The Philippine Coast Guard has released a video that shows a Chinese Coast Guard vessel firing a water cannon at one of its ships, going public with a new complaint of aggressive behavior from China.
Two vessels of the Philippines Coast Guard were on what was supposed to be a normal resupply mission 120 miles off the coast of Palawan, when they ran into a Chinese blockade. After a Chinese vessel fired its water cannon at one Philippine ship, it then moved to block it from advancing. The second Philippine ship was able to pass through the blockade, completing the supply mission.
The confrontation took place around the Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The area is claimed by several countries and has been a site of repeated run-ins between Chinese and Philippine ships.
On Monday, China’s Coast Guard released a statement, justifying its move by claiming that the Philippines violated China’s sovereignty and international law and that the Philippine ships had been “lawfully intercepted.”
In 2016, an international tribunal at The Hague backed the Philippines in its territorial claims over the contested waters, saying that China had violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights. China has said it would not abide by the ruling.
The United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada have criticized China in the latest clash, calling it a dangerous action and a threat to regional peace and stability.