Chinese Coast Guard Blocks And Uses Water Canons On Philippine Resupply Ships
PHILIPPINES - The Chinese Coast Guard blocked a Philippine resupply ship on the way to Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. The Coast Guard ships also shot water canons at the two Philippine ships causing the Philippines to issue a warning to Beijing.
While no one was hurt in the incident, Manila ordered the Chinese ships to back off and warned that its supply vessels are under a mutual defense treaty with the United States.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr stated that the two supply vessels had to abort their mission to supply food to Filipino military forces located at the Second Thomas Shoal which is recognized internationally as exclusively an economic zone.
Locsin stated in a tweet that the attack by the Chinese coast guard was illegal and told them to "take heed and back off".
The United States said that China's actions "directly threatens regional peace and stability" and put out a statement solidifying their support for the Philippines.
The statement read, "Two days ago, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Coast Guard blocked and used water cannons against Philippine resupply ships en route to Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea".
"The United States stands with our ally, the Philippines, in the face of this escalation that directly threatens regional peace and stability, escalates regional tensions, infringes upon freedom of navigation in the South China Sea as guaranteed under international law, and undermines the rules-based international order".
"On July 12, 2016, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, delivered a unanimous and enduring decision firmly rejecting the PRC’s claims to Second Thomas Shoal and to waters determined to be part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone."
"The PRC and the Philippines, pursuant to their treaty obligations under the Law of the Sea Convention, are legally bound to comply with this decision. The PRC should not interfere with lawful Philippine activities in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone".
"The United States stands with our Philippine allies in upholding the rules-based international maritime order and reaffirms that an armed attack on Philippine public vessels in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S. Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty".
"The United States strongly believes that PRC actions asserting its expansive and unlawful South China Sea maritime claims undermine peace and security in the region".