PH, China ships collided near Ayungin Shoal —China Coast Guard

PH, China ships collided near Ayungin Shoal —China Coast Guard Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in West Philippine Sea

Vessels of the Philippines and China collided in the waters adjacent to Ayungin Shoal on Monday, the China Coast Guard (CCG) said. The Philippine Coast Guard however has no comment on the matter.

The National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) was also mum on the alleged latest resupply mission, according to GMA Integrated News reporter Joseph Morong.

Initially, even the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was quiet on the issue, as well as on the supposed deployment of the Chinese Landing Ship Helicopter Dock in Philippine waters, said another GMA Integrated News reporter Chino Gaston.

Later in the day, the AFP said it would not dignify the misleading claims of China as regards the reported collision of vessels.

The AFP maintained that the main issue was Beijing's continued illegal presence in the region.

According to the CCG, the Philippine supply ship dangerously approached the Chinese ship.

It also said the Philippine ship illegally intruded into the waters adjacent to the Second Thomas Shoal and ignored China's repeated solemn warnings, the coast guard added in a statement.

The statement made no mention of injuries or damage to either vessel due to the slight collision.

GMA News Online also sought the comment of Malacañang regarding the matter.

For months, China and the Philippines have traded accusations over dangerous maneuvers and collisions at Ayungin Shoal, an atoll in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

READ: EXPLAINER: What is the Ayungin Shoal and why is it important?

Several incidents have happened when the Philippines deploys resupply missions for Filipino soldiers living aboard the BRP Sierra Madre, an aging warship there deliberately run aground to protect Manila's maritime claims.

The Ayungin Shoal, which China calls Ren’ai Reef, is located 105 nautical miles west of Palawan and is within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is part of its continental shelf.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual ship-borne commerce, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

China had previously warned the Philippines about intruding into its territorial waters and the country has issued new rules, which went into effect on June 15, that would enforce a 2021 law allowing its coast guard to use lethal force against foreign ships in waters that it claims.

The new rules allow China's coast guard to detain suspected trespassers without trial for 60 days.

In May, the Chinese Embassy also claimed that there was a “new model” arrangement with the Philippine government for managing the situation in Ayungin Shoal.

National Security Adviser Secretary Eduardo Año however said the claim was "absolutely absurd, ludicrous, and preposterous.”

The Philippine government sued China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2013. The Court ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016 when it junked China's nine-dash claim over the South China Sea.

In the same ruling, The Hague court said that the Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, Spratly Islands, Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, and Recto (Reed) Bank are within the Philippine exclusive economic zone. The Scarborough Shoal, meanwhile, was deemed as a common fishing ground.

Beijing, however, has repeatedly refused to honor the ruling. —Reuters/Giselle Ombay and Anna Felicia Bajo/KG/RSJ, GMA Integrated News

This article PH, China ships collided near Ayungin Shoal —China Coast Guard was originally published in GMA News Online.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/ph-china-ships-collided-near-ayungin-shoal-china-coast-guard/ar-BB1oloMA?ocid=00000000

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