Monday, June 5, 2023

Philippines ship intercepts Chinese ship in disputed area

A Chinese coast guard vessel blocked a Philippine patrol boat as it entered a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, triggering a deadly collision nearly at the scene. Beijing’s latest aggression on the strategic waterway.

The collision between the largest Chinese vessel and the Philippine BRP Malapascua took place on Sunday near the Second Thomas Shoal shoal, locally known as Ayungin Shoal.

It was one of the most tense moments experienced by the ship and another Philippine vessel during a week of sovereignty patrols in one of the world’s most disputed waterways.

The Philippine Coast Guard invited a small group of reporters, including three from The Associated Press, to join a 1,670-kilometre (1,038-mile) patrol for the first time, aimed at exposing China’s increasingly aggressive operations in the Philippines. The South China Sea, through which an estimated US$5 trillion in global trade passes each year.

In scorching heat but relatively calm waters, Malapascua and another Philippine Coast Guard vessel, BRP Malabrigo, moved to the front lines of the long-standing territorial dispute. They searched for signs of encroachment, illegal fishing, and other threats to islands, islets, and reefs occupied and claimed by the Philippines.

In Chinese-occupied or controlled areas, Philippine patrol boats received radio notices in Chinese and broken English ordering the Chinese coast guard and navy to leave Beijing’s “undisputed areas” immediately, and in case of challenge Unspecified threats were made. ,

Hostilities reached their peak on Sunday morning at the Philippine-held Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands, the most disputed area of ​​the busy shipping channel. ,

Associated Press writers Joel Calupitan and Aaron Favila contributed to this report.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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