Philippines accuses Chinese Coast Guard of firing water cannons on its supply boats
The Philippines has condemned the actions of the Chinese Coast Guard following an incident in which three vessels blocked Manila supply boats on Thursday. The vessels reportedly used water cannons on Manila boats on their way to a Phillippine-occupied atoll in the South China Sea. The Phillippines’ top diplomat, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, addressed the situation earlier today. Locsin confirmed that nobody was hurt during the incident, which occurred at the Second Thomas Shoal. The Phillippine boats were reportedly transporting food supplies to military personnel based at Second Thomas Shoal. The boats were forced to abort their mission due to the disruption.
The Philippines called the acts of the Chinese Coast Gaurd illegal, stating that a public vessel is covered by the Phillippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty. Locsin warned Beijing of its failure to exercise self-restraint and stressed how the incident impacted the two countries’ relationship. Locsin also highlighted that China has no law enforcement rights in the area in which the incident occurred. Second Thomas Shoal is 105 nautical miles southwest of the Philippine region of Palawan. Although China claims sovereignty over the South China Sea, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have also claimed ownership over the region.