Philippines resists Chinese bullying

(To drafting)

The Philippines has summoned China's ambassador to Manila to express its displeasure over recent aggressive maneuvers by the Chinese coast guard and other vessels near the disputed Philippine Shoals area. SecondThomas, located in the South China Sea.

Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro called on China to resolve the dispute through international arbitration, underlining the firmness of the Philippine position. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has denounced the hostile actions of the Chinese coast guard and maritime militia against their refueling operation near Ayungin Shoal, Also known as Second Thomas Shoal. During this mission, a Philippine ship was blocked and attacked with water cannons by the Chinese coast guard, causing injuries to three soldiers. The area has been the scene of previous similar tensions between the two nations.

Although China claims most of the South China Sea, the Philippines and an international ruling dispute those claims. Philippine officials reported that, despite the aggression, they managed to complete the resupply mission with the aid of inflatable boats. The Philippine military, stationed on a World War II naval vessel intentionally beached in 1999 to reassert Philippine territorial claims, depends on these missions for essential supplies.

In response, the Chinese embassy in the Philippines filed a formal protest with the Foreign Ministry in Manila, accusing the Philippines of "illegal intrusion" into Chinese territorial waters, in reference to the March 25 incident involving Philippine vessels at the Ren'ai shoals (international name of "Second Thomas Shoal").

Photo: Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China