The Philippines on Monday (10/23/23) blamed China for “deliberately” sailing their coastguard vessels slamming into its vessels that were on a resupply mission in a contested piece of the South China Ocean, as ties crumbled between Manila and Beijing.
The two sides exchanged allegations after the most recent occurrence on Sunday, which was the most serious yet in the contested waters differently known as Ren Ai Reef, Ayungin Shoal, or Second Thomas Shoal.
As the deck of one knocks the stern of the other, a Filipino TV group was there capturing the fiasco with a camera. This is the second time in weeks that journalists from the Philippines have recorded a close case encounter close to the battled reef. It is part of a conscious strategy by the Philippine government to expose what it has referred to as “brute force” from China in declaring command over what Manila claimed are its waters.
In a press statement, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said the Chinese Coast Guard vessel intentionally implemented risky obstructing moves that made it slam into a Philippine vessel conveying supplies to troops positioned in Ayungin Shoal, in the Spratly Islands chain.
The Philippine authority termed this as a ”provocation” and ”illegal” endeavor from China that could have potentially imperiled the safety of crew members.
On Sunday, China put it that the Philippine-bound boats hazardously bumped into the coastguard vessels and fishing vessels fishing in the reef from China.
China’s consulate in Manila declared on Monday that it had made strict warnings to the Philippines over trespassing vessels, and apprised the Philippine government to stop creating problems by attempting to muddy China’s reputation with baseless accusations.