Allies back Philippines after new water cannon attack by China

Ghio Ong, Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Allies back Philippines after new water cannon attack by China
Screen grab from a footage released by the PCG shows a China coast guard ship firing its water cannon on one of the Philippine supply boats near Ayungin
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Allies – particularly the United States and the European Union – have expressed support for the Philippines against China’s acts of intimidation at sea, the latest of which was last Friday’s attempt by the Chinese Coast Guard to top a resupply mission for the BRP Sierra Madre outpost in Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal using water cannon.

The CCG’s hostile actions in Ayungin Shoal “are inconsistent with international law and follow a pattern of Beijing’s dangerous operational behavior in the South China Sea,” according to US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

“We stand with our Philippine ally,” Miller said in a statement yesterday. “The United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our Philippine ally in the face of the People’s Republic of China’s repeated harassment in the South China Sea,” he stressed.

He said the US recognizes the 2016 international tribunal’s decision invalidating China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea, including
Ayungin Shoal, as he urged China to “respect the high seas freedoms of navigation guaranteed to all States under international law” and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The US also reaffirmed its commitment under the Mutual Defense Treaty to come to the Philippines’ aid in case of armed attacks in the South China Sea.

“The United States reaffirms that Article IV of the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks on Philippine armed forces, public vessels or aircraft – including those of its Coast Guard – anywhere in the South China Sea,” Miller said.

European Union (EU) Ambassador Luc Véron also reiterated the EU’s “support to the Philippines in its call for the full observance of International Law in the South China Sea.”

“In view of (Friday’s) event in the South China Sea, Germany reiterates its support for the Philippines in advocating respect for international law in the South China Sea, as an essential pillar for peace and security,” German Ambassador Andreas Pfaffernoschke said. Germany is a member of the EU.

New Zealand Ambassador Peter Kell also expressed his country’s “deep concern at the ongoing dangerous actions towards Philippine vessels at Second Thomas Shoal.”

“We call for all parties to refrain from actions which risk safety and undermine regional stability, and for peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with UNCLOS,” he added.

Earlier, the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea reported that CCG and maritime militia vessels “recklessly harassed, blocked and executed dangerous maneuvers in another attempt to illegally impede or obstruct a routine resupply and rotation mission to BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal” on the morning of Nov. 10.

But China claimed it was the Philippine ships that “arbitrarily trespassed into the waters near China’s Ren’ai Reef,” the name assigned by Beijing to Ayungin Shoal.  

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with