Sunday, July 14, 2024

China, Philippine naval ships collide in SCS


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Beijing/Manila, June 17: The China-Philippines confrontation to assert their claims in the disputed South China Sea took a violent turn on Monday as their naval ships collided in the first such incident after Beijing issued new rules to act against foreign vessels and detain foreigners “suspected of violating” regulations in the Chinese waters.
China claims most of the South China Sea (SCS), which is hotly disputed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.
A Philippines ship and a Chinese vessel collided after the former “illegally entered” the waters near the Second Thomas Shoal and “dangerously approached” the Chinese ship, China Coast Guard (CCG) said.
The navies and the coast guards of the two countries were having face-offs in the last few months as the Philippines made a strong bid to assert its claims over the Second Thomas Shoal in the SCS claimed by China.
China alleges that the Philippines deliberately ran a naval ship aground in 1999 at the Second Thomas Shoal, which it calls Renai Jiao, and converted the damaged ship into a permanent installation manned by naval personnel.
According to the CCG, the Chinese vessel collided with the Philippines ship on Monday morning in a bid to prevent it from delivering construction materials.
The CCG statement said its vessel has taken regulatory measures to respond to an illegal intrusion by a Philippine vessel into waters near Ren’ai Jiao on Monday morning.
A Philippine supply vessel, in disregard of repeated stern warnings from the Chinese side, deliberately and dangerously approached Chinese vessels navigating normally in adjacent waters of Ren’ai Jiao, it said.
This violated the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea. The act led to a slight collision, for which the responsibility lies entirely with the Philippine side, the statement added.
However, the statement did not mention any damage or injuries on either side. (Agencies)


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