European Union, Canada and the U.S. condemned the communist China after Chinese vessels collided with Philippine boats on a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre, a Philippine navy ship, on Second Thomas Shoal.
Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, is an atoll in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles west of Palawan, Philippines. Claimed by several nations but located in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, the atoll is currently militarily occupied by the Philippines.
The incident occurred on Sunday, when the China Coast Guard vessel 5203 (CCGV 5203) engaged in dangerous blocking maneuvers, leading to a collision with the Philippine indigenous resupply boat named Unaiza May 2 (UM2).
Furthermore, during the same resupply mission, the Philippine Coast Guard vessel MRRV 4409 was bumped by the Chinese Maritime Militia vessel 00003 (CMMV 00003) while positioned approximately 6.4NM Northeast of Ayungin Shoal.
The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) called the move “provocative, irresponsible and illegal” as the incident “imperiled the safety of the crew” of the Filipino boats, CNN Philippines reported.
“The National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea condemns in the strongest degree the latest dangerous, irresponsible, and illegal actions of the CCG and the Chinese Maritime Militia done this morning, in violation of Philippine sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction and in utter blatant disregard of the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) and relevant international maritime conventions, and the 2016 Arbitral Award” the task force said in a statement.
Philippines confirms collision this Sunday morning, when Chinese ships “performed dangerous maneuvers to obstruct Filipino ships en route to Ayungin”
— Marwa Amr (@MarsiAmr) October 22, 2023
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released videos showing Chinese ships colliding Filipino vessels during a resupply mission to a Philippine navy ship.
China accuses the Philippines for sailing to a shoal that is part of Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It claimed it “lawfully” blocked the Philippine vessels transporting “illegal construction materials” to a warship.
Below is China’s full statement:
On October 22，without China’s permission, two civil vessels and two coast guard vessels of the Philippines intruded the waters of Ren’ai Jiao in China’s Nansha Qundao. In disregard of the warnings of the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, they went headlong towards Ren’ai Jiao’s lagoon and bumped dangerously with the CCG ships conducting law enforcement on the scene and the Chinese fishing vessels having normal fishing activities there. The CCG took necessary law enforcement measures to the Philippine vessels in accordance with domestic and international law to uphold China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. The action it took on the scene was professional and restrained.
Let me stress that Ren’ai Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao and China’s territory. The Philippines illegally “grounded” its warship at Ren’ai Jiao. This seriously violates China’s territorial sovereignty. The Philippines explicitly promised several times to tow away the military vessel deliberately and illegally “grounded” at Ren’ai Jiao. However, 24 years have passed and instead of towing it away, the Philippines has sought to repair and reinforce it on a large scale in order to permanently occupy Ren’ai Jiao. China has shown extraordinary restraint and patience concerning Ren’ai Jiao. For quite some time, China has had frequent communication with the Philippines at various levels and through various channels, making it clear to the Philippines that it must not send construction materials meant for repairing and reinforcing the “grounded” warship on a large scale. The Philippines, however, chose to ignore China’s goodwill and sincerity and has reneged on its own promise, kept sending vessels into the waters of Ren’ai Jiao, spreading disinformation and playing up the issue. The Philippines’ behavior seriously violated China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, breached international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and undermined regional peace and stability. We deplore and firmly oppose that.
We once again urge the Philippines to take seriously China’s grave concerns, honor its promise, stop stirring up trouble and making provocations at sea, stop making dangerous moves, stop groundlessly attacking and slandering China and tow away the illegally “grounded” warship as soon as possible so that the peace and stability of the South China Sea will not be jeopardized and the common interests of countries in the region will not be affected. China will continue to take necessary measures in accordance with domestic and international law to firmly safeguard China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.
The European Union, Canada and the U.S. released a statement regarding the new tension arising in the South China Sea.
“The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China’s latest disruption of a legal Philippine resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal, putting the lives of Filipino service members at risk. We stand with our friends, partners, and allies in protecting Philippine sovereignty and in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said later on Sunday.
The United States condemns PRC’s latest disruption of a legal Philippine resupply mission to Ayungin Shoal, putting the lives of Filipino service members at risk. We stand with our #FriendsPartnersAllies in protecting sovereignty and in support of a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific.
— Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson (@USAmbPH) October 22, 2023
“These incidents, their repetition and intensification are dangerous and very disturbing,” European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron added. “We join the Philippines in its call for the full observance of international law in the South China Sea.”
These incidents, their repetition and intensification are dangerous and very disturbing.
We join the Philippines in its call for the full observance of International Law in the South China Sea. https://t.co/X0cMgdk9Z6
— Ambassador Luc Véron (@EUAmbPH) October 22, 2023
“The Canadian Embassy condemns the unlawful and dangerous conduct of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels on 22 October 2023, which provoked two collisions with Philippine vessels engaged in routine operations inside the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, in the vicinity of Ayungin Shoal.
“The PRC’s actions are unjustified. China has no lawful claim to the West Philippine Sea. Its actions are incompatible with the obligations of a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Continuing acts of intimidation and coercion undermine safety, stability, and security across the region, and increase the risk of miscalculation.
“We welcome news that no injuries resulted from these collisions, and commend the professionalism and restraint exercised by Philippine Coast Guard.
“Canada affirms its support for a rules-based order in the South China Sea consistent w/ international law, including UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral decision, which is final and binding on the parties.”
.@CanEmbPH condemns the unlawful and dangerous conduct of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels on
22 October 2023, which provoked two collisions with Philippine vessels engaged in routine operations inside the Philippine Exclusive (1/4) pic.twitter.com/YTXQGTIL7u
— Canada in the Philippines (@CanEmbPH) October 22, 2023