South China Sea: Philippines resupplies Second Thomas Shoal troops despite Beijing’s attempts to ‘harass’

The Philippines said it has successfully shipped fresh supplies to a military outpost in a shoal in the South China Sea despite what it described as attempts by Chinese vessels “to block, harass and interfere” with the mission.

A “significant number” of Chinese coastguard and maritime militia vessels tried to stop the latest resupply mission carried out by the Philippine military and coastguard on Wednesday, Manila’s National Security Council said in a statement.

China said it warned two Philippine supply boats and two coastguard vessels to leave the sea area near Nansha Islands on Wednesday and followed the ships throughout, according to a statement from the Chinese coastguard.

Nansha Islands is how Beijing calls Spratly Islands in the South China Sea that is being claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan.

South China Sea: Philippines aims to ‘take control again’ of shoal from China

The Philippines has been regularly shipping provisions to a World War II-era ship in Second Thomas Shoal that has served as its outpost in the disputed sea since 1999. But Manila has said China’s coastguard and maritime militia ships had constantly tried to block these missions and the Philippines has been publishing videos and images of these encounters to back up its claims.

The Philippines said a Chinese coastguard ship blocked and fired water cannons on a supply vessel on August 5, which prompted Manila to issue a diplomatic note. China’s coastguard has said its actions were professional and justified.
In another shoal in the South China Sea, Manila said last week that it removed a barrier that was installed by China. Beijing has, however, said it took out the structure by itself, as it maintained sovereignty in the area.
The two nations have been locked in a territorial dispute in the resource-rich waters, with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr ramping up protests over China’s actions since he took power last year.


Philippines condemns ‘floating barrier’ set up by Chinese fishermen in Scarborough Shoal

Philippines condemns ‘floating barrier’ set up by Chinese fishermen in Scarborough Shoal

Despite a 2016 international arbitral tribunal ruling that invalidated its expansive claims, China has been building up several unoccupied land features in the South China Sea, key route for around US$3 trillion worth of traded goods.

Marcos’s administration “will remain steadfast in adhering to a rules-based international order,” the statement from the country’s national security agency said.

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