Philippines says China Coast Guard fired water cannon at its vessels

Philippines says China Coast Guard fired water cannon at its vessels
Philippines says China Coast Guard fired water cannon at its vessels

Hello and welcome to the details of Philippines says China Coast Guard fired water cannon at its vessels and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The Philippines said the China Coast Guard fired water cannon today at two of its vessels, causing damage to one of them, during a patrol near a reef off the South-east Asian country. — Kyodo via Reuters pic

Philippines says China Coast Guard fired water cannon at its vessels

MANILA, April 30 — The Philippines said the China Coast Guard fired water cannon today at two of its vessels, causing damage to one of them, during a patrol near a reef off the South-east Asian country.

The incident happened near the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal, which has become a potential flashpoint in the disputed South China Sea, during a mission to resupply Filipino fishermen.

“This damage serves as evidence of the forceful water pressure used by the China Coast Guard in their harassment of the Philippine vessels,” a statement issued by the Philippine Coast Guard said.

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The China Coast Guard had reinstalled a 380-metre (416-yard) barrier across the entrance to the shoal — a traditional fishing ground — blocking access to the waters inside, the statement said.

The triangular chain of reefs and rocks lies 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon and nearly 900 kilometres from the nearest major Chinese land mass of Hainan.

China seized the shoal from the Philippines in 2012 and has since deployed coast guard and other vessels that Manila says harass Philippine ships and prevent its fishermen from accessing a fish-rich lagoon there.

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China claims almost the entire South China Sea, brushing off rival claims from other countries including the Philippines and an international ruling that its assertion has no legal basis.

Manila and Beijing have a long history of maritime territorial disputes in the waterway, with several collisions involving Filipino and Chinese vessels in recent months, as well as water cannoning by the China Coast Guard.

This latest incident comes as the Philippines and the United States hold a major annual military exercise that has infuriated Beijing.

A vessel belonging to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and another from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were delivering fuel and food to fishermen plying the waters near the reef.

“During the patrol, the Philippine vessels encountered dangerous maneuvers and obstruction from four China Coast Guard vessels and six Chinese Maritime Militia vessels,” the statement said.

China Coast Guard vessels fired water cannon at the BFAR and Philippine Coast Guard boat.

The PCG vessel was sprayed from both sides, causing damage to its railing and canopy.

“Despite the harassment and provocative actions of the Chinese Coast Guard, both the PCG and BFAR vessels stood their ground and continued their maritime patrol,” the statement said. — AFP

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