The Philippines has condemned the China Coast Guard (CCG) for firing water cannon at its vessels within the disputed South China Sea. The boats had been going to Ayungin Shoal on Saturday for a resupply mission on the BRP Sierra Madre.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) issued a press release criticising the China Coast Guard’s “dangerous manoeuvres and illegal use of water cannons” in opposition to its vessels escorting the indigenous boats chartered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ship meals, water, gasoline, and different provides to army troops stationed on BRP Sierra Madre at Second Thomas Shoal.”
“The PCG calls on the China Coast Guard to restrain its forces, respect the sovereign rights of the Philippines in its unique financial zone and continental shelf, chorus from hampering freedom of navigation, and take acceptable actions in opposition to the people concerned on this illegal incident,” PCG spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela said.
The Philippine Coast Guard expresses strong condemnation towards the unlawful behavior exhibited by the China Coast Guard vessels (CCG 4203 and CCG 5305) for their unwarranted use of water cannons against the MRRV-4409. Additionally, we call on the CCG to adhere to the COLREGS… pic.twitter.com/iSI2DU6JWP
— Jay Tarriela (@jaytaryela) August 7, 2023
The US State Department condemned the Chinese actions, saying in a statement that they were carried out by the coast guard and “maritime militia”, and that they directly threatened regional peace and stability.
Second Thomas Shoal is about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the Philippine island of Palawan and more than 1,000 kilometres from China’s nearest major landmass, Hainan Island.
China’s coast guard and navy vessels routinely block or shadow Philippine ships patrolling the contested waters, Manila says.
Saturday’s incident was the first time since November 2021 that the Chinese coast guard had used water cannon against a Philippine resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal.
“Such actions by the CCG not solely disregarded the protection of the PCG crew and the availability boats but additionally violated worldwide regulation, together with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the 1972 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the PCG stated.
It further called on the CCG to restrain its forces, respect the Philippines’ sovereign rights, and observe international maritime obligations.
“We ask that the China Coast Guard, as an organisation with a duty to watch state obligations beneath UNCLOS, COLREGs, and different related devices of worldwide maritime security and safety, to stop all unlawful actions throughout the maritime zones of the Philippines,” the PCG further stated.
(With inputs from agencies)
Featured Video Of The Day
Rahul Gandhi Back In Parliament After 4 Months