On Tuesday, three Chinese vessels prevented two Navy boats of the Philippines from supplying essential items to the country’s sailors. The local sailors were stationed at a maritime outpost on the Ayungin Shoal in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Manila that lies in the South China Sea. The incident was reported by the Philippine Star on Thursday.
One Chinese ship even used water cannon to blast the boats on 16 November for an hour, curbing their attempts to deliver supplies to the Philippines’ military personnel who had been stationed at the Ayungin Shoal on BRP Sierra Madre.
Teddy Locsin, Jr., Philippine’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said that no individual was hurt; but the boats had to stall the resupply mission. The BRP Sierra Madre came to be a de facto marine outpost when the Philippine Navy ran the vessel aground in 1999 on Ayungin Shoal to stake Manila’s claim to the reef, which was illegally long been claimed by China.
On Wednesday, Locsin said in a statement that he had been conveying Manila’s outrage, protest, and condemnation about the Ayungin Shoal incident to H.E. Huang Xilian, who is China’s ambassador to the Philippines and also to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Locsin mentioned that Ayungin Shoal belongs to the Kalayaan Island Group, an intrinsic part of the Philippines, and also the country’s economic zone, the continental shelf, and over which the country has jurisdiction, sovereignty, and sovereign rights.
Philippine’s foreign minister referred to the Kalayaan Island Group, Manila’s name for the Spratly Islands.
In the days that led to the incident that took place on 16 November, the Philippine Navy noticed the Chinese maritime militia in the territory pertaining to the Spratlys. Hermogenes Esperon, Philippines’ National Security Adviser, informed reporters on 18 November that the country’s military had discovered 19 Chinese vessels close to the Ayungin Shoal and additional 45 Chinese ships near the Pag-asa Island. This happened last week.
Esperon had recounted the appearance of Chinese vessels within Manila’s sovereign maritime territory to be “very aggressive.”
Beijing continues claiming illegally that the Spratly Island chain is in its territory, alleging that the archipelago is within the boundaries of a “nine-dash line,” an imaginary outline encompassing the whole South China Sea. China continues to put forward territorial claims and cites the “nine-dash line” even though in 2016, the international arbitration ruling declared it as unlawful.
Reference: breitbart.com | Video Credits: Philippine National Security Advisor Sec. Esperon
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