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Philippines resupply mission in the South China Sea.REUTERS/Adrian Portugal

A Philippine supply boat sails near a Chinese Coast Guard ship during a resupply mission for Filipino troops stationed at a grounded warship in the South China Sea, October 4, 2023. REUTERS/Adrian Portugal

China’s Navy Must Stop Dangerous Moves At Sea, Philippines Says

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October 15, 2023

By Cecilia Yap

Oct 15, 2023 (Bloomberg) –The Philippines asked China to stop “dangerous maneuvers and aggressive actions” in the South China Sea, warning of potential collision in the disputed waters.

A Philippine military vessel, the BRP Benguet, warned off and issued radio challenges to a Chinese navy ship on Oct. 13, which shadowed it and attempted to cross its bow southwest of Pag-asa or Thitu island, according to a statement from the Philippine army.

The crew of the Philippine vessel, which was en route to a military station for a regular rotation and resupply mission, cited the violation of collision regulations in its radio challenges and demanded the Chinese ship steer clear. It received a counter response from People’s Liberation Army Navy Ship 621, which cited China’s ten-dash line, according to the statement.

“These dangerous and offensive maneuvers by China’s PLAN not only risk collision but also directly endanger the lives of maritime personnel from both sides,” said Romeo Brawner, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

The two nations have been locked in a territorial dispute in the resource-rich waters, with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ramping up protests over China’s actions since he took power last year.

Earlier this month, the Philippines said it successfully shipped fresh supply to a military outpost in a shoal in the South China Sea despite attempts by Chinese vessels to block and interfere with the mission.

China’s Foreign Ministry this month urged the Philippines to stop making “provocations” in the South China Sea as it vowed to do “what is necessary to firmly safeguard” its rights and interests in the contested waters.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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