Countries condemn China’s dangerous actions vs Philippines

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Countries condemn China�s dangerous actions vs Philippines
Screengrab from a Philippine Coast Guard video shows a Chinese coast guard ship blasting Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources vessels with water during a resupply mission for fishermen near Bajo de Masinloc.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The United States yesterday condemned China’s repeated firing of water cannons against Philippine vessels en route to deliver food and other supplies to Filipino forces in Ayungin Shoal.

US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson said China’s aggression undermines regional stability, in defiance of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“The US stands with the Philippines and partners in vehemently condemning the PRC’s repeated illegal and dangerous actions against Philippine vessels, including disrupting the Philippine resupply mission to the Sierra Madre today,” Carlson wrote on X.

European Union Ambassador Luc Veron expressed concern over the “deeply troubling” incidents and said the firing of water cannons and dangerous sea maneuvers by the China Coast Guard (CCG) is not a legitimate alternative.

“Another deeply troubling incident today, water cannons used again,” Veron posted on X, formerly Twitter.

He said the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) dispute settlement mechanisms maintain the rule of law.

“The 2016 UNCLOS Tribunal Award is a valuable framework for peaceful resolution,” Veron noted.

The Philippine Coast Guard reported yesterday morning that the CCG assaulted three Filipino vessels with water cannons and rammed one of them, causing serious damage.

The three vessels were on a routine rotation and resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre stationed at Ayungin Shoal.

The New Zealand embassy in Manila said China’s actions “pose real risks to safety and lives, and risk undermining regional stability.”

“New Zealand is deeply concerned at multiple incidents of dangerous actions towards the Philippines at Scarborough Shoal and Second Thomas Shoal. This includes obstructing civilian boats and the use of water cannons against Philippine vessels, causing significant damage,” the embassy said in a statement.

Australian Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu said China’s dangerous actions are deeply concerning and “Australia remains steadfast in support of UNCLOS and international law.”

French Ambassador Marie Fontanel expressed concern and reiterated France’s support for the 2016 arbitral ruling.

“UNCLOS was signed exactly 41 years ago Dec. 10th 1982. Today more than ever recalls the value of international law to ensure freedom of navigation and is, once again, seriously concerned by the use of water canons in the EEZ (exclusive economic zone) to prevent a resupply mission to BRP Sierra Madre,” Fontanel posted on X yesterday.

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