Philippine navy sailor severely injured in South China Sea collision

by Admin
Philippine navy sailor severely injured in South China Sea collision

The Philippine military says a maritime collision Monday in the South China Sea was an “intentional-high speed ramming” of a supply ship by the Chinese coast guard that “seriously injured” one navy sailor. However, China’s coast guard says the supply ship is to blame.

In a statement Tuesday, the Philippine military said the sailor was successfully evacuated and is currently undergoing treatment. The incident occurred during a rotation and resupply mission for the Sierra Madre, a ship the Philippines grounded on Second Thomas Shoal more than two decades ago to boost Manila’s claims to the Spratly Islands.

Manila says the incident occurred in its exclusive economic zone when Chinese vessels engaged in dangerous maneuvers, but China’s coast guard blames a Philippine supply ship.

The incident is the latest in a string of confrontations in the disputed waters between the Philippines and China. On Monday, the United States voiced its concern about the incident and its support for the Philippines.

FILE – An aerial view shows the BRP Sierra Madre on the contested Second Thomas Shoal, locally known as Ayungin, in the South China Sea, March 9, 2023.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said: “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 16.”

Miller added that “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.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell discussed China’s actions in a phone call with his counterpart in the Philippines, Maria Theresa Lazaro. In a statement on the call, Matthew Miller said both agreed that China’s “dangerous actions threatened regional peace and stability.”

According to China’s coast guard, a Philippine supply ship “deliberately and dangerously” made its way to one of China’s ships. The Chinese coast guard said the result was a minor collision after the supply ship “illegally intruded” by the submerged reef of Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, a territory claimed by several nations.

In a statement on the social media app WeChat, the Chinese coast guard said the supply ship “ignored China’s repeated solemn warnings … and dangerously approached a Chinese vessel in normal navigation in an unprofessional manner, resulting in a collision.”

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, which generates over $3 trillion maritime commerce annually. This includes parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei.

Monday’s incident comes as China has taken steps to enhance enforcement in waters it claims as its own. Beijing recently announced new rules, effective June 15, that it says allow its coast guard to employ lethal force against foreign ships in its territorial waters and hold suspected trespassers without trial for 60 days.

In a response Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard said it has also deployed vessels to patrol Scarborough Shoal — located 641 kilometers (398 miles) north of Second Thomas Shoal — for the safety of Filipino fishermen.

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.