Aug 06, 2023 at 10:06 AM Update: 5 minutes ago
The Philippines accuses China of targeting a military supply vessel in the disputed South China Sea. The vessel is said to have been sprayed by the Chinese coast guard with a water cannon. The Philippine authorities call that illegal and dangerous.
The Philippines attempted to supply soldiers stationed near the Spratly Islands on Saturday. The Philippines stranded a World War II naval vessel there in 1999 and has been using that vessel as a military outpost ever since.
It would have been the first time since 2021 that the Chinese coast guard has used a water cannon against such a supply mission. China claims control of almost the entire South China Sea, to the chagrin of other countries. These waters are of great importance to the world economy. Trillions of dollars worth of merchandise are transported on it every year.
Philippines receives support from US
China’s coastguard said in response to the incident that China has control of the area. The Philippines was accused of entering the waters and illegally transporting construction materials. The United States supports the Philippines in calling China’s actions a threat to peace and stability in the region.
The Americans have strengthened their ties with the Philippines since a new president took office there last year. The relationship had cooled under the previous leader, Rodrigo Duterte.
The US received permission this year to start using several new army bases on Philippine territory. Washington has already stationed soldiers in Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan.