Watch: Chinese Coast Guard Deploys Water Cannons To Pause Philippine Supply Mission

The Philippines released images showing the Chinese Coast Guard deploying water cannons on civilian vessels from the Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the contested area around the Scarborough Shoal.

The Philippines, backed by the international community, issued a statement in which it strongly condemns unlawful and aggressive actions, claiming that China’s Coast Guard used Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) and small boats and strung a new floating barrier in an attempt to halt what it calls an ongoing “humanitarian and support mission.


Video Credit: iMPACT Media/YouTube

The fight occurred near the Bajo de Masinloc shoal in the Philippines, a fertile fishing ground in the disputed area around 150 miles west of Luzon and over 500 miles from Hainan, which is based in China.

The Chinese have also claimed that the area around the Scarborough Shoal since 2012, while the Philippines points to a 2016 international arbitration by the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in Hague that they claim grants them fishing rights as well as the authority to exercise sovereignty and jurisdiction over the area.

It is insisted that China’s vessels depart from Bajo de Masinloc immediately, the Philippines stated in a written statement. The US Ambassador also condemned the move, while the Japanese have expressed “serious concerns” about what they called “dangerous actions.”

Others condemned the activities, including ambassadors from the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, the European Union, Australia, and the Netherlands. Per Chinese official television, the Philippine vessels “intruded” into the area. Per the report, China’s Coast Guard deployed “controlled measures.”

According to the Philippines, the incident began early this morning, Saturday, December 9, when the Chinese used small boats to create a new floating barrier over the southeast entrance to the shoal. Previously, the Chinese had also placed obstacles in the area. But in September 2023, the Philippines cut the barrier and allowed it to float to enter the region.

Three BFAR vessels, Datu Bankaw, Datu Tamblot, and Datu Sanday, arrived at the shoal region, bringing fuel and food supplies for about 30 Filipino fishing vessels operating in the lagoon.

Per reports by the Philippines’ National Task Force, the Chinese Coast Guard began firing water cannons to halt the Filipinos’ movement when the vessels were between 1.4 and 1.2 nm from the lagoon’s entrance. They claimed the Chinese fired water cannons a minimum of eight times and uploaded videos of the encounter.

According to the report, one of the Filipino ships, Datu Tamblot, suffered “significant damage” to its communication and navigation equipment.

Per reports, the Chinese also deployed LRAD against Filipino boats. The statement suggests that it resulted in severe temporary discomfort and incapacitation to some Filipino crew members.

The Philippines has been denouncing utilizing rigid hull inflatable boats. The content had been introduced to disperse fishing boats. They have been reporting that the Chinese have engaged in risky manoeuvres. The statement reportedly demands that China’s government take swift action to halt such aggressive activities.

China-Philippines tensions have risen in recent months, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. pledged not to transfer control of any region to China and to put a halt to China’s activity, which infringes on the Philippines’ sovereignty.

Aside from the occurrences near Scarborough Shoal, both sides have had multiple encounters at Second Thomas Shoal, where the Philippines has an outpost.

Last week, the Philippines also raised worry over a significant and rising swarm of China’s fishing trawlers close to the Whitsun Reef in the nearby Spratly Islands.

Reference: The Hindu

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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