NewsPhilippines issues protest after Chinese coast guard injures sailors

Philippines issues protest after Chinese coast guard injures sailors

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA, PHILIPPINES - DECEMBER 10: A China coast guard vessel sails near the Filipino ship on a resupply mission to the communities and Filipino military personnel stationed in the Spratlys, on December 10, 2023, in Palawan, Philippines. Escorted by Philippine Coast Guard ships, civil society and fishing community gathered in El Nido town to embark on a civilian-led resupply and gift mission to residents and military personnel stationed in the far flung islands in the contested area of the Spratlys group of islands as Christmas nears. The mission was cut short as China navy and coast guard ships present in the area prompted the captain of the Filipino supply boat to turn back, against the assurance of the Philippine Coast Guard to push through. China cost guard ships earlier fired water cannons and rammed another civilian boat performing resupply missions to Ayungin Shoal and a government fisheries boat in Scarborough shoal. The Philippines, the only predominantly Christian nation in South East Asia, has been celebrating Christmas for more than 400 years. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)
WEST PHILIPPINE SEA, PHILIPPINES - DECEMBER 10: A China coast guard vessel sails near the Filipino ship on a resupply mission to the communities and Filipino military personnel stationed in the Spratlys, on December 10, 2023, in Palawan, Philippines. Escorted by Philippine Coast Guard ships, civil society and fishing community gathered in El Nido town to embark on a civilian-led resupply and gift mission to residents and military personnel stationed in the far flung islands in the contested area of the Spratlys group of islands as Christmas nears. The mission was cut short as China navy and coast guard ships present in the area prompted the captain of the Filipino supply boat to turn back, against the assurance of the Philippine Coast Guard to push through. China cost guard ships earlier fired water cannons and rammed another civilian boat performing resupply missions to Ayungin Shoal and a government fisheries boat in Scarborough shoal. The Philippines, the only predominantly Christian nation in South East Asia, has been celebrating Christmas for more than 400 years. (Photo by Jes Aznar/Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | Jes Aznar
9:45 AM EST, March 5, 2024

Jay Tarriela, the spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard, reported on Tuesday that Chinese security forces injured at least four Filipino sailors by using water cannons in the South China Sea. Following the incident, the Deputy Ambassador of the People's Republic of China was summoned by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

Philippines protests against Chinese actions

In reaction to the "aggressive actions" by the Chinese coast guard and maritime militia, the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines delivered a protest to the Chinese diplomat. In a statement, the Manila diplomacy department expressed that "China's interference with the Philippines' routine and lawful activities in its exclusive economic zone is unacceptable."

Commander Tarriela, speaking on behalf of the coast guard, stated: "Recent unprovoked acts of aggression and dangerous maneuvers by China against the legitimate and routine Philippine rotational and resupply mission on Ayungin Shoal have put our citizens' lives at risk and resulted in injuries to Filipinos." He noted that a collision with a Chinese vessel caused "superficial structural damage" to their ship.

Four individuals aboard one of two ships chartered by the Philippine navy, for rotating the garrison and delivering supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre, were injured. The BRP Sierra Madre, a World War II era ship intentionally grounded on the Second Thomas Shoal, serves as a military outpost in the South China Sea.

China claims its actions were "professional"

Addressing the incident, Mao Ning, the spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, described the actions of the Chinese authorities as "professional and restrained, reasonable and lawful." In a briefing in Beijing, Mao stated: "China once again urges the Philippine side to cease violations and provocations at sea and to avoid any actions that could escalate the situation."

Source: PAP

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