Philippines protests China’s use of laser in maritime dispute South China Sea News


Washington said it would back Manila after a Chinese ship aimed a powerful laser at a Philippine Coast Guard vessel.

The Philippine government has filed a diplomatic protest, accusing China of using a “military laser” to block one of its vessels in the South China Sea after the Chinese Coast Guard used an “aggressive” vessel. I asked to ensure that the activity was stopped.

“These acts of aggression by China are disturbing and disappointing,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Teresita Daza said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had recently completed a state visit to China. I mentioned that

During the visit, Marcos Jr. and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to manage maritime differences in the South China Sea through diplomacy and dialogue, Dazza said.

The ministry said the Chinese coast guard was also engaged in dangerous operations that risked collisions, saying such actions “constituted a threat” to the Philippine sovereignty and security, and the Philippine “right to its exclusive economic zone.” and jurisdiction,” he added. , the official Philippine News Agency reported in a tweet.

The incident occurred on February 6, when the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) was conducting a mission to resupply troops at Second Thomas Shoal, known in the Philippines as Ayungin Shoal.

PCG said that the boat was “military laserIt temporarily blinded the crew and accused the Chinese vessel of conducting “dangerous” maneuvers.

No. 2 Thomas Reef is located approximately 105 nautical miles (195 km) northwest of Palawan, Philippines, in the disputed Spratly Islands.

Located within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), this shallow water is home to a small group of Filipino soldiers who live aboard the rusty World War II-era ship Sierra Madre. claims of sovereignty.

“The Philippines has the privilege of conducting lawful activities within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. spokesman Daza said.

The Philippines says there was another incident with the Chinese coast guard off No. 2 Thomas Reef last August, claiming Chinese vessels created a “blockade” [PCG via Reuters]

The US also condemned China’s “provocative and dangerous” attempt to block the delivery of supplies to its troops at No. 2 Thomas Reef.

“In the face of reports that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard used a laser device against Philippine Coast Guard crew members, the United States is seeking a Philippine ally,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price. are supporting,” he said. statement on Monday.

In a statement, Price referred to the July 2016 decision of the International Court of Justice, no legal basis Because of China’s claim to most of the South China Sea. The case was brought to court by the Philippines, but Beijing refused to acknowledge the decision.

“The United States reiterates that, pursuant to the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, the 2016 arbitration decision is final and legally binding on China and the Philippines, and we urge China to comply with the decision. I ask,” Price said in a statement. .

After the PCG revealed the encounter on Monday, the Philippine military urged Beijing to control its forces in the disputed sea, which is also claimed by Taiwan and many Southeast Asian nations.

Military spokesman Meder Aguilar told reporters on Monday, “I think it’s time for the Chinese government to exercise restraint in its military from taking provocative actions that endanger people’s lives.” said.

Aguilar quoted the Philippine Defense Secretary as saying China’s actions were “aggressive” and unsafe.

According to the Philippines, the incident occurred when the PCG vessel was approximately 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) from No. 2 Thomas Reef. China also blocked access to the shallow waters last August, adding that two Chinese Coast Guard ships joined the two Chinese vessels. maritime militia Create a “blockade”.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists the Coast Guard is acting in accordance with the law.

“We strongly urge the Philippines to avoid such actions,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press briefing on Monday. .

China has stepped up its territorial claims in the South China Sea, building military bases on rocky outcrops and deploying coast guards, maritime militias and fishing boats to back its claims.

The PCG reiterated that it will continue to support and protect the “sovereignty and rights” of the forces embarking in the Philippines and the Sierra Madre.

Philippines recently More access to US military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the two countries.

Last week we also announced Strengthen security ties with Japan.

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