U.S., ally-countries condemn latest aggressive actions of China in the South China Sea
U.S., ally-countries condemn latest aggressive actions of China in the South China Sea
U.S., ally-countries condemn latest aggressive actions of China in the South China Sea
by Karen Ow-Yong18 June 2024
Photo courtesy of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)

MANILA – The diplomatic community in the Philippines has expressed its concern and condemned the actions of China, including “ramming” and “towing” of Philippine vessels undergoing a resupply mission near Second Thomas Shoal or known locally as Ayungin Shoal.

On Monday, the National Security Council (NSC) confirmed China coast guard and maritime militia engaged in what it called “dangerous maneuvers”, including “ramming and towing”, which put the lives of the personnel at risk and damage to the Philippine Coast Guard’s vessels.

Courtesy of National Security Council


In a post on X, US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson condemned China’s “aggressive, dangerous maneuvers near Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal”.

According to Carlson, such actions “caused bodily injury, damaged Philippine vessels, and hindered lawful maritime operations to supply food, water, and essential supplies to Philippine personnel within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.”

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller also released a statement, saying “the United States stands with its ally the Philippines and condemns the escalatory and irresponsible actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to deny the Philippines from lawfully delivering humanitarian supplies to service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre on June 17.”


PRC vessels’ dangerous and deliberate use of water cannons, ramming, blocking maneuvers, and towing damaged Philippine vessels, endangered the lives of Philippine service members, is reckless, and threatens regional peace and stability, Miller continues.

Miller mentioned that such “escalatory incident” is the latest in a series of PRC provocations to impede critically needed supplies from reaching service members stationed at the BRP Sierra Madre.

“On May 19, PRC Coast Guard harassed Philippine service members being medically evacuated and unlawfully seized airdropped provisions. In addition, on numerous occasions over the past year, they have used water cannons and dangerous maneuvers against Philippine routine supply missions. Beijing’s actions reflect consistent disregard for the safety of Filipinos and for international law in the South China Sea,” Miller added.

Miller also confirmed a phone call between Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell with Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Maria Theresa Lazaro, wherein both discussed China’s escalatory and irresponsible actions last June 17, while affirming “that Article IV of the 1951 United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine Armed Forces, public vessels, or aircraft – including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea.”


Meanwhile, ally-countries also expressed their concerns regarding the incident, with ambassadors posting their messages of support and condemnation on social media.

Japanese Ambassador ENDO Kazuya reiterated its grave concern over what it called “repeated dangerous and aggressive actions by CCG which put Philippine personnel at risk & damaged Philippine boats.”

We stand with the Philippines and cooperate with like-minded countries in maintaining and enhancing the free and open international order based on the rule of law, Endo added.

Canada also released a statement regarding China’s actions, saying it condemn such actions that are “dangerous and destabilizing”, causing injuries and put at risk stability, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.


Canada further stated that “China’s actions are inconsistent with its obligations under international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea” and calls on China to implement the 2016 arbitral ruling, which is final and binding on the parties.

Australian Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu posted on X Australia’s deep concern at the “dangerous and illegal actions” by China, causing injury, damaging Philippine vessels and endangering lives and regional stability and as such, States must act consistently with international law, including UNCLOS.

The European Union also expressed deep concern about the dangerous actions of China, saying such actions “have caused harm, damaged Philippine vessels, and disrupted lawful maritime operations in the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

“The EU opposes coercion and intimidation in the South China Sea, or anywhere. We support international law and peaceful dispute resolution,” EU Ambassador Luc Veron posted on X.


France, a member of the EU, also released a separate statement, saying France has serious concerns following the incident in the South China involving Philippine vessels.

“France reiterates its call for respect of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and of freedom of navigation,” the statement read.

We oppose any threat or use of force contrary to international law and recall the importance of resolving disputes through dialogue. We also recall the decision rendered by the Arbitral Court on July 12, 2016, the statement added.

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines also expressed “grave concern” about the recent dangerous actions in the South China Sea that caused serious damages to Philippine vessels, especially bodily injuries to a crew member.


“We reiterate the importance of upholding peace, stability, safety and rules-based maritime order in the South China, a critical sea lane of communications for all countries that are using it,” the statement read.

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