China coastguard's 'dangerous maneuvers' caused South China Sea collision, PH says
China coastguard's 'dangerous maneuvers' caused South China Sea collision, PH says
China coastguard's 'dangerous maneuvers' caused South China Sea collision, PH says
by DZRH News05 March 2024
Philippine Coast Guard personnel inspect the hull of the ship during a collision incident between the Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Sindangan and a Chinese Coast Guard ship in the disputed South China Sea, March 5, 2024. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS

BEIJING/MANILA, March 5 (Reuters) - The Philippines on Tuesday accused China's coast guard of carrying out "dangerous maneuvers" that led to a collision between its coast guard ship and a Chinese vessel during a resupply mission for Philippine troops in the South China Sea.

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Jay Tarriela said on social media platform X the PCG vessel sustained minor structural damage.

"Their reckless and illegal actions led to a collision," Tarriela said in the social media post that was accompanied by video clips showing the moment the ships scraped each other's bows.

The PCG vessel was one of two Coast Guard ships assisting a mission to transport provisions for a handful of Filipino troops stationed at a warship that Manila grounded on the Second Thomas Shoal in 1999 to reinforce sovereignty claims.


But China's coast guard said the Philippine vessels illegally intruded into waters adjacent to the shoal, which China calls Renai Reef, so it had to take control measures.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, which includes the Second Thomas Shoal and has deployed vessels to patrol there, including what Manila refers to as "Chinese maritime militia", which were also present while the resupply mission was underway.

Tuesday's incident was the latest in a series of maritime run-ins between the Philippines and China, which have been locked in a territorial dispute in the South China Sea despite a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration which found that China's claims had no legal basis. Beijing rejects that ruling.

While saying that the Philippines will cooperate in talks with China, its president Ferdinand Marcos Jr said at a forum in Australia on Monday, that his country will push back when its sovereignty and maritime rights are ignored.


In a departure from his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte's pro-China stance, Marcos has accused Beijing of aggression in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, including the use of water cannons, "military-grade" lasers, and collision tactics to drive away Philippine vessels.

The China Coast Guard issued a brief statement on the latest incident between the countries along with other past Coast Guard actions, including a link to what it called the "illegal invasion of Scarborough Shoal" on Feb. 23.

In that incident, it said a China Coast Guard ship took necessary measures to drive a Philippine vessel away in accordance with the law.


(Reporting by Bernard Orr and Shanghai newsroom and Karen Lema in Manila; Editing by Chris Reese and Michael Perry)

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