Beijing defends coast guard's 'professional and restrained' conduct in WPS

Cecil Morella - Agence France-Presse
Beijing defends coast guard's 'professional and restrained' conduct in WPS
This frame grab from handout video taken on June 17, 2024 and released by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office on June 19 shows an aerial view of a Philippine Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) (C) between two China coast guard vessels during an incident off Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Philippine military said on June 19 the Chinese coast guard rammed and boarded Filipino navy boats in a violent confrontation in the South China Sea this week in which a Filipino sailor lost a thumb. China defended its actions, with its foreign ministry saying on Wednesday that "no direct measures" were taken against Filipino personnel.
Photo by Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Beijing has insisted that its coast guard behaved in a "professional and restrained" way during the confrontation and claimed "no direct measures" were taken against Filipino personnel.

But in a clip shared by Manila, a Chinese sailor standing on the deck of one of the boats can clearly be seen waving an axe.

Another clip shows a Chinese coast guard sailor striking the inflatable boat with a stick. A second man can also be seen stabbing the boat with a knife.

The Philippines military said an axe-wielding sailor had "threatened to injure" a Filipino soldier, while others were "explicitly threatening to harm" Filipino troops.

"The (Chinese coast guard) personnel then began hurling rocks and other objects at our personnel," Manila said.

"They also slashed the (inflatable boats), rendering them inoperable."

The Filipino sailors, wearing brown camouflage with helmets and vests, are not carrying weapons in the clips.

"Amidst this violent confrontation, the CCG (Chinese coast guard) also deployed tear gas, intensifying the chaos and confusion, while continuously blaring sirens to further disrupt communication," the caption said.

Manila has accused Beijing of an "act of piracy" against its forces.

It has also demanded the return of items "looted" by the Chinese side, including seven guns, and reparations for damaged equipment.

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