Published On: Mon, Mar 25th, 2024
World | 2,220 views

China threatens ‘resolute measures’ to hit back at US ally in Pacific after latest clash | World | News

Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Theresa Lazaro in a phone call with her Chinese counterpart expressed “the Philippines’ strongest protest against the aggressive actions undertaken by the China coast guard and Chinese maritime militia against the rotation and resupply mission undertaken by the Philippines,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Second Thomas Shoal has been occupied by a small contingent of Philippine navy and marines on a marooned warship since 1999, but has been surrounded by Chinese coast guard and other vessels in an increasingly tense standoff.

It’s the second time the Philippine supply boat has been damaged by water cannon in March.

The US lays no claims to the busy seaway, a key global trade route, but has deployed Navy ships and fighter jets in what it calls freedom of navigation operations that have challenged China’s claims to virtually the entire South China Sea.

Beijing says the strengthening of US alliances in Asia, including with the Philippines, is aimed at containing China and threatens regional stability.

Aside from China and the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims in the resource-rich and busy waterway. Beijing has refused to recognize a 2016 international arbitration ruling that invalidated its expansive claims on historical grounds.

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