Philippines says China boats made dangerous moves in patrol

Philippines says China boats made dangerous moves in patrol

A China Coast Guard vessel manoeuvres near Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Teresa Magbanua near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, Philippines, Feb 8, 2024. (Philippine Coast Guard/HANDOUT via REUTERS)
A China Coast Guard vessel manoeuvres near Philippine Coast Guard vessel BRP Teresa Magbanua near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, Philippines, Feb 8, 2024. (Philippine Coast Guard/HANDOUT via REUTERS)

Chinese vessels made “dangerous and blocking manoeuvres” in the South China Sea this month, the Philippines’ coast guard said, as tensions persist between Manila and Beijing over disputed waters.

Four China Coast Guard vessels shadowed a Philippine patrol boat on more than 40 occasions during its nine-day assignment near Scarborough Shoal, the Philippine Coast Guard said in a statement. The coast guard also spotted four Chinese maritime militia vessels, it said. It professionally engaged Chinese vessels through radio, reiterating Manila’s position in accordance with international law.

The China Coast Guard later said that activities by the Philippine Coast Guard between Feb 2 and 9 were an “illegal intrusion” and measures taken by the Chinese side were “professional and standardised”, according to a statement.

“China has indisputable sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal and its adjacent waters,” according to the statement, which cited China Coast Guard spokesman Gan Yu.

Separately, Philippine navy spokesperson Roy Trinidad said in a radio interview that a Chinese navy ship was spotted during the recent maritime cooperative activity between the Philippines and US in the South China Sea.

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