled Scarborough Shoal during a maritime surveillance flight by the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) over disputed waters of the South China Sea. — AFP pic

BEIJING, April 30 — China’s coast guard said today it “expelled” a Philippine coast guard ship and another vessel from waters adjacent to the Scarborough Shoal, Chinese state media reported.

The coast guard did not provide additional information, according to the report from Chinese state media broadcaster CCTV, but the incident was the latest to occur between the two countries at the disputed atoll in the South China Sea.

Beijing and Manila have repeatedly clashed in recent months at the submerged reef, which Philippines says is in its exclusive economic zone but which China also claims as its own.

Both have also traded accusations over aggressive manoeuvres there and the Philippines recently summoned a Chinese diplomat over the actions.

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China and Philippines previously said they would seek better communications and management around skirmishes in the vast South China Sea, but tensions have increased recently, especially after Philippines forged stronger diplomatic and military ties with the United States.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than US$3 trillion of annual ship-borne commerce, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2016 said China’s claims had no legal basis. — Reuters

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