Chinese Coast Guard Says Philippines 'Responsible' For Supply Ship's Collision With Chinese Vessel In South China Sea

The Philippine supply ship reportedly entered the waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, which is a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands.

Chinese Coast Guard said Philippines is entirely responsible for the collision. (Representative Photo) Photo: X/@MarioNawfal

A Philippine supply shit collided with a Chinese vessel near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Monday, after it dangerously approach the latter in an 'unprofessional manner', said China's coast guard.

The Philippine supply ship reportedly entered the waters near the Second Thomas Shoal, which is a submerged reef in the Spratly Islands, part of a territory claimed by several countries.

In a statement, the Chinese coast guard said, the Philippine supply ship "ignored China's repeated solemn warnings" and approached Chinese vessel in normal navigation in an unprofessional manner, which led to the collision.

"The Philippines is entirely responsible for this," the statement added.

In its previous warning, China had told Philippines about its territorial waters and issued new rules, which came into effect on June 15. These rules would enforce a 2021 law allowing its coast guard, to use lethal force against foreign ships in waters that it has claimed.

The new rules allows China's Coast Guard to detain suspected trespassers for 60 days without trial, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has said that the shoal, lying less than 370 kilometres from its coast, falls within its internationally recognised exclusive economic zone. Often, the country cites an international arbitration ruling from 2016, which invalidated China's expansive claims in the South China Sea on the basis of historical grounds.

Several incidents have taken place in the last few months near the Second Thomas Shoal, where the Philippines maintains a post aboard the BRP Sierra Madre ship.

The territorial disputes have brought stress to the relations and sparked fear that these conflicts could bring Philippines long-time treat ally, United States and China into a military level confrontation.

Though Washington has made no territorial claims to the busy seaway, which is also a key global trade route, but has warned that it is obligated to defend its ally, Philippines if Filipino forces, ships and aircraft face an armed attack in the South China Sea.

Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are also involved in the long-standing territorial disputes, which are often considered as a flashpoint in Asia and as a sensitive fault line in the long-time rivalry between the US and China in the region.

(With inputs from agencies)