Philippines accuses China of using water cannons against its vessels

17:07, 18 November 2021
Philippines accuses China of using water cannons against its vessels

No injuries or casualties were reported, but the ships had to cancel their supply carrying mission.

The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines announced on Thursday that two of its boats were attacked by the Chinese Coast Guard using powerful water cannons in the waters of the South China Sea.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said that he conveyed in strongest terms his outrage, condemnation, and protest of the attempt to China’s ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.

According to the Ministry, two boats were carrying food supplies to the Philippines’ troops located in Ayungin Shoal. No victims were reported but the vessels had to quit their mission.

In a statement released after the incident, Locsin called Chinese actions illegal and brought up the vessel cover, according to the Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty, highlighting that the Philippines were not obliged to account for what they do on their territory demanding that Chinese ships back off.

The PRC’s government has responded to the accusations stating that the Philippine boats entered the waters without China’s consent.

“Our coast guard acted lawfully to safeguard China's sovereignty," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said.

He has added that the two governments usually cooperate on the matter.

The South China Sea, which is rich in gas and oil and remains an important spot for trade transits and fishing, is highly disputed as China claims almost all of the sea but the claims are opposed by Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The US has also recently increased its military presence in the region.