The BRP Sierra Madre of the Philippine Navy is stranded in the contested Spratly Islands of the South China Sea.
PHOTO BY ARCHIVE
The Chinese Foreign Ministry once again urges the Philippines to remove a grounded World War II vessel, which Manila uses as a base in the disputed South China Sea.
The move comes after the Philippines accused a Chinese coastguard ship of firing water cannon at Philippine vessels cruising towards the Second Thomas Shoal on a resupply mission over the weekend. The Philippine military described the Chinese coastguard’s actions as “excessive and offensive”.
“China once again urges the Philippine side to immediately remove the warship from Second Thomas Shoal and restore it to its unoccupied state,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday (August 8 ).
China has repeatedly talked about the Second Thomas Shoal issue to the Philippines through diplomatic channels, yet its gestures of goodwill and sincerity have been “ignored”. Beijing stated that its use of water cannons is intended as a “warning”.
“We urge China not to escalate matters by water cannons or military-grade lasers, which places Philippines lives at risk, but by sincere negotiations and other diplomatic means,” said Jonathan Malaya, assistant director general of the Philippines’ National Security Council.
Tensions between the two nations have risen over the South China Sea under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., leading Manila to refocus on the US, which supports Manila in its maritime conflicts with China. MFD/Expat Media
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