PH Says China Ships Rammed & Damaged Its Boats

PH Says China Vessels Rammed, Damaged Its Boats

CHINA – The Philippine officials alleged that Chinese ships intentionally collided with and caused damage to its vessels in the South China Sea.

On a rotation and resupply (Rore) mission to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on Monday, Chinese ships hit and towed Philippine boats, causing damage and putting the lives of Filipino sailors in jeopardy, according to Philippine officials.

Philippine officials reported that Chinese ships rammed and towed Philippine vessels engaged in a rotation and resupply mission to Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal on Monday, causing damage and endangering Filipino sailors’ lives.

Based on a report from Inquirer, The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea accused the People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N), China Coast Guard (CCG), and Chinese maritime militia (CMM) of “dangerous maneuvers, including ramming and towing,” without detailing the incident.

Photo Source: Inquirer

“We strongly condemn the illegal, aggressive and reckless actions of the PLA-N, CCG and CMM. Their actions put at risk the lives of our personnel and damaged our boats, in blatant violation of international law, particularly the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 Arbitral Award,” the task force said.

Filipino sailors maintained composure and professionalism, avoiding escalation and persevering with their mission despite China’s provocations. Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. also criticized the incident, stating that China’s actions contradict their claims of goodwill and decency. He emphasized to the global community that China is the primary obstacle to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson condemned China’s “aggressive and perilous maneuvers” near Ayungin Shoal. She highlighted that these actions resulted in injuries, vessel damage, and disruptions to lawful maritime operations aimed at supplying essential goods to Philippine personnel within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The CCG, however, claimed that a Philippine vessel “deliberately and dangerously” approached the Chinese ship in an “unprofessional” manner, ignoring repeated warnings, which led to the collision. Using Chinese names for Ayungin and the Spratly Islands, the CCG accused the Philippines of illegally entering the sea near Ren’ai Reef in China’s Nansha Islands at 5:59 a.m. on Monday and asserted that China “took control measures against the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law.”

Photo Source: AP News

The AFP strongly rebutted China’s claims, describing them as “misleading and deceptive,” and stressed that the core issue remains the unlawful presence and activities of Chinese vessels within the Philippines’ EEZ. This situation not only violates Philippine sovereignty but also exacerbates tensions in the region.

Col. Francel Margareth Padilla, spokesperson for the AFP, affirmed that operational specifics of the lawful humanitarian rotation and resupply mission at Ayungin Shoal, well within the Philippines’ EEZ, would not be divulged. Ayungin Shoal, situated approximately 194 km off Palawan province, falls squarely within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer EEZ. The presence of Filipino soldiers on the Sierra Madre there, aimed at asserting Philippine sovereignty, necessitates regular resupply missions that are often disrupted by Chinese harassment.

The report indicated that the collision on Monday occurred at the same time as China’s recent coast guard regulations, which came into force over the weekend. These regulations empower the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) to detain foreigners for up to 60 days if accused of trespassing in waters claimed by Beijing.

China asserts extensive sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, overlapping with claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Furthermore, China persists in disregarding the 2016 arbitral ruling that rejected its expansive territorial assertions.

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