Chinese coastguard block and shoot Philippine supply boat with water cannon

The Chinese Coast Guard blocked and water cannon the Philippine ships bound for Ayungin Shoal to provide food for military personnel.

The issue of disputed territories around the Philippine Sea is far from settled. Three Chinese Coast Guard vessels obstructed and reportedly launched water cannons at two Philippine supply boats bound for Ayungin Shoal.

Ayungin Shoal, part of the Kalayaan group of islands

Also known as Second Thomas Shoal, Ayungin Shoal is an atoll in the Spratly Islands which is located in the South China Sea. The shoal location is 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and occupied by the Philippine Army. At the same time, it is a Filipino territory.

Said shoal is part of the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and a structural part of the Philippines. It is also the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf of the country. This means that the Philippines has jurisdiction, sovereign rights and sovereignty over them.

Outrageous misconduct by the Chinese coastguard

The Foreign Ministry condemns such behavior about what the Chinese Coast Guard did. These foreign ships used water cannons on two Filipino ships delivering food to the military in Ayungin Shoal. Although no one was injured, they had to suspend their mission.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has previously discussed the matter with Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He criticized and disapproved of the incident, saying China has no law enforcement rights in surrounding areas.

“I reminded China that a public ship is covered by the Philippines-US Mutual Defense Treaty. The actions of Chinese Coast Guard vessels are illegal. China has no law enforcement rights in and around these areas. They have to be careful and back off, ”Locsin said in a statement.

China must not neglect to exercise restraint as this would jeopardize the friendship between the leaders of the two Asian countries. Locsin added that they did not need to ask permission for what to do in their territory. So far, the Philippines has already filed 211 diplomatic notes against China since Duterte became president.

The United States and the Philippines reiterated the 2016 UN-backed Court of Arbitration ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. It abolished China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea.

China’s persistent claim in the 9 dashes

In the previous months, hundreds of Chinese ships dotted the surrounding western Philippine Sea. The Philippine government has called their presence undercover. Analysts, including several countries, have already warned China against aggression in the western Philippine Sea because it could threaten regional public order.

China maintains a regular presence of fishing boats and coastguards in the international passage. This is because they want to pronounce their claim in the Spratly Islands independently of the arbitral tribunal in 2016. It concluded that China had no legal basis to claim historic rights to the resources of the surrounding sea areas that fall under their jurisdiction. “9-dash line”.

However, China has denied recognizing the award and called it flawed and invalid. Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and Vietnam are other Asian countries that also claim to have claims.

Duterte refrained from pressuring China to comply with the court ruling. This is because the Philippines is looking for investments and loans from the global economic influencer. He used to call the arbitration award a piece of paper, but later said the Filipino ships would not withdraw from the canal.

Before the circumstances, the authorities discovered a strange presence of Chinese maritime militias. It is close to the atoll and the island of Thitu occupied by the Philippines. China has repudiated the exploitation of a militia. Last week, 19 ships were near Ayungin Shoal and 45 near Thitu Island.

Image source: Tyg728 / WikimediaCommons

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