A Chinese Coast Guard ship sails near a Philippine ship (R) that was part of a convoy of civilian boats in the disputed South China Sea on December 10, 2023. The disputed South China Sea abandoned the voyage on December 10 after “constant shadowing” by Chinese Ships off, said the organizer.

Ted Aljibe | Afp | Getty Images

After the collision between Philippine and Chinese ships over the weekend, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has vowed to strengthen the defense of his maritime territories in the South China Sea.

“We remain undeterred,” Marcos said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“The aggression and provocations of the Chinese Coast Guard and its Chinese maritime militia against our vessels and personnel over the weekend have only further strengthened our resolve to defend and protect our nation’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea.”

This comes as the Philippines has this year stepped up its resistance to China’s aggressive claims and power projection over almost the entire waterway that Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.

Other Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam also claim parts of the South China Sea. In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea have no legal basis.

CNBC has reached out to China’s Foreign Ministry for comment.

On Sunday, the The Philippines blamed China causing “severe damage” to one of his ships and ramming another.

According to a statement from the Philippines Maritime Task Force shared by Jay Tarriela, Philippine Coast Guard spokesman for the West Philippine Sea, China’s coast guard “directly attacked” Philippine ships, “disabling the vessel and seriously endangering the lives of its crew.” endangered”.

The Filipino ships were part of a convoy on a resupply mission to Second Thomas Shoal, where Filipino soldiers live on a stranded warship in the flooded reef of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

A spokesman for the Philippine Foreign Ministry said at a news conference in Manila on Monday that the Chinese ambassador had been summoned. The Philippines has also lodged a diplomatic protest with the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Maria Teresita Daza.

A Chinese coast guard spokesman said on Sunday the Philippines was “fully responsible” for the “deliberate collision” and had ignored China’s repeated deterrents and warnings by insisting on sending four ships to deliver supplies to the warship which Beijing said was “lying on the ship” illegally. Beach.”

The US State Department strongly supported the Philippines and accused Chinese ships of “reckless maneuvers, including forcing a collision.”

According to the US State Department, acoustic devices were used in a separate incident at Scarborough Reef on Saturday, incapacitating Filipino crew members and driving away Filipino fishing vessels.

“As evidenced by the legally binding decision of an international tribunal in July 2016, the People’s Republic of China has no lawful maritime claims to the waters around Second Thomas Shoal, and Filipinos are entitled to traditional fishing rights around Scarborough Reef,” said Matthew Miller, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry.

Source : www.cnbc.com

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