Philippines condemn Chinese coastguard action in South Chinese Ocean

MANILA, Nov. 18 (Reuters) – The Philippines condemned”in strongest terms” the actions of three Chinese coast guard vessels die water cannons blocked and used on two supply boats in Manila on their way to an atoll occupied by the Philippines in the South China Sea, the top diplomat said: on Thursday.

Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin said no one was injured in the incident on November 16 at the Second Thomas Shoal, but the Philippine boats, die transported food supplies to military personnel established there their . breaking down mission.

“The acts of the Chinese coast guard is illegal,” said Locsin in a statement, reminding China that a public ship is covered by the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States.

Locsin said he had transferred”in the strongest termsto the Chinese ambassador in Manila “our outrage, condemnation and protest” of the incident.”

Locsin warned Beijing “failure showing self-control threatens the special relationship” between the two countries.

“China has no law enforcement rights” in and around these areas. They have to be careful and back off’ says Locsin.

Manila considers Second Thomas Shoal, die Located 105 nautical miles (195 km) southwest of the Philippine region of Palawan, within the exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles. It has occupied the shoal since 1999 after deliberately grounding a naval vessel on the reef.

China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, says the reef is part of its territory, but a 2016 ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague found in favor of the Philippines.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to requests for comment of the media.

China claims sovereignty over huge parts of the South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have made competing claims for some of all of the islands.

Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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