Tension in South Sea: China blocks passage of Philippine Coast Guard carrying aid to fishermen

A Chinese military ship intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard in the waters of the South China Sea (PTV News)

philippines This Saturday it was reported that a ship of Chinese Marine Militia The Coast Guard blocked the ship’s passage in a new episode, part of tensions over the disputes southern sea, According to coastal authorities, BRP Datu Sunday He was on a resupply mission for 44 local fishermen who were waiting near Bajo de Masinloc.

A video broadcast by the state channel ptv It shows the Beijing ship blocking the Manila ship from proceeding. According to him, the foreign ship was about 300 meters away from the Filipinos and the maneuver took place just 1.2 nautical miles south of Pantong Shoal.

However, despite efforts by the Xi Jinping regime, BRP Datu Sunday managed to bring gasoline and food packages to the fishing boats.

44 ships waiting for resupply amid Chinese blockade (@jaytaryela)
44 ships waiting for resupply amid Chinese blockade (@jaytaryela)

These types of maneuvers are becoming increasingly common in the South Sea, where in addition to the Philippines and China, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also claim sovereignty. Ships carrying approximately US$3.4 billion worth of cargo pass through this route each year.

It was already condemned by the Manila Coast Guard on February 11. Jam of eight Chinese military shipsIn that case, during one of its boat patrols in the area of ​​the Bajo de Masinloc sandbank.

He noted, “Chinese coast guard ships carried out evasive and blocking maneuvers against ‘BRP Teresa Magbanua’ four times, and in two of them they passed in front of the bow, violating the international regulation to avoid collisions at sea ” Then in a statement.

However, as is always the case in these episodes, Beijing assured that it was a defense operation after the Philippine ships “illegally entered the waters adjacent to Huangyan Island despite coast guard warnings.” “The coast guard implemented measures in accordance with the law, such as route control and removal, handling the situation professionally,” he stressed.

China defended its actions and attacked the Philippines for illegally entering the waters and ignoring warnings from the coast guard (Europa Press).
China defended its actions and attacked the Philippines for illegally entering the waters and ignoring warnings from the coast guard (Europa Press).

A few days later, in a new show of support for the country, usa It mobilized aircraft from its air force in the area to conduct joint patrols. Three Philippine FA-50 fighter planes and one US B-52H bomber flew over part of the western region of the Asian archipelago with the “aim of strengthening cooperation with US counterparts and the security of the national territory”, accompanied by images of the ships In a video hinted at in flight.

The patrol took place between the waters off the city of Candon, northwest of Luzon Island, and Lubang Island, in the central area of ​​the archipelago.

Since the arrival of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the presidency last year, the Philippines – which had reached out to China during Rodrigo Duterte’s tenure (2016-2022) – has sought to strengthen its historic security alliance with the United States. Took a turn., especially given increased harassment by Chinese ships.

(With information from Europa Press)

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