Chinese Coast Guard Continues Aggressive Actions Against Philippine Vessels in South China Sea

by Ryan Lee
South China Sea Tensions

Chinese Coast Guard Continues Aggressive Actions Against Philippine Vessels in South China Sea

For the second consecutive day, the Chinese coast guard escalated tensions in the South China Sea by attacking three Philippine ships with water cannons and ramming one, inflicting severe engine damage. This latest incident occurred near Second Thomas Shoal, as Philippine naval and coast guard vessels were delivering supplies to a stationed navy ship, said Philippine Coast Guard Commodore Jay Tarriela.

The encounter follows a similar confrontation on the previous day at a different shoal. Drone footage and images released by the Philippine coast guard depict two Chinese ships spraying water at the BRP Cabra, a Philippine patrol ship, and another smaller supply vessel.

In response, the Chinese coast guard defended its actions as lawful, stating that the Philippine vessels were transporting construction materials to Second Thomas Shoal in violation of China’s sovereignty. They accused a Philippine ship of dangerously colliding with a Chinese vessel after ignoring warnings.

China has maintained a presence around the Philippine-occupied Second Thomas Shoal for years, blocking Philippine access in an attempt to assert control over the disputed atoll. These aggressive acts have heightened concerns about potential armed conflict, drawing attention to the United States’ commitment to defend its Philippine ally.

In another recent incident, Chinese forces used water cannons against three Philippine fisheries vessels near Scarborough Shoal, causing significant damage to their communication and navigation systems. This was condemned by the Philippines, the U.S., and Japan.

Additionally, suspected militia vessels were reported to have used an acoustic device against Filipino crew, leading to severe discomfort and temporary incapacitation. The Philippine government has demanded China cease these provocations and respect international law and Philippine sovereignty.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, criticized China’s “aggressive, illegal actions” on social media, emphasizing the risk to lives and livelihood and reaffirming U.S. support for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Other incidents this year include Chinese ships using military-grade lasers causing temporary blindness and engaging in hazardous maneuvers leading to minor collisions, as reported by Philippine officials.

As tensions persist, a fleet of 40 Philippine civilian fishing boats, escorted by coast guard ships, set sail to Second Thomas Shoal and other Philippine territories to deliver Christmas supplies and food to Filipino forces.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about South China Sea Tensions

What recent actions has the Chinese coast guard taken against Philippine vessels?

The Chinese coast guard has been involved in aggressive actions against Philippine vessels in the South China Sea, including the use of water cannons and ramming, causing significant damage. These incidents have occurred near disputed shoals, such as Second Thomas Shoal, and have escalated tensions in the region.

How did the Chinese coast guard justify their actions against the Philippine vessels?

The Chinese coast guard defended their actions by claiming they were implementing controls in accordance with laws and regulations. They accused the Philippine vessels of infringing on China’s sovereignty and engaging in dangerous and unprofessional maneuvers.

What has been the international response to these incidents?

The aggressive actions of the Chinese coast guard have been condemned by the Philippines, the United States, and Japan. The U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, MaryKay Carlson, specifically criticized China’s actions as aggressive and illegal, endangering lives and livelihoods, and in violation of international law.

Have there been other similar incidents in the region this year?

Yes, there have been other incidents in the region this year. Chinese coast guard ships have used military-grade lasers causing temporary blindness to Filipino crewmen and engaged in dangerous blocking and shadowing maneuvers that led to minor collisions.

What are the broader implications of these incidents?

These incidents have raised concerns about the potential for an armed conflict in the South China Sea, involving the United States, which has vowed to defend the Philippines, its treaty ally. They highlight the ongoing territorial disputes and the risk of escalation in a strategically important region.

More about South China Sea Tensions

  • South China Sea Conflict Overview
  • Chinese Coast Guard Aggression Reports
  • Philippine Vessel Assaults by Chinese Forces
  • International Reactions to South China Sea Tensions
  • U.S. Stance on South China Sea Disputes
  • Regional Maritime Security and Territorial Disputes
  • Historical Context of South China Sea Conflicts
  • Legal Perspectives on South China Sea Disputes

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Mark_the_Analyst December 10, 2023 - 12:52 pm

This is a classic case of power play in international waters, China’s trying to assert dominance in the region, but at what cost? international law seems to be on a back burner here.

Emily Thompson December 10, 2023 - 5:22 pm

read about the US involvement, its good to see some support for the Philippines but also kinda scary? could lead to bigger conflicts if not handled carefully.

Mike Johnson December 10, 2023 - 6:15 pm

wow, can’t believe how tense things are getting in the South China Sea, this is realy serious stuff, hope it doesn’t escalate to something worse..

Sarah84 December 11, 2023 - 9:34 am

Its so unfair what’s happening to the Philippines, they just trying to defend their territory and here comes China with all this aggression!


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