New incident in the China Sea

New incident in the China Sea
New incident in the China Sea

Beijing deploys coast guard and other vessels to patrol the South China Sea. (Pretext image)

AFP

A collision took place on Monday between a Philippine ship and a Chinese boat near the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea, at a time when incidents are increasing between the two countries in the area claimed by Beijing.

Both countries blamed each other for the incident.

“The Philippine supply ship ignored numerous warnings from the Chinese side” and “approached the Chinese vessel (…) in an unprofessional manner, causing a collision,” the coast guard said in a statement.

Beijing accused the boat of having “illegally entered the waters near the Ren’ai Reef”, the Chinese name for the Second Thomas Atoll located in the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands for Beijing).

“The Chinese coast guard took control measures against the Philippine vessel in accordance with law,” the statement added.

The Philippine army rejected Beijing’s version on Monday, declaring that it gave “no credence to the misleading and deceptive assertions of the Chinese coast guard.”

The atoll is located about 200 kilometers from the Philippine archipelago of Palawan, and more than 1,000 kilometers from the nearest Chinese coast, the island of Hainan.

At the beginning of the month, the Philippine army denounced the illegal “seizure” by Chinese boats of food and medicine dropped by plane in mid-May, intended for the Philippine military outpost on the same atoll, and had accused Beijing of “aggressive and unprovoked interference”.

A few days later, the Philippine coast guard released a video showing their Chinese counterparts blocking and colliding with two Philippine ships which were carrying out the medical evacuation of a soldier.

Despite a decision by international justice

Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, including waters and islands near the coasts of several of its neighbors, despite an international court ruling in 2016.

The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim several reefs and islets in this sea, some areas of which could contain rich oil reserves.

On the Second Thomas Atoll which is part of the Spratly Islands, Philippine troops have installed a garrison in a stranded ship of their navy, in order to defend their claims in this area.

Beijing deploys coast guard and other vessels to patrol the South China Sea and has turned reefs into military positions.

United Nations questioned

The Philippines on Saturday asked the United Nations for recognition of its sovereign rights over a continental shelf off its coast in the South China Sea.

The same day, China unveiled a series of rules allowing its coast guard to now be able to detain, without trial, foreigners “suspected of having violated the management of border entries and exits”.

A detention period of up to sixty days is provided for “complicated cases” and “if the nationality and identity (of the detainees) are unclear”, according to the new regulations published online by Beijing and entered into force. effective Saturday.

(AFP)

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