Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson for the West Philippine Sea Commodore Jay Tarriela speaks at a press conference in Manila, Philippines, on September 29, 2023. On Friday, the Philippines said the Chinese Coast Guard fired a water cannon at one of its ships in the South China Sea. Photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA-EFE
Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The Philippines said Friday that the Chinese Coast Guard fired a water cannon at one of its ships in the South China Sea heading to resupply one of its military outposts near a disputed reef.
Philippines diplomats at the country's embassy in Beijing protested to the Chinese government about the Coast Guard's action, arguing it "recklessly harassed, blocked and executed dangerous maneuvers" against the Philippines ship M/L Kalayaan.
The Philippines said the ship was on a routine resupply mission to troops stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre in the Second Thomas Shoal. The China Coast Guard accused the Philippines of entering its waters without permission.
"The Chinese Coast Guard follows Philippine ships in accordance with the law, takes control measures, and makes temporary special arrangements for the Philippines to transport food and other necessary daily supplies," the Chinese Coast Guard said in a translated statement.
"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, including Second Thomas Shoal, and its adjacent waters. The Philippines' actions violate China's territorial sovereignty, violate the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and violate its commitments."
The South China Sea is considered a flashpoint for the Chinese government and its neighbors that also use the South China Sea. China has been increasingly aggressive over the years to claim sovereignty over waters and islands used by countries like the Philippines, a United States ally, for decades.